This recap was provided by Frank Jiang, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Head Delegate.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill hosted its collegiate Model United Nations conference, UNCMUNC, from February 7-9, 2014. Originally a smaller conference, UNCMUNC tripled in size this year to nearly a hundred participants. With two major themes across five committees, the conference engaged delegates on historical conflicts (the French Revolution, the Thirty Years’ War, and the Cuban Revolution) and challenges in the new millennia (SpaceX: 2038 and the South Pacific: 2030). For three days, delegates foresaw the consequences of asteroid mining and disappearing islands, and navigated the politicking and backstabbing of war.
Guest speaker Michael Cotter, the former ambassador to Turkmenistan, addressed those themes. “At first, it’s hard to see how these issues affect international relations or the United Nations,” he said. “But when you realize that these are the wars that defined statehood and political thought, and that these are the issues that countries will fight over in only a few decades, that leap isn’t so hard to make.”
And with that, delegates were off—some to acquire companies, some to brave typhoon winds, and some to try, convict, and execute war criminals.
In the South Pacific: 2030, delegates were faced with rising sea levels that swallowed entire countries, a predicament that created unparalleled refugee crises and time-sensitive negotiations with other countries for living space. As the islands grew increasingly desperate, invasions and alliances formed, deformed, and reformed in a matter of minutes, as regional powers such as America and China observed from the sidelines.
Meanwhile, the SpaceX Board of Directors went through an internal crisis when Elon Musk passed away, forcing a runoff between CEO candidates with differing philosophies on whether or not the company should go public. While the choice was being made, competing national space agencies improved their own technology, increasingly encroaching upon Space X’s profit margins.
As these businesses fought for larger market shares in a rapidly and literally expanding field, rebellions grew near Lyon, when citizens organized to protest economic problems in the countryside. Austria and Britain, France’s watchful neighbors, took the unrest as an opportunity to invade, forcing delegates to rapidly repulse the foreign invaders, centralize military authority, and regain governmental stability, no matter the cost. Similar events occurred around the world, with countries and political factions diving into war throughout the European continent and the island of Cuba.
When the three days drew to a close, all delegates reconvened one final time for awards, which were given to the following delegations:
Best Delegation: Florida International University
Outstanding Delegation: Vanderbilt University
No matter the results, it is undoubtedly true that every team, staffer, and delegate had an amazing time. In the words of Secretary-General Emma Gilmore, “This past weekend, I had the privilege of hosting the most talented, innovative delegates we have seen attend UNCMUNC to date. This conference is growing so quickly, and I am glad to see other universities having such a great time solving crises in Chapel Hill!”