As this season is heating up with Harvard National Model United Nations will be around the corner, I have a wonderful opportunity to talk to Head Delegate of Universitas Indonesia (UI) for Harvard National Model United Nations 2014, Rangga Husnaprawira. It is interesting to know how the top universities in Indonesia prepare for ‘the Olympic’ of Model UN and what they aspire to learn and achieve in this conference.
This article is a part of Best Delegate’s coverage on Indonesian delegation preparation to major Model UN conferences around the world.
Hi, what is your name? What do you study? And how many times you have participated Model UN?
I am Rangga Husnaprawira. I am a junior student of Management at Faculty of Economics, Universitas Indonesia. I joined some Model UN conferences,. Last year I also won two awards, which are Best Delegate at Asia-Pacific Model UN (AMUNC) 2013 in Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, representing Canada, and Best Delegate in IndonesiaMUN 2013, representing President Soekarno of Indonesia at Historical Council of the 1995 Asia-African Conference.
How did you know about Model UN and what was your first impression about it?
I firstly knew about Model UN during high school, when I participated at a high school level Model UN at Universitas Parahyangan in 2011. I’m interested about global issues so I decided to join Universitas Indonesia Model UN Club (UI MUN Club). I found MUN really interesting since we can have a unique perspective upon a particular issue, representing a country different than our original nationality, so we need to keep updated with the topic.
Why do you participate in HNMUN? What country does your delegation represent and in what council?
Because HNMUN is a really prestigious, yet challenging varsity-level MUN that will really test our skill in MUN. Many top students from top universities around the world that will open our perspectives. HNMUN also tests our perseverance and energy as we will spend days of challenging negotiation in finding a resolution altogether upon world issues.
We will represent Latvia, an Eastern European country. We will be divided into 5 committees:
1.Special Political and Decolonization Committee: Rangga Husnaprawira & Naomi Junita
2. Disarmament and International Security: Benjamin Harahap & Egalita Irfan
3. Legal Committee: Irfan Prawiradinata & Vera Ruth Angelina Sihombing
4. World Health Organization: Syarifuddin Anzari Santoso & Stella Kusumawardhani
5. Special Summit of Sustainable Development: Andhika Putra Sudarman
How Universitas Indonesia delegation prepares and funds for HNMUN?
We have done selection in April 2013, 3-phase of selection from CV and written test, simulation, and interview. We have been training for 8 months. Firstly, we have probation period in which we make sure that every single delegate are in the same playing field in English speaking manner, negotiation, drafting, and research. It was the thoughest one because it is a weekly drilling on every Saturday. Some of our Coaches are Dian Aditya Ning Lestari, Best Delegate of Historical Council at The European International MUN 2011 & UI for HNMUN Delegate 2012, and Hanifah Ahmad, Best Delegate at General Assembly at The European International MUN 2011 & Head Delegate of UI for HNMUN 2013. Secondly, we move to Advance Training in which we drill on substance, strategy, negotiation, research, double delegate, and position paper.
We fund by finding sponsorship, proceeding grant from Rector, and trying to apply for HNMUN financial assistance.
In your opinion, what are the opportunities and challenges for Indonesians to participate Model UN overseas?
It is a groundbreaking opportunity to learn about how MUN experience is combined with cultural experience since how people think, act, speak, and respond certain problem may vary based on their background. It gives us chance to test the skills we have prepared well from Jakarta, and especially to gain insights in interacting and working together with different varieties of people that will undoubtedly shape our way of thinking, we will also be more motivated because it is going to be a high quality debate.
There are two main challenges. First, since English is our foreign language, its very challenging to interact and especially debate with first speaker of English since for us we need to not only think about the topic but also work on our English fluency and clarity. Second, the financial sources are still very limited. We have tried our best to offer sponsorship support to various companies, organizations, and foundations; however there are still really few companies that understand about our program of Model UN, and the benefits of supporting us, so I think Indonesian delegates need to prove more to those companies with good portfolio such as awards.
Additionally, it is a special challenge for this year as we are the 7th generation of UI Delegation to compete, and we have responsibility to snatch at least an award. We have a very progressive performance year by year, and the peak was last year when Hanifah Ahmad, our coach represented her Draft Resolution at Legal Committee, and being the only representative from Asian universities to do so. We are very excited yet nervous for this year’s HNMUN.
Based on your experiences, do you have any suggestion to develop Model UN and Model UN culture in Indonesia?
Firstly, we need to increase the quantity of Model UN conferences in Indonesia. More conferences, more participation and proliferation. Also, we can adopt Model UN into varsity and high school extracuricullar activities as capacity building for Indonesian students in public speaking and negotiation. Therefore, we need also increase the coach supply, not only in Jakarta and Java region, but also in other regions of Indonesia, such as Sumatra, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, and Papua. Coach is is the key of delegation performance in Model UN.
Secondly, we need more voluntary work from larger Model UN communities to develop Model UN culture in Indonesia. We already have IndoDelegates, initiated by students of Padjajaran University. I and some of my friends are developing a Model UN organization called “Hi Diplomacy”, which will run in four division, which are coaching services, Model UN consulting, resource website, and Model UN conference. We plan to conduct “Hi Diplomacy MUN” in 2015, in which we will also introduce crisis committee, such as ‘Meeting of District 13 Council of Panem’ in Hunger Games movies or ‘Meeting of House of Gryffindor’ in Harry Potter movies. So, I hope this initiative can further develop Model UN in Indonesia.