The World Federation of United Nations Associations partnered this year with MUN Café to organize the WIMUN conference in Agra, India. Building off of WIMUN’s previous successes in New York and Rome, the inaugural WIMUN India conference was the first region-specific conference. Focusing on an “Agenda for Change,” 200 delegates came from all over India and around the world, as far as Indonesia, Russia and Lebanon to participate in Security Council and General Assembly simulations.
A Unique MUN Conference
The WIMUN experience combines a series of trainings prior to the conference to ensure delegates who are new to UN4MUN are well-prepared. The training at WIMUN India was helpful to the delegates because although WIMUN is in its third iteration, UN4MUN is still relatively new to the MUN world. The conference training covered every step of the MUN conference, from Opening to Closing Plenary procedures to consensus-building and negotiation skills
Taught by trained Secretaries and experts from the United Nations, delegates were able to step into the shoes of country Ambassadors to learn how the General Assembly and Security Council operate. The training gave the delegates a chance to familiarize themselves with situations delegates at the UN find themselves face-to-face with every day, from the terminology used to informal discussions at social events to proceedings in committee sessions. Delegates were trained to excel in general debate, formal informals, informal informals and line-by-line reviews. Though these may seem like unfamiliar terms, they are easy to use once the delegates received their training!
Consensus, Consensus, Consensus
True to its effort to simulate the United Nations, WIMUN conferences push for Committees to achieve consensus on a single resolution. At other MUNs, a minimum number of sponsors or signatories is often required to present it to the Committee and multiple resolutions on the same issue can pass. At WIMUN, Committees try to produce one document that every country can at least not disagree with; this is the concept of consensus.
Of the four committees of the General Assembly at WIMUN 2016, all achieved consensus on their resolutions except the First Committee. Though consensus is important to keep in mind during the Committee session, some topics are simply too controversial to achieve consensus on and often times end up being put to a vote. The First Committee dealt with nuclear disarmament, so it is not surprising that they were unable to reach consensus. (Fun fact: At the United Nations, roughly 75% of all General Assembly resolutions are passed by consensus- the same percentage as at WIMUN India!)
Following close on the heels of the powerful speakers of WIMUN 2016 in New York, the World Federation of United Nations Associations invited Kiran Bedi, best known as the first female head commissioner for the Delhi Police Department, and a household name across the country. Rajiv Chandran, the acting director of the United Nations Information Centre of India and Bhutan, addressed the students during the opening ceremony on the importance of youth civic engagement and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. WFUNA’s own Secretary-General, Bonian Golmohammadi, spoke at the event as well; he urged students to use this opportunity to better understand how the United Nations works by first understanding the procedures of UN4MUN used in the conference.
The inaugural WFUNA International Model United Nations conference in Agra, India this April and May 2016 was a successful way to engage a growing Model United Nations community in the country with UN4MUN. Post-conference, our Secretariat team sat down with delegates to gather feedback on the procedure and the feedback received was outstandingly positive. The delegates, ranging from novice to veteran, felt their voices were better heard, their opinions better put into the final resolutions and the process more diplomatic than in other simulations. WIMUN will return to India and hopes to offer an alternative to traditional Model United Nation conferences by providing high-quality accurate United Nations simulations in the future.
Interested in the WIMUN Experience? WIMUN New York City will take place February 1-4, 2017, with sessions in the UN Headquarters. Join the more than 500 delegates from 40+ countries at the largest UN4MUN conference in the world! Find more information at wimun.org.