Posted on 03/05/2011
"Once you are really challenged, you find something in yourself. Man doesn’t know what he is capable of until he is asked."
Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary General
NMUN brings together over 5000 delegates from 5 different continents. The conference engages students in discussions of current global issues with the UN Headquarters providing an impressive backdrop whilst mastering the art of diplomacy, negotiation and discussion.
From the 17th to the 21st of April 2011, 22 incredibly talented Royal Holloway students attended the National Model United Nations Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York City, the largest and most prestigious Model United Nations conference in the world. For the first time in the history of the Politics and International Relations society, Royal Holloway students won the highly acclaimed Distinguished Delegation award, becoming the most successful team yet to attend the conference for the past 6 years. The delegation debated in the United Nations General Assembly hall, where remarkable leaders such as Kofi Annan and J.F. Kennedy addressed the International community with extremely pioneering speeches, and received recognition from their fellow delegates for their outstanding achievements and success throughout the conference. During this highly stimulating five-day conference the Royal Holloway students demonstrated their exceptional skills of negotiation, diplomacy, resolution and report writing whilst finding solutions to challenging international issues such as the Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect and Promoting alternative development strategies to combat the world drug trade and other thought-provoking international matters.
Prior to the start of the conference, the delegation also had the privilege to attend a Mission Briefing and meet the Zambian and Nigerian Permanent Representatives to the United Nations who gave them valuable information on their respective countries, which proved highly useful throughout the conference. The representatives were also tremendously impressed with the calibre of the delegates’ understanding in issues affecting both Nigeria and Zambia.
The team’s accomplishment was a result of an intensive 16-week preparation programme for the conference where they learnt the Rules of Procedure, had intensive simulation debates and researched extensively on both the foreign policy of Zambia and Nigeria. Due to the previous years success, this year’s team was given two countries, one being Nigeria in the Additional Security Council and the other being Zambia. The Royal Holloway delegates were successfully selected from a large amount of applications submitted to the Politics and International Relations Society. Not only was the delegation extremely professional in their attitude towards the conference they were also very diverse coming from multi cultural backgrounds.
The outcome of the trip was also a consequence of the team’s integration and bonding throughout the year and on the trip. The team built up a very strong bond amongst themselves enabling them to accomplish the outstanding award. This integration was not only visibly for the delegates who worked with the Royal Holloway team, but also for the committee directors and the NMUN staff, who were extremely astonished with their level of competence and skill.
Thus, when 22 students were challenged to achieve greatness at the United Nations Headquarters, they delivered nothing less, and brought back with them tales of a victorious week they will never forget.