Experience of a Lifetime
Tanzina Ahmed Choudhury
“There is no hook with my ID card, could I get one?” with this “unofficial” Point of Personal Privilege raised by me- followed by a great deal of laughter in the council, my first MUN session started.
A MUN (Model United Nations) Summit aims at educating the youth about what is going on around the world and what should be done to make the world better. This October, the Model United Nations Summit Manipal, 2010(MMUN 2010) took place in the campus of the Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), Karnataka, India.
It was a huge assembly of almost 200 delegates of which, around 90 were from different Indian universities other than MIT and 15 were from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Singapore. The conference consisted of six councils, which were the General Assembly, the Security Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the General Assembly - Legal Committee, the Human Rights Council, and the Crisis Committee. I participated as the delegate of Syrian Arab Republic in the General Assembly, which was the largest council of the summit.
The agendas of the General Assembly were- 1. Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS), 2. Situation in the Korean Peninsula, 3. Links between Transnational Terrorism and Organized Crime, and 4. Maritime Piracy. But the debate was so strong in the council that we could only discuss the first agenda; and at the end of the conference, the chair had to in fact force us to reach a resolution.
The main flavour of the MUN came when the council was interrupted during the third session by the introduction of a crisis. As per the crisis, China had just shot down a US- Reconnaissance Satellite “Lacrosse- 5” doubting it as a spy satellite spying over a Chinese political prison. With this crisis, the council again moved to a tough debate between China and USA, along with their respective allies. As more updates were coming, the debate became more interesting with all its twists and turns.
During this three-day conference, the meal-breaks were the time when all the delegates could breathe (literally!), and the veg. and non-veg. menus made the meals more interesting. Those among us, who are used to take non-veg. food at our premises, loitered around the cafeteria to taste the mouth watering South-Indian veg dishes along with the delicious non-veg items as well.
As more than half of the participants were first timers (including me), the hospitality and generosity of the organizers made the event really comfortable for us. We learnt a lot regarding world politics and as we were performing as the representatives of various countries, we got chance to plan and make moves toward improving relations with the nations with whom our respective allotted nations share bad relations.
After the three action-packed days, it was time for us to take-off for our home. The moment was truly painful for all of us as we had to part from the people who had become really close to our hearts within such a short span of time. On October 25, I left MIT, but the memories that I have brought with me are never ending.
At last, the United Nations Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh (UNYSAB) should be thanked for introducing MUNs to the youth of Bangladesh as well as for selecting me to participate in the MMUN 2010, the Grand Occasion!
(The writer is a student of Independent University, Bangladesh and also a member of UNYSAB)