An update from the NMUN team
This week I participated in a preparatory class with the students that will go to New York next spring to participate in the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference. If you're interested in reading the last post I wrote about the NMUN, where the conference is explained in more detail, please follow the link:
Next year, the students from La Salle will represent Monaco in the NMUN conference. The students going to New York are Marie Coulibaly (27), Alejandro Ortega Yañez (22), Màrius Badia Vaques (19), Alejandro Borja Sánchez Torres (20), Rafael Alvaro Fuentes Llopis (21), Judit Lopez Gomez (20), Josep Maria Àvila (22), Claudia Llorach Jover (19). The faculty advisors are professor Germán Aragón and professor Paul Fox, the latter will accompany the students to New York. Marie and Claudia are the Head Delegates of the group, meaning that they will have further responsibilities such as attending additional meetings and making sure the other delegates follow up on their responsibilities. Claudia has already participated in the "high school version" of NMUN, which took place in Beijing, while Marie also went to the conference in New York last year. They both really enjoyed the experience and want to do it again in order to to meet new people, to practice collaborating with people from different cultures, and to expand their networks. As Marie wants to work in an international organization, she views this as a step toward her goal. The experience and the networking from the conference is something she can use when she graduates next year. The rest of the group are so-called "first-timers", but they still have plenty of expectations. Aejandro believes it will be a great experience, and Borja points out that it also is a good opportunity to get to speak with people from other places. Judit agrees and she also feels lucky that she has been given this opportunity through her university studies. The NMUN course, which is an elective, is distinctive because it differs from other La Salle subjects, as it is "student led - student run". This gives the students an arena through which they can practice leadership, where they have to expose themselves, where they will practice both how to criticize each other and how to respond to criticism. During the class I joined, Marie explained to the rest of the group about Position Papers. This is the first official step toward the conference. Position papers are short written explanations that clearly specify and outline the country's position with regard to certain topics. In the next few weeks the students will have to write and submit these papers. Before going to the conference, there is a lot of preparation that has to be done. First of all, the students have to know the structure of the United Nations; the different committees and their responsibilities. They also have to study the rules of procedure, which are the actual rules that govern the bodies within the United Nations. This includes intense studying, as the students have to learn the distinctive vocabulary that is used continuously throughout the conference. When I asked the group how they are preparing, Josep Maria told me that they spend lots of time getting to know the country they will represent, Monaco, as well as carefully analyzing the different topics they will have to deal with once they get to New York. Alejandro added that they "have to get deep into every topic" and Marie added that they "have to practice their public speaking skills." Borja believes, that to have a good experience during the conference, it is crucial to be dedicated. Josep Maria says that it is important to create a professional, friendly and dynamic team. This is something they practice through the organization and execution of fundraising activities. Last week, the group carried out their first event. They organized a Thanksgiving dinner, which was celebrated in the cafeteria on campus. 42 students and professors attended the dinner.
The students asked me to thank everyone who came to the Thanksgiving dinner, and they hope that you all will come to the future fund raising activities they will organize.
Even though the conference is truly extensive, the students will also have some free time while in New York. The group is looking forward to going shopping, visiting the city and seeing broadway shows, but first they have to focus on the preparation.
I will meet up with these students on a regular basis, to provide you readers with updates from the team.