Learning about the World Through International Model UN

May 20, 2014

This post was written by Emma MacMullan, a member of Georgetown's Walsh School of Foreign Service class of 2015, who was a member of the International Relations Club delegation to this year's WorldMUN Model United Nations Conference in Brussels, Belgium.
I have a tradition when I travel with the Georgetown Model UN team to go for at least one run during the conference. Nowhere was this more exciting then while I was in Brussels for this year’s WorldMUN conference. Running by the EU buildings where our team would later meet for committee was as thrilling as the run was exhausting. The art nouveau architecture of the city was a striking difference to DC, and it reminded me that I was in the heart of European diplomacy.

As if to prove my point, my committee session was held in the very same building that European leaders met to decide their response to the Russian belligerence in Ukraine. For the entire week, we had been meeting in the lower level of the Brussels Business Club to discuss reproductive policy as representatives of SOCHUM, or the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural UN committee. As we tried to break for lunch one afternoon, we were suddenly informed that we weren’t able to leave the building.

“Everything’s been sealed off,” the chair explained. “There’s an EU meeting about Crimea upstairs.” The building had been surrounded by reporters and police as European leaders met and discussed sanctions on Russia. I have never felt so close to the actual decision-making process that I represent through Model UN than when a single floor separated me and the very type of negotiations that I have so often simulated during my time at Georgetown.

My WorldMUN experience was nothing short of amazing. Not only did I get the opportunity to represent Georgetown in a competition I love, but I also got to learn from all of the outstanding delegates around me. I had the honor of traveling with some of the best and the brightest of Georgetown, and I was fortunate enough to be able to learn from them and improve my own model UN skills thanks to this opportunity. However, one of the best parts of WorldMUN was the ability to meet so many wonderful delegates from all over the world. Everyone brings a different style and perspective to debate, but no matter where we were from we were all passionate about model UN.

I felt so honored to be a part of this experience and meet so many wonderful delegates who hailed from France to Peru. Exercising model UN skills in a competitive environment is always thrilling, but there’s something about WorldMUN that really makes the competition come alive. The proximity to the European Union and the exciting opportunities available (like getting a TinTin book from Belgium's foreign minister!) are all unforgettable, but it is really the diversity and passion of the delegates that made it one of the best conferences I’ve ever attended. As I sang the Georgetown fight song with my fellow delegates on the steps of the world's fifth largest basilica after closing ceremonies, I couldn’t have been prouder to represent Georgetown and what it means to be a Hoya at such an exceptional conference.

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Learning about the World Through International Model UN