Have you ever wondered, what’s the key to success? Knowledge! And do you know how you get to knowledge? By awakening the interest in you. It’s that part of you that has a little bit of curiosity left. All you need is desire to know. This project which is implemented in Macedonia, by Coalition of Youth organizations SEGA in cooperation with Peace Corps volunteers is exactly that. It includes researching, debating and finding a solution. Model United Nations (MUN) teaches students how to learn. It helps them to understand that they should not accept facts as they are given. They should check them a million times before they believe in them and convince others to believe in them. As George Bernard Shaw once said: “False knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance, beware”.
Teams were gathered and team leaders began the intense preparations. Students had the challenge to write position papers representing their countries view. At the same time, the teams discussed and debated on a certain topic and agreed on a common solution.
While students were busy with their school chores and exams, our delegates were busy arguing about what Russia and USA think of terrorism? Are arbitrary executions fair? Is the prevention of illegal trade of animals bad or good? It sounds simple, but it’s not at all.
Team leaders had the task of transferring their knowledge to the delegates. Team leaders were also faced with the challenge of knowing every single detail about the UN and how it functions? They had to be prepared for every question their delegates had. For example, what are the rules and procedures when signing a resolution?
As a team leader and regional coordinator, I was faced with both challenges. Beside my team leader duties, which were to prepare the delegates for the conference, I had to learn how to organize a regional workshop. I’ll admit it was a bit hard. First, you have to be informed about what other team leaders are working on and be in contact with them all the time. Second, you have to make sure everyone is present at the local and regional workshops.
Finally, June 7th arrives, the cherry on the top of the icing! It’s conference time. The conference began in the spirit of anxiety. It ruled among the delegates. Before we knew it, it was finished. Smiles were abundant as delegates pointed to their new found friends. They enjoyed debating, they enjoyed learning and they enjoyed making new friends.
As for me, I was tucked in a room with the other team leaders and regional coordinators. However, I’m not complaining. I enjoyed watching from the sidelines how young people were experiencing something new, different and exciting. They were nervous and at the same time, their enthusiastic spirit reminded me of someone. I was reminded of myself two years ago when I was sweating on that same chair in that same position as the DELEGATE OF MACEDONIAN MODEL UNITED NATIONS.
Here is the experience of one delegate Martina Marjanovich:
“From the very first moment I started to attend the MUN workshops, I started to see at it as a big event, a great way to increase my knowledge, gain more experience in public speaking, listen to different opinions and develop respect for differences in opinions and defend my own. Now when it’s over, I realize I was right.
I was a Bulgarian delegate in the Security Council. My fellow delegates and I formally discussed on two topics. However, half way through the conference, the General Secretary announced a “crisis” regarding terrorist attacks at the moment. We had to stop with everything and resolve that issue which I found very interesting. In my opinion, the conference was a huge success. As the Bulgarian delegate, we came up with five resolutions. Two of them were vetoed. I loved the discussion, I learned a lot from the other delegates about the issues I was given and I liked the pressure of having to come up with a resolution in a short period of time.
I had some big expectations about Model United Nations and all my expectations were intercepted. I learned a lot of new things, met a lot of new people and learned how to fight for my opinion.”
Photo gallery of the event.