While doing research on various universities at the beginning of this year, one of the key factors that led me to apply to Frankfurt School was the broad choice of extracurricular activities offered to their students. As I had been involved in politics throughout my high school years, I desperately wanted to join the initiative FS MUN. Being able to attend the biggest Model United Nations conference in the world offers FS students the unique opportunity to get an insight into the most influential intergovernmental organization and it´s role in resolving contemporary issues regarding international relations in our world while experiencing diplomacy in a cross-cultural environment.
Preparing for the NMUN NY implies earnest dedication of all our delegates. Before we can actually start with the official preparation for the conference, a load of administrative matters need to be sorted out. While the country assignment application is running, our heads are selecting the students that will be representing Frankfurt School as delegates in the NMUN conference of 2016 during the mock session and our upcoming workshop weekend. As soon as this process will be completed, the pre-conference preparations can start.
It is quite evident that the FS MUN initiative has become very popular among our students over the course of the last couple of years, as there are over 70 of them showing interest in participating in next year´s conference. During our mock sessions, the prospective delegates were able to witness the process of a typical conference. The heads of this unique initiative managed to present MUN in a very lighthearted way, despite the fact that a United Nations conference simulation requires a very professional and modest attitude of all participants. Every single potential delegate was assigned a notional country and was briefly instructed about it´s attitude and ultimate goals. Actually representing a purpose and making your voice heard is such a uniquely challenging yet exciting experience – especially if you get to represent the delegation of “Glitzerland” and you are trying to find consensus with your fellow delegate “Anti-Arctica”.
Above all, we learned that patience and persistence are the key to diplomacy. We had to rely entirely on the power of negotiation and persuasion in order to make our voices heard while holding speeches, debating and drafting our own resolutions. That´s why presenting your statements and propositions in a very strategic way is inevitable. Every single delegate needs to stick to the NMUN Rules of Procedure and express their so called “points“ and “motions“ in distinctly precise wording. Even though it was the first experience with Model United Nations for most of us, the mock session proved that all delegates are able to contribute in a constructive and cooperative matter.
To me, FS MUN is a truly unique opportunity in order to expand my understanding of the world and become a more civically engaged human being. It is an experience that puts emphasis on collaboration and cooperative resolution of conflicts that will ultimately prepare all of us to be better global citizens. Diplomacy is so much more than persuading others to agree with your own ideals – it´s actually about incorporating the voices of all participants in order to make the world a better place.