‘Kent Model United Nations Society just returned from the most prestigious conference in the world, organized by Harvard University in Paris. A trip made possible by the significant support of the society.
From 11th to 17th March, twelve members of the KentMUN Society attended the 31st edition of WorldMUN Conference. This eminent event, gathering over a thousand people from all over the world, is held each year in a different location by Harvard University students. This year’s edition was organised in Paris, France, and was the first in-person Harvard conference since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Model United Nations (MUN) is a UN simulation, during which students represent a specific country and discuss a given topic with others. Participants – called “delegates” – negotiate with others to elaborate meaningful solutions and pass a resolution, while making sure that their country’s interests are never off the table. It allows them to know more about global issues and numerous countries’ history and policies, as well as improving their negotiating, public speaking and leadership skills.
KentMUN is the MUN Society on campus, providing training to its members each week and allowing them to join numerous conferences in the UK. It was the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic that its members attended a conference abroad. Throughout the week, each Kent delegate represented the interests of Viet Nam in various committees, debating topics such as the Kashmir conflict, child soldiers, access to clean water or restructuring the energy market. Holding the conference in Paris definitely added an aesthetic dimension to the week, punctuated by lunches in front of the Tour Eiffel and coffee breaks in Parisian cafés. In addition to the work sessions, the Conference schedule also left time to travel around Paris and visit its most famous landmarks, from the Arc de Triomphe and Montmartre to the small streets of the Quartier Latin. And finally, our delegates experienced the French art de vivre, a subtle mix of drinks at bars’ terrasses and crowded métro.
“It was a great pleasure for us to send so many of our members to such a prestigious conference”, says Theo, Kent MUN President and Head Delegate to the Paris Conference. “One of our main goals as a Committee is to make our activities more accessible, and we decided to use society funding to lower significantly the price of the conference for our delegates”. Another challenge was the high level of the conference: delegates from all over the world attend this conference, some of them preparing for months, and the academic requirements and the competitiveness within the committees are particularly high. “We are all the more satisfied that our delegates had various previous experience in MUN, from veterans to complete beginners. And yet, all of them had a great time and really enjoyed the debates! Seeing how some of them improved throughout the year, from their first speech in September to attending this conference, was really heart-warming”, adds Valentine, Kent MUN Vice President.
It was definitely a highlight of this year for KentMUN society and its members!
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Theophile Bernard is studying for a BSc (Hons) in Politics and International Relations and President of the Kent MUN society.