In May 2022 Juliette Aoife Gill stood up to take on a role on the organising committee of the Kent hosted Model United Nations. It turned out to be one of her most rewarding experiences to date. Read more here.
MUN, Model United Nations: when students passionate about International Relations get together, represent a designated country in debates simulating the United Nations, on topics such as climate change, the refugee crisis, human rights, etc, attending MUN conferences across the UK and around the world. “I’m organising the Kent MUN”
But what goes on behind the scenes? Who is behind the on of these conferences, and what does it take?
This time last year my interest was sparked, and it led to a very rewarding experience. In early May 2022, I embarked on an adventure: co-organising the Kent Model United Nations Conference in November 2022. I had participated in Model UNs over the course of my first year, but merely as a delegate: this time I wanted to get more involved, seeking a different type of responsibility. After applying and going through the interview process, I became Deputy Secretary-General for the KentMUN conference 2022, and we got to work in June with the rest of the team who had been recruited.
The team of co-organisers is called the Secretariat. It is comprised of around seven or eight people, and there is a variety of types of roles one can take on: from logistics, to finance, to communications, and many more. Personally as Deputy Secretary-General, my role was to assist the Secretary-General in making all decisions, and in managing our team of Under-Secretary-Generals (the other members of the Secretariat).
The University of Kent has a nickname: the UK’s European university. Seeing this, we set ourselves a goal: to make KentMUN conference the UK’s European MUN conference. We went from having no external attendees last edition, to having delegates from Germany, from Spain, from France, and from all over the UK. We established partnerships with universities all across Europe, with a Spanish university, a German university, and a French university.
The Spanish university decided to send a group of just under 30 people to our conference: we were in such regular contact with them as a result, that we became close friends. After countless meetings and group chats, and months of preparation, seeing our project take shape was thrilling. What made the process running up to the conference so enjoyable and smooth, was our common motivation and dedication to making this edition great. From holding a Gala at the Ballroom, to four committees of UN debate simulation over three days, to hearing Guest Speakers and attending a Club night, it’s safe to say we had a good time, and our attendees did too.
We were able to step back and say we were proud of what we accomplished, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. The recruitment process has just begun to be part of the 2023 organising team, for the conference that will take place in November 2023. Applications are open through our Instagram @kentmunconf until the 26th of April, but even if you don’t get to join the Secretariat this time, you can always look forward to attending a truly European MUN conference here at University of Kent in November.
Juliette Aoife Gill is studying for a degree in BA (Hons) in Politics and International Relations