It was finally Model United Nations time. After re-reading each other’s resolutions, doing last minute research, and putting on our fancy outfits, we took the bus to Haileybury and Imperial Service College in Hertford. We spent the next three days discussing about global issues in each of our different committees. I was in Environmental and Ecology committee, where we discussed about biodiversity, access to basic sanitation, e-waste disposal and sustainable infrastructure. Tommy was in the Political Committee, where he discussed about Mali and became friends with students from Turkey. Regina was in the Human Rights committee, and Shannon was in Economic and Social committee where she talked about malnutrition and epidemics.
The whole Haileybury MUN conference was very different from what we expected. We got to the conference expecting it to be the same as the Yale MUN conference, but the British parliamentary procedures were absolutely different. At Yale, you are required to arrive to the conference with two position papers that talk about your two topics and your country’s view on them. Then, during the conference, you discuss the topics with all the delegates and then come up with possible solutions. The committees usually splits into groups and each group does a different resolution. After the resolutions are written and approved by the chairs, the delegates from each group present their resolution and then the whole committee votes.
At Haileybury, it was the complete opposite. The delegates are given four topics from which they have to choose one to write a resolution. During the first committee meeting, the delegates split into four groups by topic and share their printed out resolutions. If a delegate wants the committee to discuss their resolution, they must get ten sponsors, and once they do, they must take it to the chairs to approve it. Once it is approved, the resolution has to be taken to the approvals panel which consists of teachers who chose the best resolutions. A resolution can only be discussed in the committee if it is approved. It’s weird, I know.
It was awkward at first and a little hard to get used to, but it was absolutely worth it. I wasn’t able to speak as much as I wanted, but I got my resolution passed! It was a great way to learn about a different type of MUN and to get to discuss issues from perspectives that we don’t often see in the US. After five days of weird sleeping schedules, seeing Ms. West’s fanny pack and lots of walking, learning and discussing, we sadly had to return to CA. Overall, it was an incredible learning experience. I didn’t only learn more about environmental issues, but I also got to know every person in our group very well and we got to share a lot of great experiences together. I can’t wait for our next Model UN adventure!