The Special Political Committee got off to a strong start, where 22 delegates are dealing with the privatization of military. The opening of the session, characterized by the initial distribution of placards, saw Chair Nandita Vegesna entertain a motion to begin debate and open the speakers list, an opportunity at which nearly all 22 delegates impressively jumped for. The delegations of China and Russia were the first to occupy the floor and speak about subtopics such as their condemnation of human rights atrocities committed beneath the cover of military privatization and their countries’ preexisting policies.
Despite it being many of the delegates’ first time at a Model United Nations conference, the novices did an impressive job with yielding the remainder of their speaking time for hard-hitting questions from committee-members, taking on the challenge with admirable composure. Though flooded with strong, well-crafted assertions of various countries’ interests on both sides of the issue, each delegate possessed the open-mindedness and the flexibility to forge appropriate alliances, both while they had the floor and during the productive unmoderated caucus that followed. In fact, several of the participants spoke so fast in their eagerness to project the pertinent information that they ended up arrived at a grinding halt!
Judging merely from the first half-hour, it’s clear that there’s a lot of promise for these delegates. There is no doubt that all of them - regardless of if they are experienced or novices - will go on to make an impact, whether at the upcoming state conference in April or in any other future endeavor they take on.
The first Texas MUN Regional Summit, intended to be a practice conference for the upcoming statewide MUN Conference in April, commenced with a well-programmed opening composed of introductions, a guest speaker, and orientation on Model UN procedure.
Dr. Raisinghani, a professor and director of Texas Woman’s University’s Executive MBA program as well as the sponsor for our use of TWU’s facilities, was invited to come up to the podium and speak a few words to the delegates. After sharing some of his thoughts on the conference, Dr. Raisinghani segued into a story about a simple farmer named Fleming who, along with his son, saved a man’s life two separate times, once when he was boy and the second time when he was older. The anecdote ended up drawing a collective gasp at the surprising reveal of the farmer’s son as Alexander Fleming, the future inventor of Penicillin, and the man that was saved as Winston Churchill, the future Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, speaking to the relevant values of diversity and having compassion for others.
The next half hour was utilized for orientation on four different aspects of parliamentary procedure. Ryan Blackburn headed the Speaker’s List, Luana Miranda headed Moderated and Unmoderated Caucus, Ellie Chen headed Resolutions, and Nandita Vegesna headed Conference Etiquette. The participants were split up into four smaller groups for each informational session, where novices felt more comfortable getting their concerns clarified.
The attention and engagement of the delegates in taking advantage of the opportunities made available to them spoke to how the rest of the day would go - making sure to take each others’ interests and experiences into account while engaging in thoughtful, passionate debate.
The United Nations General Assembly has officially elected former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres as its next secretary-general.
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