ISM students abroad – India experience
Between December 16th – 18th, 2016, TechFest World MUN (TWMUN) was hosted by the TechFest Bombay in Mumbai, India. TWMUN was a science and technology festival, in the form of Model United Nations, which gathered intellectual students from all over the world. It hosted young men and women involved in the policy changes that affect their world, to discuss various conflicts happening around the world, and could not have omitted students from our institute.
Elizabeth Ichiko, a third year student of the undergraduate program in international relations at UW shares her experience as Director of Conference for Empowerment Women (CEW) and the skills she acquired during negotiations all the while discovering Mumbai, India. Check out her photos and article below:
TWMUN 2016 Mumbai – an unforgettable experience
TechFest World MUN (TWMUN) is a Model United Nations conference, which happened to be hosted by the TechFest Bombay in Mumbai, India. The journey to TWMUN 2016 began when the invitation letter as a Director of Conference for Empowerment Women (CEW) came. After a long flight, I finally arrived at the Chhatrapati Shivaji airport. The warm night breeze welcomed me as I stepped out of the plane with my winter coat on. After spending a day fighting against the jetlag with eating delicious Indian food and snacks, I arrived at the hotel where I met the other directors. The next day, the bus picked us up from the hotel and brought us to the conference place. Since it was held in the IIT Bombay campus, which is huge, we all had to walk for quite some time to the opening ceremony. It was quite difficult not to notice the cows relaxing on each side of the road.
As we arrived at the opening ceremony, the Board of Members gave some remarks, and a guest speaker, Nishtha Satyam, took the stage by giving a speech on the importance of equality in education, social and political spheres. It was truly remarkable as she delivered her message quite well. Afterwards the Secretary General took over and used the gavel to officially open the first session.
The first session of the conference was an introduction to everything; it was the first step for delegates to know their chairs and vice versa. I luckily chaired the CEW committee, along with other two directors who were experienced and very direct with the Rules Of Procedures. The first agenda, “Steps to Empower Women in North Africa and Middle East to pursue graduate education,” was discussed and the debate went on; many walked on eggshells for this. The second session started the next day, and truly the delegates stepped up their games in preparing for the debate. At the end of the first agenda, a working paper was introduced and it automatically passed with a simple majority of votes. During the third session, the second agenda, “Suggesting a comprehensive framework to prevent exploitation and harassment of women in regions of conflict”, was discussed, but due to the time limit it could not have been heatedly debated. During the three days conference facts were thrown across the room, accusations were made, and great speeches were delivered. Though at times everyone could go off topic, it was still great to mandate the debates. It was truly a remarkable experience chairing these great delegates; especially to see how well they prepared themselves and positively know their represented countries.
However, TWMUN 2016 was not just about debates and mandating the committee, it was also about friendship building, meeting new people, tasting good food and definitely seeing Mumbai day and night. To see many students participating in this MUN, regardless of how old they are, gives me great hope of the capabilities of the next generations. I was grateful enough to have this experience and become one of the directors of CEW. This committee focused on the women’s role as discussed in the two agendas provided. Thus, MUN has made me more aware of this issue, widened my knowledge, and definitely sky rocketed my goal to work in the UN one day.
In general MUN conferences are simulations of how the UN bodies work. There are different committees and positions to apply for. During the whole conference your job is to be able to represent your assigned position really well, to accentuate your personal skills even further and to broaden your knowledge on certain issues. As someone who has done various MUNs throughout her academic life and is currently studying International Relations, I can only encourage everyone to try it. Some may like it; some may not, after all that is how life is. But you will never know until you try it. 🙂
Students’ Union ISM UW