We’re proud to announce that this last November, eight students from NWCCI participated in the 2015 Northwest Model United Nations (NWMUN) conference in Seattle. The forum’s goal is to cultivate international awareness and understanding, and provide diverse opportunities for educational and cultural enrichment and personal growth. The eight students represented Edmonds Community College and were chosen to represent the countries of Nepal and Turkmenistan for the event. They applied for and won a scholarship for the event which covered the registration costs for the group. Here, Vijay Kumar and Khurram Ali share about their experiences the Northwest’s Model United Nations Conference.
Never before in the history of NWCCI have students attended a Model United Nation conference. This conference made us realize our positions not only as students but also as global citizens. Attending a three-day conference with the model inspired by the United Nations was instrumental in our personal as well as professional success.
Model UN is a student-led forum that provides students an opportunity to stretch themselves through a series of simulations about global scale issues. The first Model League of Nations conference was held in the 1920’s, before reshaping itself into the Model UN after the formation of the United Nations, the successor of League of Nations. We, as an 8 member delegation, represented Edmonds Community College. We were divided into different committees according to the topics to be discussed in each committee. The topics included the impact of climate change, gender and environment, sustainable development, preservation of culture, and financing for development.
“The conference enabled us to improve our public speaking skills, teamwork, and diplomatic discussion skills.”
So what did we learn from this? Each of the above topics was very difficult to ponder, yet also very insightful. It was very exciting to see the participants challenging each other’s positions on different global issues and negotiating for the support of their resolutions with other participants representing different countries. The conference enabled us to improve our public speaking skills, teamwork, and diplomatic discussion skills. Most of the participants were students of international relations (at universities) which enhanced our understanding about United Nations including its resolutions and declarations. During the committee sessions, we realized that we could easily relate the problems that different countries of the world are facing to our own country’s issues. This fact itself was very enlightening for us. We also gained exposure to the high scale issues faced by the developed part of the world. Moreover, the way the students adopted the speech styles prevalent in the country they were representing was fascinating.
“The NWMUN Conference was a brand new experience for me. The thing that stood out the most to me about the conference is the fact that the youth came together to discuss actual global issues. By coming together and representing a specific country they opened themselves up to think of issues that were outside of their own country, this way we were all able to discuss possible strategies to solve these world issues and/or minimize the impact of some of the issues. I also learned that we, as the youth, have a strong place in the world as our voices are being heard and we can become part of the solution to issues bigger than our own home countries.” – Isabeau Malan, NWCCI Participant from South Africa
At the end of conference, it was very inspiring to see the students getting the fruit of their rigorous efforts in the shape of awards. Behind the cheerful smiles and dances of award nominees, we learned the important lessons of hard work, persistence, confidence and the possibility of achieving whatever you put your mind to.
The NWCCI program is part of the Community College Initiative, an exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The opinions expressed in this blog by writers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of the Northwest Community College Initiative program, Edmonds Community College, Whatcom Community College, Pierce College, the United States Department of State or any employee thereof. NWCCI and Edmonds Community College are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied by the student bloggers.