The Canadian International Model United Nations is now done. The student delegation from Burnaby School District has been returned home. What was accomplished?
New Friendships! With over 600 delegates from Canada and the United States, and up to100 students participating in each committee session, it is difficult not to meet new people with similar interests and skills and abilities. Facebook then offers a way for everyone to stay in touch, until they meet again at the next conference. This opportunity for cameraderie is a huge incentive for continued participation in Model UN conferences.
Position Papers! Each delegate spent hours researching and writing a type of essay explaining their country stance on two current world issues. Dividing up territory in space. Achieving stability in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prosecuting War Criminals in the International Criminal Court. Improving Conditions in Refugee Camps. Complex topics demanding an understanding of foreign relations, history, economics, domestic laws, and international treaties.
Awards! Most people do not win an award and that is not the sole purpose of attendance at such a conference. However, having said that, if an award is won, it is incredibly meaningful due to the proportion of awards offered and actual candidates. This year, Masha Michouris, of Burnaby Mountain Secondary School won the Best Position Paper award as delegate of Japan in the SPECPOL committee. This, by the way, stands for Special Political and Decolonization committee. Congratulations to Masha who is in grade 12 and managed to, despite great demands from AP courses the prior weeks to the conference, create two amazing, well-researched papers. Masha also acted as Head Delegate for the Burnaby delegation which meant juggling delegate responsibilities with finding out new conference information and ensuring the delegation was well-informed.
Public Speaking! Whether discussing stance or proceedings with other Burnaby delegates, or expressing views publicly in committee, students did get experience speaking out in public at CAIMUN. Not only were there committee sessions to contend with from Friday to Sunday morning, on Saturday night all students were called to solve a world crisis which occurred at midnight. No student could sleep until the crisis was solved. Engagement was necessary or students would not get their much-needed sleep they so wanted after 2 full days of negotiating during the daytime.
So all in all, there are many aspects and elements beneficial to young people at a Model United Nations such as CAIMUN 2016. Students built a legacy for themselves and all of the other delegates – simply by working through all of the necessary steps of resolving global issues in a United Nations procedural format. A great achievement was felt during the closing ceremonies, as others reflected on the accomplishments. (This great video was released! Check it out here.) Looking over the legacy of CAIMUN for years to come brings positive and hopeful dreams for the future, that together we can work out the problems of the world in a reasoned and thoughtful manner utilizing the best of each individual and creating the best of community.