“Leadership requires two things: a vision of the world that does not yet exist and the ability to communicate it.”
Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations Organisation which was set up in the year 1945. It is a Conference (not a competition) which enriches participants with various skills like public speaking, debating, writing, critical thinking, teamwork and leadership and broadens their knowledge on international relations and world affairs. Participants not only get an insight into the workings of the United Nations but also understand the power relations between rich and poor countries. In such a conference, participants are assigned countries and committees with a pre-decided agenda and the delegates are expected to debate on the agenda as the representative of the assigned country. The committees are presided over by Chairs and Vice Chairs who are chosen on the basis of their MUN-ing experiences. The Committee session ends with the formulation of a Resolution which is usually drafted by the delegates preferably after reaching a consensus or voted upon.
Participation in MUNs, thus, gives you an opportunity to research and discuss topics on agendas which you have never thought of. Imagine yourself as a delegate of Pakistan who is debating on the Kashmir problem! You get an opportunity to view the Kashmir problem from the perspective of Pakistan. MUN-ing is thus an opportunity for all young leaders of tomorrow to shed their conditioned minds filled with pre-conceived theories and fanatical ideologies and move towards cooperation, collaboration and accommodation in this era of globalisation. It helps young minds to transcend race, tribe, class, caste and nation so as to develop a world perspective. It will help to slowly erode old barriers and quietly build new structures for a peaceful tomorrow. In this context, perhaps the sayings of Jalaluddin Rumi is most apt:
“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there”.