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2017 WHU Model United Nations: a window to see the world
Author:Guo Zhen, Wang Yupin and Li Minjia  Date:2017-06-09  Clicks:

In order to offer a stage for Chinese and foreign students to familiarize with the UN and the world, the 7th Wuhan University Model United Nation Conference (WHU-MUN) was held in May. “Different cultures, different values and different ideas causing constant collisions” is the theme of this diversified conference. During these three days, delegates discussed heated issues of the 21st century, concerning peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance and food production.


The opening ceremony of WHUMUN

There were four committees this year: the Main Press Center (MPC), the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Historical Security Committee (HSC). MPC covers all of the topics in the other committees and has the authority to influence public opinion. As the governing body of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), UNEA considers environment issues to be as prominent as issues of peace, poverty, health, security, finance and trade, and provides a groundbreaking platform for leadership on global environment policy. The task for the delegates at the 2017 WHU-MUN conference was to reach a consensus on the most effective way of implementing the Paris Agreement (l’Accord de Paris) an agreement on climate change within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).


Representatives of dais members of UNEA introducing their committee

OAS is the only Chinese Committee at this year’s WHU-MUN. Anti-terrorism is a mission related to the security of all human beings. OAS is an organization which plays a significant role in dealing with the issue of terrorism in Latin America. As a committee attempting to have a comprehensive discussion on the Congo Question since 1960, HSC has had undertakings which include working out documents, lobbying under the circumstance of 1960’s Cold War, as well as struggling for a balance between literary ambitions and reality.


Delegates of dais members of HSC introducing their committee

During the next few days, delegates from UNEA showed what diversity really means. Students with different skin tones assembled in the room, discussing the implementation of the Paris Agreement. To achieve maximum benefits for their country, delegates held firm stances and all statements were based on their positions. The delegate of Turkey, for example, was a typical hardliner. She believed that economic growth is as important as the environment. In the session about the development of reforestation, she stated that instead of investing a large amount of money in reforestation, using the limited budget to help economic development is wiser. Filled with different voices, the conference room became a battleground of thought.

The varied ideas of delegates made the conference more colorful. When discussing the methods of providing infrastructure, delegates presented different conceptions from their own perspectives. The delegate of China suggested that offering infrastructure is more practical than merely providing technical assistance. For developing countries with low educational level, providing technology is futile. However, the delegate of the Russia Federation provided a totally different method that technology will help other countries utilize nuclear power. However, if one is aware of the different national conditions, in that China is the biggest country of manufacturing while Russia is a nuclear power country, it is easy to understand why the delegates’ statements were totally opposite.

“It is a conference full of diversity,” one of the chairs shares her feelings. This conference is absolutely unique and memorable, for it is the first time that international students have attended WHU-MUN. She fully appreciated the performance of the delegates, “Although the preparation of the conference didn’t go on as smoothly as we had expected, the result is quite satisfactory.” These issues attracted many students to devote as well. Zeng Ziyu, the secretary-general of the 7th WHU-MUN, was captivated by MUN’s charm and fully enjoyed its delight and glory. “When we become middle age, and look back on our youth, we will still remember that there is a beautiful color called MUN”, said Zeng.

WHU-MUN provides an opportunity for students to learn the purpose and spirit of the United Nations, and gives them a new perspective to see the world. Although the 2017 WHU-MUN has come to an end, the interaction between Chinese and foreign students has just started. Seeing the delegates’ eloquence and their ability to improvise, we have every reason to expect a better conference next year.


Photo by Guo Yutong, edited by Wu Siying, Edmund Wai Man Lai & Hu Sijia


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