WorldMUN Seoul 2015 In the land of the morning dawn and the evening crazy, this year’s Olympics of Model United Nations took place. The vibrant city of Seoul hosted not only our delegation from Munich but also 2500 students from all over the world. Young, ambitious people who care about the problems of today filled every part of Seoul with the ‘WorldMUN Spirit’. A spirit of friendship and cooperation across borders and a deeper understanding of cultures and perspectives beyond one’s own.
Our delegation had the great honor to represent the’Republic of Korea’ or shortly ROK in seven different councils. Seeing 2015 , the year of the New Sustainable Development Agenda, as a decisive milestone in the history of the United Nations, the 24th session of the WorldMUN conferences faced urging questions. How can a megacity like Seoul with 25 mio. citizens be supplied with energy in a sustainable, equitable and economic way? What do we have to change to finally end violence against women, especially in conflict zones? Are our approaches to eradicate extreme poverty sufficient and inclusive and most urgently how should the world community react to the threat of terrorism and Islamic extremism in the Middle East?
More than half of our delegation was seated as double delegations in one of the crowded subsidiaries of the General Assembly. These were actually the ones who had to fight the hardest it was not enough to shine with colorful speeches and highlysophisticated rhetorical skills (at this point we want to thank our rhetoric coach for his outstanding preparation). Like a GI, a GA has to have a firm standing, quick reactions and perfect coordination with its codelegate.
Those of us that were assigned to a smaller committees faced different challenges. More time for speeches meant also more time for questions and discussion about small details. On top committee sessions were never enough be prepared for comprehensive aftermaths and energetic debating even after the scheduled time ran out! But it was for the best. Not only getting to know the other delegates more and more but also experiencing the WorldMUN Spirit in all of its facets formed our delegation to future professional diplomats ‘starting today’.
Being energized by the breathtaking Opening Ceremony held in the giant hall of the Amanuri Culture Exhibition Centre, each and every single delegate was astonished by the impressive melange of Korean showbiz. Starting with a digital, hyperprogressive breakdance performance (there was no other way to describe what Samsung land presented to us), the event continued with three topclass speakers (yes they were, although Ban Ki Moon was last minute removed from the speakers list). They elaborated on how Korea, originally one of the poorest countries in the world, made its way to the largest economies with high impact on the international political stage. The speeches gave us an idea on how Korea sees the outside world, whereas the performances allowed us to catch a glimpse of their cultural identity. Martial drumming performances met flashy KPop and acrobatic breakdancing was followed by soothing Korean zitherplay. All aspects of Korean culture were combined in one timeless, ambivalent and bizare mixture a fluent and edgy ensemble. What seemed paradox at first, turned into what you may call the real Korean identity, entangled between old traditions and western influences.
A WorldMUN is in fact similarly ambiguous. When the formal sessions were suspended in the evening, the second less formal part of the WorldMUN began.
The Night Zero Event was literally the coolest party we have ever been to. Breaking the ice under our feet while dancing (yes it was ice!), the whole delegation impressed being white dressed. Special feature of this party: Iceskating around the dance floor! Except for the Canadian delegation this was quite a shaky experience for some delegates.
The week impressed with the high quality and quantity of enjoyable social events.. Consequently the delegation tried to compensate insomnia with remarkable amounts of dumplings , kimchi and soju. The Global Village for example offered the delegates the opportunity to get to know the real WorldMUN spirit of course dressed up in Lederhosen and Dirndl and therefore continuing the tradition of former MUNAM delegations. The Cabaret Party provided a platform for the delegates to “Step up” to another level and to present each other their dancing skills. The final showdown took place on the Floating Island, located on the Han River. At this part we want to thank our fellow Koreans the volunteers for always being at help. High five! Finally we can say that the long hours we spent on the subway to travel Seoul paid off, as our new friends and unique memories will stay with us much longer.
Overall the WorldMUN does not only teach you a lifelong lesson on what it means to proove yourself among so many great minds, but how such an experience can bond you as a team. The greatest part of this year’s MUNAM experience was being part of the MUNAM family. We thank the executive team, our faculty advisors and most importantly our beloved delegation for the last seven months. You guys RO(C)K.
written by Julia Schmidt and Fabio Schmidt- Fischbach