My name is Hillary Saviello, and I served as the first Secretary-General of the first WFUNA International Model United Nations Conference. The Secretary-General plays a substantive role on the policy issues delegates discuss, as well as a logistical role in managing all aspects of planning and organising a major international event - from training members of the Secretariat alongside a representative from the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) in simulating the General Assembly in the most accurate simulation of the United Nations through UN4MUN, to delivering speeches at Opening and Closing Ceremonies to encourage methods of engagement with the United Nations beyond Model United Nations. One cool innovation in the substantive role for Secretary-General was that our conference was the first to integrate the 'programme budget implication (PBI)' aspect of the General Assembly, by evaluating the financial feasibility of the resolutions proposed by delegates. As Secretary-General, I made a statement utilising actual language of the General Assembly on the PBI, and took questions from delegates about the recommendations made, and our resolutions were more realistic as a result.
WIMUN was extremely special to me because it is unique to be a part of the UN4MUN project as it is just being implemented. I participated in the UNDPI's workshop which developed this procedure in 2013, and it was very exciting to be overseeing one of the first conferences to bring that to life! I also never made such a connection with my fellow Secretariat members and delegates as I did at this conference, encouraged by its non-competitive atmosphere. I know this group will remain friends for life!
At WIMUN, I gained a much more informed understanding of the negotiation method at the United Nations, which is already serving me invaluably as an intern at UN Headquarters in New York. I had the opportunity to apply my studies in International Relations as I never had before, right down to the last minute, in which a passionate informal talk on the 'responsibility to protect' with delegates prevented consensus in one committee from collapsing! I am especially proud of all WIMUN committees for overcoming their policy differences to pass resolutions by consensus. At WIMUN, delegates are truly immersed in the consensus-building methods which are utilised in the actual General Assembly, and in contrast to more parliamentary-oriented simulations, enabled to make major policy contributions to the final resolution from the first committee session - regardless of previous experience level.
I have organised many Model UN conferences, twice as Secretary-General. WIMUN stands out as my favourite experience, and one where being 'Secretary-General' was fundamentally different, in that I was directly engaged on the policy questions delegates were addressing, in addition to my logistical responsibilities. If you want the opportunity to be immersed in the major questions of the global era in a genuinely collaborative way with your fellow Secretariat members & delegates, apply to WIMUN!