My name is Rory Mondshein, I am a recent graduate of Bard College, and it was my great privilege to serve as the Secretary to the Committee on World Food Security at WIMUN 2014.
As the only unelected member (and therefore only permanent member) of the Bureau, the Secretaries were responsible for writing the Background Guides, reading and grading position papers, and working closely with the United Nations mentors to prepare Chairing scripts for the rest of the Bureau. Obviously it was no easy task, but we were fortunate to have William Yotive, who currently serves as the Project Manager of the United Nations Global Teaching and Learning Project, guiding us along the way.
Although it was sometimes difficult to deconstruct everything we knew about Model UN from previous conferences and process all of this new information, WIMUN was everything I could have asked for and more. Thanks to sponsorship from the World Federation of the United Nations Associations and the United Nations Department of Public Information, WIMUN is able to provide delegates with the most accurate simulation of actual United Nations procedures.
Unlike most Model United Nations conferences that are highly competitive, WIMUN is a consensus-based conference, which challenges delegates to create comprehensive solutions that all parties can agree to. The “consensus caveat” forced delegates to actually listen to one another, and incorporate all different kinds of ideas in order to successfully complete the task. Similarly, since everyone was equally unfamiliar with the UN4MUN procedures, we were able to even the playing field, and delegates that were relatively new to Model UN were able to hold their own amongst the most experienced members. As a result, we found delegates supporting one another in terms of procedural confusion as well as resolution-writing, which created some amazing results as each resolution was passed unanimously.
As the Secretary, I was expected to know all of the procedures and help delegates come to a consensus, which meant that I was able to participate in the proceedings and develop my mediation skills. In short, WIMUN not only taught me about the United Nations, but it also challenged me to expand my horizons. Although I was sometimes uneasy about the new procedures, it was comforting to know that everyone was in the same boat as I was, which only increased the level of camaraderie amongst the members of the Secretariat and between the staffers and the delegates. So, if you are a constantly curious delegate that wants to learn more about the United Nations and is not afraid to try something new, go to WIMUN for an experience you will never forget.