Photo: Deanna Coleman

Sovereignty, Drugs and Human Trafficking: SaintMUN 2016

Deanna Coleman covers the fourth SaintMUN Conference.

“Honourable chair and fellow delegates…”

St. Andrew’s was delighted to hold the fourth SaintMUN conference, where university pupils from across the UK and Europe joined together for a (relatively) friendly debate addressing issues from across the globe. Such topics included national sovereignty, the popularisation of designer drugs and the eradication of human trafficking.

For many, Model United Nations may be considered a nerd fest of wannabe politicians and world leaders. In reality, it is one of the most thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring activities a person can undertake. One can develop public speaking and debating skills alongside meeting new people, increasing their appreciation of the world and discovering cultural variety.

Just as states, politics and societies differ around the world, so does every individual’s MUN experience. The Crisis committee debated the Irish and Italian mafia during the 1920s: A bloody wedding massacre, a plan to blow up the Giants stadium and besieging New York was definitely not on the agenda but every delegate participated passionately with enthusiasm and veracity. This definitely made choosing the prizes particularly hard.

Photo: Wikipedia
Photo: Creative Commons

The same can be said for every eager committee at the conference. The Human Rights Council definitely did not follow debating procedure correctly when quoting Disney as legitimate reasons for changing the world. The delegate of The Netherlands, Seoras Lyall, commented that “If there was as much cooperation as there were Disney quotes, we would have eradicated poverty”.

Furthermore, many of the chairs commented on the enthusiasm and dedication put forward by most members in committee – vital for generating a fruitful debate. Those committees with only eight countries present, such as the Commission on Narcotics and Drugs, were particularly praised for “keeping the debate moving forward”.

The start of the conference was particularly interesting thanks to guest speakers Dr. Richard English and Dr. Jeffrey Muruer, two well-known academics on terrorism and security. After their fascinating opening speeches, the floor gave way to a question and answer session. Unsurprisingly, considering the room full of debaters interested in international relations, the limited time was filled with in-depth and noteworthy questions.

Overall, it is safe to say that everyone – delegates, chairs, organisers and even photographers – thoroughly enjoyed their time at SaintMUN. We are excited to see and hear how the St Andrews’ MUN team progresses in the future and are sure that the next SaintMUN will be just as successful as this one.

If you are interested in joining the MUN society please Facebook message the official page. It truly is an engaging and inspiring way to spend your time. As the Human Rights Council would say: “We are stronger united than divided.” 

“… I declare SaintMUN 2016 officially closed.”

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