The 2nd intra college Model United Nations (MUN) – christened the Assembly of Nations (AoN) by BESC – was held between the 13th & 15th of March in the college premises. Prof Dilip Shah, Dean of Student Affairs inaugurated the proceedings, while Kalicharan Shaw, a 3rd year student of B Com Honours, the Secretary General of AoN formally declared the Session Open. A total of 85 students participated in the proceedings. The inaugural session was marked by the rendering of a Bob Dylan number by members of BESC’s musical collective the Crescendo. Later, a few retro numbers were also reeled out.
Over the next three days, students were exposed to spirited debates of intellectually stimulating content as members representing their respective Nation’s concerns elicited support and action in the three forums – the UN General assembly, The Security Council and the Rajya Sabha. The proceedings were conducted in strict accordance with an agenda that was prefixed and as per the established protocols of the committee. This was brought about by the painstaking work put in by the students for over a month preceding the actual conference.
Behind the scene negotiations – blitzkriegs launched by moderated caucuses that sought to refurbish the efforts of the respective National representatives on the floor of the organisation was a key constituent of the proceedings, as is followed in practise.
Participants were also recognised for excelling in their chosen areas. The award for the best delegate of DISEC was given to the delegate of DPRK who throughout the committee stood on its ground on no disarmament. Zeeshan Ansari from DISEC was awarded the Best Reporter.
Curtains fell on the AoN on the 15th with a grand UN Ball for which the students were coached by none other than dance maestro Tito Dey, who exposed students to understated elegance of the Foxtrot and the Jive. Earlier, a Salsa workshop was also held by Hitesh Shah.
Model UN began as a series of student-led Model League of Nations simulations. The first Model United Nations was held at St. Lawrence University from February 11–13, 1949. It was initiated by Dr. Harry Reiff, Head of the History and Government Department, with the assistance of departmental colleague Otto L. George. Dr. Reiff was a technical advisor on the United States delegation to the 1945 San Francisco Conference (where the UN Charter was written) and the UN Organizational Conference in London in 1945-46 (where the UN was established). The 1949 St. Lawrence University Model UN conference included delegates from regional conferences and universities, including Adelphi, Alfred, Champlain, Clarkson, McGill, Middlebury, Potsdam, St. Michael’s, and Vermont. Other Model UN conference were developed later at Berkeley, Harvard and the National Model United Nations Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN), and National Model United Nations (NMUN NY) as well as many other colleges and universities.
In recent decades, Model UN has spread to East and South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa, with major conference organizers such as Indian International Model United Nations, Harvard and THIMUN establishing additional conferences in these regions to meet burgeoning demand. The Ivy League Model United Nations, an arm of the Model UN at the University of Pennsylvania, hosts conferences for high-school-aged delegates in India and China, as well.
“The MUN, is an educational simulation – call it an academic competition, if you may – in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations” said Prof Shah. “MUN involves and teaches researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. It makes education experiential, bringing the element of excitement in the entire process of knowledge acquisition and I am extremely happy at the way our students have embraced the programme”.