In the opening ceremony of the Model United Nations Conference 2019, the secretary general speaks: “Model United Nations 2019’s theme is Giving Youth a Voice. But how do we can we give a platform for the youth to speak, if they aren’t willing to share their voice?” Those two sentences were the part that spoke to me the most throughout this year’s conference.
As a first time delegate, I have to admit I was a little bit too audacious to sign up for the General Assembly 3 (GA3) when I could have signed up for the junior committee instead; but this risk I made actually made my first MUN experience more challenging and empowering.
One of the reasons I signed up for GA3 committee is because of its theme that focuses on the 10th SDG goal which is Reduced Inequalities. I wanted to use my voice as the delegate of the Kingdom of France and also as a youth in the society, to contribute to the resolutions that aim to provide equality, justice, freedom and rights to all people. I tried my best to prepare in advance for this first conference. I spent hours on the computer reading articles, looking at data and any research I can find relating to the three topics of GA3 committee which are: “The question of reducing inequality towards the LGBTQ+ community.”, “The question of representation of youths in government.” and “The question of government censorship of social media”. The two resolutions that I chose to work on are on the question of reducing inequality towards the LGBTQ+ community and the question of representation of youths in government. I was able to speak in favor of the two topics I chose in my resolutions according to the positive support provided by my delegation nation, France. The structure of MUN that requires every delegate to speak from their nation’s viewpoint, and not their personal opinions, provides more challenges but also a powerful voice to delegates. It has given me the power to challenge delegates from nations with opposing point of views, to question their beliefs, but most importantly to compromise.
On the overall aspect, my first MUN conference was challenging but successful. It had given me memories, hope and strength. It tells me that I have the ability to voice my stance, to challenge and listen to different aspects in the world. Most importantly, it has given me a chance to work with new people towards the same goal which is creating a better world.
But if there’s one thing I take away the most from this, it is that gathering truthful voices from people is not easy, and we need to really think about how society can better listen to their people. Back to the beginning, I mentioned the secretary general’s speech that has spoken to me the most because it represents the unfortunate truth we live in. Even in the conference, I saw delegates who were scared to speak, scared to ask questions or afraid to just raise their nation placards to express their stances and needs. Why are we afraid to speak? Is it merely the stage fright? Is it the fear resulting from indirect suppression from the society or governments? Is it the result caused by communism oppression that tends to silence rebellious reforms? Or is it because of societal discrimination, prejudice or stereotypes that we constantly battle?
Whatever reason it is, I believe we all need to hear and listen to the voices of the people that we live among, no matter who we are. I believe no real change can be made if those statements of the people themselves are not being heard. I believe there’s no way government actions can work if the people whom those laws apply to aren’t parts of the decisions.
We need to fully and truthfully encourage, listen to each other, act upon the fully compromised opinions and ultimately creating a better world for all of us.