My First MUN Experience by Alex Keeping '24

Model UN was a total mystery until I found myself completely fixated and intrigued by the conference and the students who attended the most recently. On March 4th, 2023, Palmer Trinity School hosted the sixth annual Miami Model United Nations (MIAMUN VI) conference.

I was invited to attend the two-day conference as someone who knows very little about MUN. I was essentially a complete stranger and an outsider to the whole process. While observing and talking with the delegates, I was able to learn more and form an opinion of Palmer Trinity’s MUN scene. I observed an open and comfortable atmosphere as well as strong rigor and commitment to MUN by all the students who took part. Being something I had not thought of before, MUN became such an interest to me within just a few hours of attending a conference that the experience encouraged me to join the team of delegates next school year.

The first impression I got when I saw all the delegates was the professionalism and the commitment that the students and teachers had. They were all dressed in formal attire, and had a kind yet completely serious manner to them. While they were all having fun and working together, there was an undertone of cooperation that brought everyone to work their absolute best to bring new ideas and opinions to contribute to the group. The atmosphere never had any negative feelings as everyone just wanted the best for one another since they needed to collaborate to achieve the most they could. MUN takes a lot of teamwork and communication skills as well as diplomatic, political, and international interests. That being said, if you are good at those listed or want to improve with those skills, MUN is definitely the perfect place for that. 

Now, what is Model UN? Model UN is, as suggested by the name, a replication of the real United Nations, led and operated by students. Delegates are given different nations or roles within a nation as they have a problem they are faced with and in which they need to find the best solution while working with other countries. For example, the different committees in the conference I attended were as follows:

--General Assembly 3rd Committee (Rebuilding Afghanistan)
--UN Security Council (Crisis in the West African Sahel)
--Joint Crisis 1 (UK) and 2 (Ireland) "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland, and
--MS SOCHUM (Religious Tolerance and Freedom)

These committees worked together to solve the problems they were faced with and did so using their knowledge of their assigned nation, politics, and international diplomacy. 

As someone who didn’t know the slightest detail about MUN, my first conference experience as a member of the MIAMUN Press Corps was nothing but great. It is something that I am interested in joining next year and is an extracurricular that I now strongly advocate. The skills that are gained from MUN are extremely valuable and the experience at the conference was absolutely enjoyable.

With over 100 delegates and conference leaders from PTS, Westminster and St. Andrew's, the conference was able to bring together not only students of PTS, but students from schools all around Miami. MIAMUN VI was definitely a successful conference and one that has created a strongly positive opinion within myself and I hope that the next conferences will do the same for students like myself.
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