NAIMUN LI – An Experience
The Fifty-First Annual North American Invitational Model United Nations
February 13 – 16, 2014
SNOW! And more snow! All schools closed!
As diplomats, our first challenge was to get from our snowed-in houses and unplowed neighborhood streets to the NAIMUN Conference. Undeterred and with the help of family, friends, and even complete strangers (a big thank-you to a wonderful couple on Midcounty Highway), all managed to arrive at the hotel in the course of Thursday afternoon and evening, just in time for the Opening Ceremonies. On the first night, attendance of this largest Model UN Conference for high school students in North America was down a little from previous years because of weather conditions and cancelled flights. Nonetheless, the excitement for the start of a new NAIMUN Conference which had been building over the last several weeks was palpable.
Some participated for the first time, some for the fourth, research was done, position papers were written, and all were ready to debate the issues in the various committees, whether the topic revolved around the use of biological and chemical weapons in DISEC, the future of the Geneva Conventions in the Legal Committee, writing a new constitution for Tunisia, or the policy at the outset of the Cold War in the United States National Security Apparatus. Debate instantly became fast-paced and intense in Margaret Thatcher’s cabinet in June of 1983, dealing with the Cold War and the crisis in Northern Ireland. Committees were off to a great start in spite of the weather outside.
The next morning we were ready for our visit to the Embassy of Afghanistan. After trudging through snow and ice over sidewalks that had not been cleared, we were welcomed with tea and snacks and met with the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Ahmad Zahir Faqiri. We were very grateful for the time he took to answer our questions. During the afternoon sessions at NAIMUN, Mr. Gries paid us a visit and stayed to join us for the inspiring guest speaker John Wood, founder of the nonprofit Room to Read, which promotes literacy and gender equality in education. Afterwards delegates continued to deliberate, caucus, argue over working papers, and vote on resolutions. Nina, Idean, and William even extended their debates in exciting midnight crises. Yet, Hilltop Madness and the delegate dance provided some relief from the intense discussions.
Before we knew it, Sunday arrived with the final committee sessions, and the closing ceremonies concluded another successful conference. See you next year!