Four students selected from Soochow University Model United Nations (SCUMUN) Club gained valuable experiences as they participated in the 2018 National Model United Nations (NMUN), held in New York from March 25th to 29th. This is an annual conference gathering college student representatives, or the so-called MUNers, from all over the world who would strive to take the floor, speak up for their assigned countries, and share their opinions on local and global issues.
Before the conference, the four students headed for Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York to exchange their thoughts in advance. They realized that only by developing their own soft power and people-to-people diplomatic skills can they make their voices heard in the world. In the conference, on behalf of the Republic of Burundi located in Africa, they simulated the situations likely to occur in Human Rights Council (HRC) and World Trade Organization (WTO), and put forward some possible issues. They all prepared themselves well in order to competently represent Burundi and speak up from its standpoint in seeking consensuses and solutions among delegates of all the countries.
The four Soochow students mentioned about the most frustrating experience—the blizzard in New York, which delayed their flight and interrupted their schedule. They had no choice but to enjoy the hard time by preparing for issues they would be talking about in the conference, such as human rights and corporate social responsibility, terrorism, the privacy concern at the digital age, water and air pollution, vaccination, and mental health. More challenging was that they must speak and write in English throughout the conference when seeking support and agreement from other student delegates.
One cannot grow without taking a first step out. “You’ve got to take on challenges bravely so that you can become better,” said Xiao-Qi Fang, the SCU student making her debut in NMUN. All the four students agreed that the conference truly broadened their horizons. Not only did they realize the importance of putting themselves in others’ shoes, but they also learned how to fight for their own country’s rights and witnessed the potentials of colleges students from other parts of the world. They would also love to join this unforgettable and thrilling conference again, if they could have another opportunity.