The first Rotaract Global Model UN (RGMUN) 2016 Special Edition was held in New York from March 18–20 as part of the ‘Change the World’ Model UN. “It is a matter of great pride that the second special edition of RGMUN was hosted in India by my Rotaract District 3011,” says DRR Anmol Chawla. While the 2016 special edition simulated the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR), the theme for the present edition was Sustainable Development Goals: Fostering A Brighter Future.
RAC Delhi Technological University Regency, D 3011, won the bid and had the highest social media score putting them in the list of the top three countries to host the Annual RGMUN 2018. “But we couldn’t be present at the Rotary Day in Geneva, which was mandatory to be selected as the host of the next MUN. Considering our good track record, we were asked to host the special edition while Rotaract Club of Kaunas Fortress hosted the Annual Edition in the three capital cities of Lithuania. This was a dream come true for me,” he says.
Founded in 2013 by RAC Baia Mare, the Rotaract MUN gives young people a chance to have their voices heard at the UN.
Founded in 2013 by Rotaract Club Baia Mare, the Rotaract MUN gives young people a chance to have their voices heard at the UN. “The conference is hosted in a different country and is organised by a different Rotaract club each year,” explains Chawla who had been planning to host the event since 2016. As president of RAC Shri Aurobindo College, he had hosted Masashi Mito, the Brand Ambassador of the RGMUN from Kyto Japan for a week. “We walked the streets of Delhi, ate Indian food, visited historical sites and also went to the Indian soccer league matches. We bonded very well and I also got a good insight into how the MUN is hosted. I then decided that when I become the DRR, my district will host the RGMUN.”
While 400 delegates from 30 countries registered for the event, only 170 people could attend “because the travel was 10 times more expensive than the registration,” he says. DRRs Vaibhav Thakur, Yatin Sehgal, Arti and Naveen were among the170 delegates who participated in the conference that included international delegates from China, France, Venezuela, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Lebanon. The participants were divided into five committees based on the theme and between April 20–22, the delegates played the part of diplomats representing countries assigned by the organisers.
Speaking about the MUN structure and mechanism, Chawla adds that, “there is more to RGMUN than just a simulation of the UN process. It transcends into an actual decision- making process providing a platform where Rotaractors, Rotarians, young professionals and University students from across the world can voice their opinion on global issues.” In general, he says, each participant has an exclusive chance to express the views and interests of the country he/she represents. Besides accumulating strong knowledge of global issues, they also learn the art of negotiation, public speaking using the official UN language and procedural mechanisms set in motion by the UN. What makes it even more exciting is that MUN creates a possibility to explore different cultures, he adds.
The process has to be facilitated by experts and guided towards a successful resolution. “For this we thank Joshika Saraf, Secretary General, Rotaract Global MUN Special Edition 2018 and DG Ravi Choudhary for their support. We are glad that the outcome of our discussions and debates were presented to the regional decision-making bodies and the UN.”
Day One saw the delegates engage in intense debates in their respective committees followed by a cultural extravaganza where the Indian hosts showcased the rich heritage of our country, through classical dance performances and a fashion show portraying Indian textiles. The next day was dedicated to finding a resolution for the debates, followed by a feedback session by the Secretary-General and a press conference attended by the international media. The day ended with the closing ceremony graced with the presence of Deepak Vohra, an Indian diplomat, billiards player Sourav Kothari, Shastri Ramachandaran, a senior journalist, Maxton R, Youth Co-Chair — Intergenerational Dialogue, Scotland, and Nabila Jamshed, UN Programme Officer. An awards ceremony felicitated the delegates.
“The advantages of preparing for and participating in a Model UN conference is that it helps us develop research, public speaking skill, technical writing and negotiation skills,” says Sarthak Katyal, the Project Manager of RGMUN.