Congratulations to these talented delegates who have won individual prizes!
Congratulations to these talented delegates who have won individual prizes!
Some may say that our adventure really began when we boarded the plane.
Others might point out that it was during the Conference’s Opening Ceremony.
But we believe the trip was the very completion of what had dawned six months earlier.
After two days of sightseeing and tasting good food, we were thrilled to attend the Opening Ceremony of the NMUN Conference. We had the honor to listen to the surprise guest, Ms. Samantha Power herself. The United States of America’s Ambassador to the United Nations’ speech was everything we needed at that moment: empowering, uplifting, inspirational and filled with positivity, humor and clever advice. We were excited to be introduced to such a heartening, talented and down-to-earth person. ‘Nerd Heaven‘,according to her own words, was indeed the place to be.
After having received such encouragement, the gavel was banged and our excitement tripled as the Conference had officially begun!
We quickly hurried to our committee rooms located in the Sheraton and in the Hilton of the bustling Times Square. The energy was palpable as every delegate was eager to begin negotiations.
After that first taste of diplomacy on Sunday evening, the delegation headed to the Mission of Norway to the United Nations the very next morning. The person who welcomed us was no less than Mr. Bekken, a diplomat who kindly briefed the team with Norway’s point of view on various subjects. He also encouraged us by sharing his past experience as a MUNer!
Meanwhile, the three Head Delegates were briefed with different information. The three of them had indeed been selected overnight as Chairs and Rapporteurs of committees! Commonly known as Chapps, the HDs would from then on participate in the Conference from the other side of the committee table. As Chairs, they would manage the smooth roll-out of the sessions and remind the delegates of the rules of procedure. As Rapporteurs, they would perform administrative tasks and help the Director in their work. Needless to say that working hand in hand with the NMUN staff was a once in a lifetime opportunity!
The three next simulation days and evenings were intense as we were immerged in the world of busy diplomacy. The delegates would work additional hours during the night in order to produce papers of quality that represent Norway’s views on various topics as well as seal relationships with allies. Every night the whole team gathered in order to debrief with our Faculty Advisors on what had happened in each committee. We would then share laughs, worries, and experiences. We believe that these were the golden moments in which the bonds between delegates strengthened.
The last NMUN day, Thursday April 3, was right around the corner and arrived faster than expected. The team headed out, on a sunny New York day, to the United Nations Headquarters. It was a very emotional moment to be seated on the rows in which UN Diplomats would attend General Assembly’s sessions.
We had the pleasure to once again listen to uplifting speeches. Each speech expressed a different idea to which we firmly adhere. Even through the tiredness and exhaustion, we were wide awake to fully be present during these last NMUN moments.
The award roll-call had then begun and the team began to fidget. Would it be possible that the ULB MUN could earn the Outstanding Delegation prize two years in a row? As delegations having earned Distinguished Delegation and Honorable Delegation would stand up from their seats, we were nervous to the idea of not being called at all. When the NMUN organizers have moved on to the ‘Outstanding’ mentions, we waited eagerly to hear the name of our country being pronounced. At last, we heard Norway in the list of the best delegations of the NMUN 2014 Conference. Straightening up and beaming, we could not hold back our emotion, our smiles, and our tears of joy. Even though the prize is not what we were after, it shows that the very organizers of NMUN have recognized our hard work, our commitment, our diplomacy and our talent. As David Ford put it, ‘Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.’
After all these challenges, we bonded as a team and as close friends.
We cannot find words to express our gratitude to have been able to live this experience. Pushing our limits on a professional level, working hard, learning how to debate and represent a country, working as a team and in partnership, bonding as friends, we now truly value what it means to be a MUNer. We started as a group, worked as a team and ended up as a family.
And that’s what MUN is all about.
We are very grateful for all the support and love we have received since the beginning of our venture!
… And here are bonus pictures!
As an appetizer to the New York adventure, we had the honor and privilege to be formally invited by the US Embassy in Brussels to attend Obama’s speech in the capital of Europe on March 26, 2014.
It is needless to say that one of the most inspiring keynotes that an aspiring diplomatic delegation may receive is to personally attend a speech delivered by one of the most influential and talented diplomats of our present time.
After having excitedly waited for his arrival, the President of the United States of America walked up on stage and delivered a speech that we will never forget. He inspired us by reaffirming the human values we believe in.
“And yes, we believe in human dignity, that every person is created equal — no matter who you are or what you look like or who you love or where you come from. That is what we believe. That’s what makes us strong. And our enduring strength is also reflected in our respect for an international system that protects the rights of both nations and people — a United Nations and a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international law and the means to enforce those laws.” Barack Obama on March 26 in Brussels.
We are proud to say that, a few days later, we flew to New York and we have upheld these rules and ideals during the NMUN Conference.
In exactly one week, we will be delegates representing Norway in the NMUN New York Conference and go to the United Nations Headquarters as aspiring diplomats.
However, this exciting venture could have not materialized without our sponsors and Kisskissbankbankers.
To them, we say thank you.
Our gratitude goes to our friends, cowokers, families and sympathisers from all around the world that have granted us with generous donations through our crowdfunding and fundraising campaigns.
Thank you,M. Giacomo Viscido, Mlle Nora Yahiaoui, Mlle Donatienne Ruy, Mme Kloe Tricot, Mlle Alessandra Varesco, Mme Hudson Alison, Mlle Marie Michiels, Mlle Leila Mekkaoui, M. Christiaan De Raes, Mme Brigit de True Organics, M. Albert Khaoutiev, Mme Simone Münchberg Simone, Mlle Emilie Fonck, Mme Murielle Conreur, M. Michael Sutterman, M. Fabien Papleux et Mme Magali Sibille M. Daniel Sutterman et Mme Paola Van Steenkiste, Mme Doha Zemzemi, M. Alexis et Mme. Anais Carles, Mme Constance de Lannoy, Mme Marie Boulvain, Mlle Laure Limon, M. Khalil Aouasti, M. Thibaut L’Ortye, Mlle Tihana Vujatovic.
Your support means much more than finance to us. It represents true bonds of ongoing encouragement that inspire us to pursue our dreams and reach for higher goals.
A UN simulation is about to occur!
Out of passion for MUNs, ULB MUN is extremely happy to have been able to co-organize and participate in the pioneering BruxMun.
In our endeavor to reinforce the cooperation between Belgian MUN delegations and mutually hone our skills, the VUBMUN, the HUBMUN and the ULBMUN have partaken in a Brussels MUN which has taken place on the Vrije Universiteit Brussels’ premises.
In order to prepare what awaits us in NYC, we have represented countries with our co-delegates and practiced our public speaking skills thanks to lively debates. The topic of the day regarded nation-building in Afghanistan in the post-2014 era and we brainstormed together to propose solutions to a global issue.
The beautiful sunny spring day set the perfect mood to work hard on viable resolutions and moreover, equally important, foster lasting relationships among Brussels MUNs delegations.
We are glad to say that intellectual and cultural enrichment as well as great friendships are being harbored.
These are the last few weeks before leaving.
This is the moment when you can begin to feel the enthusiasm, motivation, progress and tension.
These are the last few meetings, where skills are honed and assets developed.
This is the moment when aspiring negotiators become fully-fledged delegates.
You may be curious in regards to which competences are being strengthened…
Well, we have become masters at researching the position of our country, Norway. Official documents, press releases, speeches, what-have-you on an array of topics, had to be found and translated into Norway’s position papers, basically the delegate’s blueprint of proposals for the week of negotiation in New York. It is not an easy task, believe you me!
We have also cracked the code to public speaking. Delivering catchy, confident and smart speeches is one of the most dreaded moments for a MUNer. But thanks to thorough practice, we are glad to say that the ULB MUN delegation is delivering intelligent, convincing, and well-rounded speeches about Norway’s world solutions in order to encourage gender equality, hinder poverty, stop chemical weapons proliferation, protect child welfare, promote sustainable world peace… and many, many more topics that are of our concern as citizens. …
But much more is on our plate and there is more coming up in the following weeks regarding special activities and exciting events.
Attracting more than 150 delegates from different Belgian and French universities as well as high level keynote speakers from the Association pour les Nations Unies, the ULB MUN simulation is developing year by year. We are proud to have welcomed students from all educational fields and from different universities to pursue international diplomatic negotiations simulations. Media was also present thanks to TV Brussels coverage on the event.
Watch our video of the ULB MUN Simulation!