MUN Wuhan 2012

By: Jonas Ebert und Regina Roßmann

The Model United Nations is a conference simulating various UN councils to give students a deep understanding of the decision-making processes of the United Nations. Many countries hold these MUN conferences, but nowhere is it as popular as in China.

In March 2012 ten students from the ECLC programme participated in AIMUN (the Asian International Model United Nations) at Peking University. After experiencing great discussions and meeting interesting people from all over the world, some of us decided to take part in another MUN conference. So in May we travelled to Wuhan.

Every two students formed a delegation to represent a country in one of two English-speaking committees. Two of us took the role of the USA in the UN Environmental Program discussing responsibility and compensation after nuclear accidents like Fukushima. The other three (together with a Chinese student from Xiamen) represented Libya respectively China in the General Assembly discussing post-war recovery and responsibility.

Two weeks before the beginning of the conference each delegation had to write a position paper to sum up their main points of view. Then at a Thursday evening we took the night train to Wuhan. After 10 hours of sleep (in which some of us were shock-frosted by the air conditioner) we arrived in a rainy but very green city. Having found our youth hostel we spent most of the Friday exploring the vast, park-like campus of Wuhan University.

On Saturday morning our conference started. In four three-hour sessions we vigorously discussed the different topics. In the UN Environmental Program we (as the United States) were able to take a leading role in the discussion on nuclear damage. Despite some language problems (Chinese love their mother language) and a boring second session (we solved the main questions too fast), we reached an agreement in the end and successfully drafted a UN resolution.
 In the General Assembly, Libya (a post-war country itself) had great influence on the debate. A sudden crisis in the second session (a hostage-taking in Libya!) further increased the importance of our country. Our Chinese delegation also held some influential speeches (our delegate was two metres tall, and some people said that this fact alone played a part).

After two exhausting but productive days of discussion, all the delegates came together for the closing award ceremony on Sunday afternoon. It turned out that we did surprisingly well: Two of us won the “Best Position Paper Award”, and the other three were even awarded “Best Delegates”. With this “full-house” our ECLC group together won the “Honorable Delegation Award” for Peking University. These prizes compensated us for all the troubles of the last days, like terrible traffic jams, countless mosquitos and the unfortunate combination of formal dress-code and hot weather.

The following Monday we went sightseeing, enjoying a blue sky over a green city before returning to Beijing in the evening. All in all, the conference gave us a deep insight into diplomacy and increased our knowledge on current political topics. Therefore we are already looking forward to the next MUN-conference.