It is a nostalgia in India that MUNs have become a meagre mess in certain circuits. Pursuing these issues, at Internationalism, I always remained with an aim to reform and better the social and academic aspect of Model UNs, which is a dire need. Flashy needs is something which damages us, and that is what the fundamental problem of Model UNs.
The Sad Part with MUN Circuits in India
MUN Circuits in the North need to change from an authoritarian and biased lustre-based CV-wormed students network, where recognition is marketed and made cheap, instead of being respected.
Marvelling 50+ MUNs does not really designate you to become a diplomat, because MUN is now becoming a student-level celebrity affair. And seriously, when did Academia decide or drive us to be knowledge marketeers and not wisdom sharers? We must understand it very clearly in India, that the role of an MUN is never to make MUN-driven personalities. It is never the case.
The case is simple. Make it a temple, where liberal ideas encourage us to drive hopeful points. Make it a place, where money does not drive recognition and innovation lives, with hope.
Never ever marginalize students and prioritize ideologies like that. By the way, I am not a biased person as in its generic scope. However, the punitive fact is that: MUN Circuits need to revisit the fake utopia of cash prizes, EB-Deis dilemma and the progeny behind the MeToo Movement in circuits, where so many disputes were formed. It damaged the integrity of MUN freedoms that you get as a student and certainly it manifests many different horizons over the pretext of existence.
Good vibes in the COPUOS
Nevertheless, I would acknowledge the very fact that every EB member has his own role, whether he is an AD or even a Rapporteur. In various agencies of the UN, such as the International Law Commission, UNHCR, UNFCCC, etc., you will find great examples. As a Rapporteur in the Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, I played a special role, for which I thank our co-Chairs Eko and Shashank a lot. It matters a lot because rapporteurs are not respected these days in Indian MUN Circuits and conceived to be rather servile or just silent academic slaves. I am not harsh at my words but, the reality is imminently sad.
Confession boxes, some pretty enjoyments!!
I enjoyed this relishment with experienced and non experienced delegates, who were from high school, university and middle school fraternities. Well, let’s be honest: many were schoolers. And they literally performed well, and in some mentions, they had an intellectual insight of the agenda. Yet, they had issues with deviating the agenda items such as incorporating stuff like laser operations and other scientific methods in a COPUOS Resolution, which was not on my agreement. The reason was that if they are experiencing good, then they have to do tough and better from what they had done earlier. And technically, we never add scientific or any subjective method in a resolution because it harms the objectivity of the method and of the resolution, unless the committee is of such nature. COPUOS had its 2 sub-committees: Scientific and Technical & Legal. We didn’t demarcate, but yes, it was an imploring enjoyment to relish out. One such delegate representing Austria, was yet less communicative in Session 1, because he was a first timer, but he literally did well. He posed his objective and maintained his status quo on space commercialization measures.
An Unmoderated Caucus
And what I see is the formation of 2 blocs. One consisting the USA, Austria, Canada, French Republic and a few more and the other was of India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and a few more. It amazed me.
Yet by yet, I had a relishing enjoyment because they were certain of the modalities of space science. However, they lacked a proper knowledge of international law, which obviously you cannot expect from schoolers and first timers.
They learned the law of treaties in one day and came prepared well on the second day. Certainly, of them understood how international law works. We got 4 draft resolutions introduced in finality. It was satisfying. Other delegates representing Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, the Russian Federation, French Republic, Canada and the US, did pretty well. But it was quite disruptive, which was due to the fact that it facilitated a limitation of resonance. It happens in MUNs, not a new thing.
What I hope better now?
I hope in special terms a humility, which I have and I am fortunate to be in this privelige to be a part of this great gala that IIT Bombay has it every year. It is certainly an embracing hope to consider. And I am thankful to the Secretariat, my dear Chairs and delegates. MUNs should continue as a fest of knowledge and learning. But yes, there should be a hope and appetite for learning as well, for which I hope, Techfest World MUN shall be known for.