This past weekend, CDS sent a delegation of 14 students to the Ontario Model United Nations conference at Upper Canada College to discuss issues as varied as solutions to cybercrime, the future of artificial intelligence, the prevention of corruption in the National Hockey League, and the historical fall of Yugoslavia. All delegates were challenged to think critically about the issues that face our global community.
One of the students who attended was Grade 9 student, Nicole Damianidis. She was asked a few questions about her experience.
Explain your experience at OMUN. How did you prepare and what did you experience during the conference?
This is my first year in Model UN (MUN) and I truly enjoy it! Throughout the school year, I have participated in committees ranging from Trump 2020 to the historically significant Treaty of Versailles, but OMUN was my first time participating in a committee outside of school, where I was put with people I did not know.
I was a part of the INTERPOL committee, where we discussed crimes found in sports and on the internet. Going into this committee, I was nervous and excited because I knew that I had to adjust my perspective and push myself to communicate with other countries in order to find a common resolution.
Going into OMUN, preparation is very significant because in order to be able to advocate for your country's needs and wants, research is imperative. This is needed to garner an understanding of your country’s stance and to write a position paper representing that knowledge.
What was/were your personal highlight(s) from the trip?
My conference had over sixty people, so walking in was overwhelming, but once the debate started and I used my voice for the first I felt more involved and a part of the conference. In whole, the conference was an educational and inspirational event for me because I learned from the more experienced delegates by listening to their techniques and public speaking. Model UN is definitely an activity where learning and risk plays a big part, just watching other delegations speak inspired me to input my opinions. Once I had used my voice a couple of times and advocated for my country, I gained respect from the chairs and the experienced delegates. My personal highlights of the trip are all the friends I made. There are often other students who are sharing the same nerves or excitement as you may be feeling and then conversations form and progress to friendships.
What would you recommend to new delegates hoping to join the Model United Nations group and its future trips?
For new delegates hoping to join MUN next year, I highly recommend it! MUN isn’t just a club where one represents another country, but it teaches global awareness and communication. I have learned to practice public speaking more effectively in debate and persuasive speaking. Additionally, I have gained global interpretations of countries I had previously no knowledge of. MUN makes you more aware of global matters and provides an understanding of what is going on in the past, present, and future of the world.