April 7, 2022
By Grace Volchok, Global Classrooms DC Student Secretary General 2022

When preparing what I was going to say, I considered a lot of different things, but I eventually focused on why it really is that I love Model UN. I think when doing anything, but especially something like MUN, you have to be passionate about it, and that was something I really wanted to show in my application. I remember very clearly seeing the email saying I had been selected [as Student Secretary General]; I was so excited I dropped my phone, and immediately picked it up to respond and accept the position, and started working on my opening remarks that evening.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         I’ve been to a lot of Model UN conferences, and I’ve heard from a lot of different speakers at conferences. When I wrote my speech, I thought about both things that other Secretary Generals have said that have stuck with me, and what I personally wanted the delegates to take both into committee and away from the conference as a whole. I wanted to write a speech that could appeal to all the delegates present, from the ones who had the same passion for MUN that I do, to the ones that were just there because somebody told them to come. Ultimately, I tried to put into words both why I love Model UN, and the importance of that love for both me and my generation.

As part of my role, I also got to talk about this individually with diplomats and people who work in the public service sector. I know the impact that Model UN has had on me, and I get to see the impact that it has on other students, but it’s a very different (and important) thing to see how MUN translates into real-life change with people like Renee Callenderand and Cynthia Yu, and hear about the work of the UN from diplomats like Ambassadors Sison and Moose.

Another highlight of being Secretary-General was having the opportunity to observe the delegates in committee. From a practical standpoint I think it’s important for the Secretary-General to be involved with the conference from the delegate’s side as well as the administrative side — both for the benefit of the delegates as well as myself. It’s very easy as a delegate to get wrapped up in bloc collaboration and resolution writing, and miss some of the things that happen on the sidelines of the committee, and getting to observe the committee from a neutral standpoint provides some perspective on both committees and MUN. Observing the delegates and talking with them let me know how the committees individually were progressing, and how the conference as a whole was going.

However, the overall highlights of the day were the opening and closing ceremonies. Delegates tend to come into opening ceremonies with a kind of nervous energy, and it’s gratifying to feel that turn into excitement as opening ceremonies progress. Closing ceremonies on the other hand, are always high energy, despite delegates coming off of a day of discussion and writing, and the excitement of closings can remind delegates, sponsors, and volunteers why it is that we love MUN.

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