The Asia-Pacific Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC) is the largest annual Model United Nations conference within the Asia-Pacific region, aiming to bring together a tertiary-level UN simulation where participants act delegates from different countries and organisations to discuss and debate pressing international issues. Our subcommittee member Paris had the incredible opportunity of participating in this year’s AMUNC conference (hosted by UNSW), here’s what she has to say about her experience!
Hi! My name is Paris and I’m a first-year Law/Business student and a member of the WiB Events Team. During the semester break I embarked on a 6-day journey as member of the United Nations’ World Health Organisation (WHO) at the 2018 AMUNC, hosted by the University of New South Wales. Proudly representing France, I proposed motions, worked on draft resolutions, participated in moderated caucuses, did press interviews and debated with other member nations.
Before I dive into my AMUNC experience, I’d like to acknowledge and extend an enormous thank you to Sarah Coningham, a UTS student and my mentor in the Autumn WiB mentoring program who introduced me to AMUNC. Thank you for your encouragement while I doubted myself, answering my numerous questions and imparting valuable knowledge onto my anxious yet enthusiastic first year mind.
My first day of the conference mainly consisted of a timid navigation of the ginormous UNSW campus as well as the rules and lingo of this Model United Nations (or MUN for short-I didn’t actually learn this until the second day). Despite my many hours deep in MUN first time articles on google, the AMUNC 2018 guides and messaging Sarah for anything she could provide, the idea that this experience was going to cause me anything but stress was very hard to believe. I felt out of my depth and incredibly overwhelmed trying to keep up with those who had done several MUNs before. I didn’t know how to motion for a moderated or unmoderated caucus; I didn’t even quite understand what a caucus was.
But as the conference continued I began to familiarise myself with the procedure of the committee, felt more confident asking questions and instigating debate with other member states. By the third day I began giving speeches myself, representing France’s standpoint to the best of my ability. It took until about this day for someone to realise the irony of someone named Paris representing France.
One of my key regrets is not giving speeches earlier during the conference, but the beauty of a MUN is that listening to others give speeches is as valuable as giving your own. The AMUNC conference this year had some incredibly fascinating topics. Our committee discussed the impact of a new gene technology, known as CRISPR/Cas 9, on genetic research and development. This further helped improve my research skills and compelled me to look into a topic I typically wouldn’t have been interested in.
Looking back, AMUNC was a fantastic experience and I walk away with so much more than knowledge. This was my first time doing a Model United Nations Conference and I believe it is something everyone should do. It was an incredibly fun, challenging and exciting experience, that pushed myself beyond my comfort zone and helped me grow as a person and as a professional.
If you are a tertiary student and are interested in participating in a future AMUNC, the next conference will be held in Singapore, 2019 – you can find out more here.
Written by Paris Gavenlock