Two delegations full of expectations and ready to have some adventure, were heading to Bratislava to a well-known MUN conference. The delegations were Greece and Peru. The delegation of Greece was formed of two members, Rastislav Jonis and Kade Mackintosh (me, the writer).
The honored delegation of Peru consisted of Oskar Fatul, Patrik Tomáš and Sabina Šimková.
We woke up early and barely caught the train to Bratislava and this is where our adventurous journey begun. As trees were passing by at high speed we, the delegates, were nervously preparing our opening speeches. I have to admit that I also belonged to that group. It was mostly because I didn’t know what to expect from this whole MUN „thing”, and also because of the others’, advanced and already experienced distinguished delegates misleading information that they gave me. (But I eventually came up with a reasonable speech and managed to overcome my extreme fear of talking in frontof strangers.)
We arrived at Bratislava and settled in our hotel. The rest of the evening was devoted to discovering the beauty of Bratislava’s streets and experiencing and testing the quality of each individual Subway shop. Afterwards at the hotel, although we knew that the next day would be exhausting, we still found things to talk about and we stayed up late.
Next morning we woke up and felt as if some creature had gone into each individual room and sucked up all the energy out of us. We hurried down the stairs to have breakfast. We made the mistake of not putting our suits and ties on. We were scared to get them dirty. So, we walked in and noticed that the whole canteen was like a herd of zebras. All black and white, everyone had their suit on and we (boys) were the only ones in colorful, casual clothes. Yeah, we had that unpleasant feeling of not fitting in, not a nice way to start a day…
After the morning rush we went to the “real deal”, the conference. There I started to panic. I wasn’t satisfied with my opening speech and had no clue what was happening. At the opening ceremonial I edited my speech and after the less interesting talks given by the organizers, we headed to our committee meetings. That’s where we (schoolmates) divided and all went into separate rooms where we each discussed worldwide problems. Now this is where it got difficult for me. I was in a committee where we discussed the environment and the carbon trade. I was lost, not only because I didn’t know what all the fuss was about, but also because I had no clue what I was supposed to add to this debate since the country I was representing (Greece) so far has nothing to do with the environment, mostly because of its other pressing priorities. This is where I met a new friend. A guy sitting next to me biting his nails nervously approached me with these words: “It must be your first time too, right?”, “Yeah, I have no clue what to do…“. The boy was representing India and also had difficulties with coming up with solutions even or words. So whenever we would have an “unmoderated caucus” (almost like a break, but only to discuss whatever the topic was) we would join a group and just nod our heads with a confused smile on our face.
We took several coffee breaks to grab a snack and a cup of coffee and that’s where we could all meet in the hallway and discuss our plans and tactics. I realized that this was going to be much harder than I expected. I was hearing from my other companions about how many speeches they gave and how they presented their ideas. I had the urge to give atleast one normal speech where I could come up with a solution. I achieved that one day later.
As the time flew by to the end of conference we headed back to the hotel. As soon as we arrived we got out of the unpleasant ties and suits and especially the painful shoes! There wasn’t much time to rest because we needed to get some food and yes, we went to Subway again. After the scrumptious dinner and a nice tour through the city we were back at the hotel studying and preparing for the next day.
We would usually go to sleep at about 2 am so after roughly 4 hours of sleep we were back on our feet rushing down the stairs for breakfast and repeating the whole scenario.
At the conference there was a draft resolution being applied and almost finished. I got the hang of the situation and managed to give a small speech and ask for some financial support from other countries since Greece had no other way of cutting the carbon emissions. Although none of delegations really showed any interest in my requirements I was pleased enough. Towards the end of the conference the solution paper that was given by the delegate of Brazil was voted on and won.
After an evening just like the ones before we tried another Subway store but it wasn’t as good as the previous ones.
The next day we weren’t having our regular committee meetings. We had General Assembly. It’s where everyone from each individual group and meeting gathers up together and discusses the issue that is served. Our issue was the regulation of sweatshops.
We, the delegation of Greece, started with our own solution paper. Later through the coffee break we found out that the United Kingdom had already been developing their own paper and were slightly ahead of us. We chose to join the delegation of UK and became sponsors. It was a long fight and in the meantime other delegations begun to show interest in our work. We gained many sponsors and signatories. We also had several concurrencies with their own papers and it wasn’t easy to hold our positions. The delegation of USA had their own paper running and offered us with the UK to join them. To save ourselves, we did so. After the USA took into consideration some of our solutions they released their second version of the paper which includedour ideas.
Long story short, the paper was then voted and we achieved the goal to make our solution paper that would be voted for. We were glad that we managed to get through the war of political parties and also get a slice of the cake.
At the end of the conference we said goodbye to all of the delegations and started our journey home. We took several trolleybuses and trains. We weren’t talking much and were mostly trying to get some sleep. We arrived home late and didn’t even bother with preparing for the next day. We all skipped school and had a long sleep.
To finish this I must say that I liked the MUN conference and am excited to go to other MUNs. I learned a lot and also had fun. It was just like a dream, having work and fun at once. I had great time on the evening walks. I met new people and made a friend or two. Although it was tiring it was definitely worth it. The only downside is that I became addicted to coffee. Talking about coffee, I might go and have one right now.
Kade Mackintosh (delegate of Greece)