DCMUN VIII – The Meaning of MUN

Ralf Yap Head of Press for DCMUN 

I came in to school on Sunday, after a long MUN-filled weekend, feeling content about the conference and what we had achieved. I walked up to the Sixth Form common room and pressed myself onto one of the many couches and listened to the conversation around me. It wasn’t long before my peers started talking about the DCMUN VIII conference and it wasn’t long after that when some innocent soul asked “what exactly is MUN?”

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It was a great question. It made me think about MUN and what it means to me, and to all the students who take part in it. It’s actually quite difficult to come up with a simple answer because there’s so much more to MUN than can be expressed in a swiftly conjoined response. The Doha College Model United Nations was formed eight years ago and has since grown into the vibrant community that it is today. The eighth annual DCMUN conference was held on the 5th and 6th of November 2015, and welcomed over 500 students from schools all over Qatar.

The students are the driving force of DCMUN; they are what makes it a student-run organisation. The main ingredient for a successful conference is an excellent student body, and DCMUN has exceptional participating students comprising incredibly high-achieving and dedicated individuals. Each conference revolves around a central theme: this conference’s focus was on social and financial inequality, which was the fount of fruitful debate that spanned across the committees.

What’s fantastic about MUN is that it deals with current, real-world issues, so everything that is discussed is entirely relevant to the delegates taking part. The delegates are tasked with finding solutions to problems that real diplomats and politicians face in today’s society. That’s a tall order in and of itself, so to actually figure out plausible courses of action for these issues is all the more impressive.

However, delegates and debating aren’t the only components of MUN. The admin team is considered (by its members at least) the “backbone of MUN” which is entirely reasonable to think, seeing as they are responsible for setting up all the committee rooms, providing lunch for craving delegates and making sure notes are delivered to where they need to be. The press team (which I am proud to be a part of) is made up of journalists that capture and collate all the goings-on in the conference and package it all up in magazine issues for people to read.

President Thushan Puhalendran, Secretary General Michael Young, and Deputy Secretary Generals Ameya Shete and Nadia Bahemia form this year’s leadership team. They are at the helm of the vessel that is DCMUN and are in charge of this congregation of some of the brightest minds in the country.

As far as highlights go, there were undoubtedly a number of memorable moments within the committee rooms but some of the more collective experiences were during the opening and closing ceremonies which involved a number of entertaining and inspiring speeches from delegates, chairs and executives, as well as a musical performance by Doha College’s own Lauryn Healey and Nikita Vye. One especially impactful speech was made by Thushan Puhalendran, in which he talked about his life before coming to Qatar and the hardships he and his family encountered. It was truly moving, and served as a perfect point of reflection for everyone in the hall.

DCMUN is a social foundation, a conference for future leaders, for forward-thinkers. It gives students a voice, a chance to develop world views and an opportunity to take steps into becoming tomorrow’s makers of change. It gives aspiring politicians, speakers and writers the opportunity to build upon a passion or create one that wasn’t there before. MUN is so many things to so many people. That’s the beauty of it.

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