“All Member States wishing to be placed on the speaker’s list, please raise your placards now.” This is what I heard the last six months almost every Tuesday evening.

Six months ago I decided I wanted to apply for the National Model United Nations program (NMUN), which is a prestigious project with a lot of training and a big conference at the end of the road. It takes a lot of time, energy and devotion. Basically you have to live and breathe NMUN in order to succeed. International politics intrigue me and I have this neurotic tendency of keeping busy, so of course I was interested in applying.

Let me start by telling you that even the application rounds are very intense. The first application round begins with submitting a motivational letter. If you succeed and are selected for the second round, you have to join a Model UN simulation without knowing what to do. Sounds fun, right? I was lucky enough (read: worked my butt off) to be selected for both rounds and I ended up as one of the fourteen delegates to represent a Member State in the United States during the NMUN conference.

The selection was over, but the work had only just begun. The next thing to do was to form duos out of fourteen delegates, for each duo to be represented on a committee. The following step was to look at all the committees and see which one was most interesting. My first preference was the General Assembly Third Committee (GA3) because they discuss humanitarian topics, and one of this year’s topics was ‘Preventing Violence and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity’. This was like music in my ears because I am progressive and active in this area.

All went well and life was good, but then the most ironic thing happened: we were assigned to represent the Kyrgyz Republic during the conference. And let me tell you, the Kyrgyz Republic is not a very big fan of non-heterosexual orientations. So the situation was that a homosexual man (which is me, in case you hadn’t figured that out yet) had to argue anti-LGBT arguments in the GA3. That’s something different, isn’t it?

The last few months were hard work but were also enjoyable. We had different guest speakers coming over, teaching us public speaking skills, lobbying and negotiating and so much more. But now we are close to the conference.

On the 31 March we will fly to Washington D.C. for the first part of our trip and I am quite excited about going, and also very stressed about packing and so much more (I have three different to-do lists). But that’s a whole different story. I’ll keep you updated during my trip!

To be continued.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
The Cedo Nulli delegation

Cedo Nulli at the National Model United Stations

Each year S.F.V. Cedo Nulli, the faculty association of Social Sciences, participates on behalf of the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) in NMUN’s New York conference. A delegation of fourteen highly motivated students will represent a UN Member State during the conference and interact with students from all over the world. Over the course of six months, students will hone their skills under the guidance of two experienced former delegates and numerous guest speakers.

Preparations for the simulation in New York consist of weekly training on Tuesday evenings. Topics such as ‘what are the functions and powers of the UN?’ and ‘how can we best represent our (yet unknown) Member State?’ are discussed. Acquiring practical skills in lobbying, negotiating, public speaking and resolution writing form a large part of the preparation process.

The Cedo Nulli delegation:

  • fourteen delegates, two trainers and two board supervisors

A variety of nationalities:

  • German
  • Dutch
  • Colombian
  • French
  • Finnish

A variety of study programmes:

  • Psychology
  • Management of International Social Challenges
  • Public Administration
  • International Public Management and Policy

Past awards won by Cedo Nulli:

  • 2011 – ‘Outstanding Delegation’ (best 10%)
  • 2012 – ‘Distinguished Delegation’ (best 20%)
  • 2013 – ‘Outstanding Delegation’ (best 10%)
  • 2014 – ‘Distinguished Delegation’ (best 20%)
  • 2015 – ‘Outstanding Delegation’ (best 10%)
  • 2016 – ‘Outstanding Delegation’ (best 10%)