HARVARD WORLDMUN 2017
Following a well deserved break after our exams, the delegation of the United Nations Association Konstanz e.v. was well rested and motivated when they were headed to Montréal on february 12th 2017.
The week following this turned out to be an incredible experience that even -20°C and a heavy snowstorm could not affect negatively.
For our delegation the experience started Sunday night with our first dinner together followed by the opening social event which was set in the science building in Montreal’s harbor overlooking the impressive skyline. It was the first of many occasions where we met interesting people from all around the globe in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Monday followed with an inspirational opening ceremony that really stressed the motto of this year’s conference “where worlds meet and cultures unite” in a variety of ways. A very diverse crowd of speakers made it an event to remind everyone of the importance of unity, diplomacy and building bridges instead of walls.
This was underlined by the same night’s social event motto “Global village”: Delegations from all over the world presented their countries specialities such as candies and alcohol. Our delegation had an amazing time getting to know all those other cultures while going from stand to stand like from country to country. Unfortunately the free alcohol led to, we quote, “delegate health and safety concerns” and the police had to intervene and end the party early. Nevertheless, while it lasted, it was one of our favorite conference moments where we got to meet the most people.
The second day of conference committee sessions commenced. Constance represented Denmark in a variety of committees and while it was overwhelming to debate on such a high level we adapted quickly since the chairs really created an atmosphere of encouragement and acceptance. It was remarkable to see everyone being so friendly, encouraging, and supportive to one another.
When we left the conference center in the late afternoon, a snowstorm had started hitting Montreal and we walked to the hostel weathering -20 degrees and masses of snow. Happy to have made it home we decided to spend the night in the hostel and to not go to the Social Event, which turned out to be the right decision because everyone had to leave the party early due to the weather conditions. All warm in the hostel we spent the night playing games, talking, and really bonding as a delegation.
Even though schools and universities were closed in Montreal on Wednesday because of the snowstorm our conference continued, but we got off at noon. Due to the blizzard situation we spent the afternoon in our hostel but some of us went on a stroll by the harbor at night, which was an extraordinary experience considering the winds and amount of snow.
Thursday’s committee sessions were a heated highlight of the conference. Draft resolutions were due and discussions as well as negotiations got more and more passionate and raging. Just imagine the relief when we got out for lunch after submitting our draft resolutions! The afternoon was spent debating about the papers and trying to find common ground, which worked very well for some but not so much for others.
After dinner we went to that night’s social event, which was themed “Apres ski”, once again taking place in a very impressive venue.
Friday was sadly already the last day of session. Part of the morning session was spent voting on amendments and resolutions but after that official, diplomatic part was taken care of fun sessions started. Some committees gave out awards (“like the best dressed delegate” award, which we indeed ended up receiving in the UNHRC thanks to the iconic red suits) while others started full out dance sessions or rap battles.
The closing ceremony was held in the Maison Symphonique de Montreal, a very impressive symphony building. Tired and exhausted but happy we watched the recap of the week’s events, still impressed by everyone’s spirit.
Since it was St. Patricks day we went to the dollar store and got some accessories to celebrate. When we got back there was already a party going on at our hostel that we joined in on and where we, once again, met many interesting people. Later that night we moved to the last social event of the conference which took place in a club called “New city gas”. This venue was an old industrial park that was turned into a club and definitely made for a highlight of the week.
While we were all overwhelmed and impressed by the fun, challenges, contacts and events of the conference, it was our delegations teamspirit that really was a huge part of our experience. Every night we cooked together, played games and talked before going out to the social events. Most of us did not really know each other beforehand, but each and every one of us grew close over the course of the week, which was probably also due to the fact that the 13 of us shared one chaotic and lively room. For us, amongst all other connections with people we met, that is what the WorldMUN spirit really is about.