By Emma Reiser, MUTV-23 News reporter

 

From Feb. 18 through Feb. 20,  Mizzou’s Model United Nations team attended MidwestMUN, a virtually held Model UN conference. MIZMUN successfully left the conference with one award and four honorable mentions. 

Conference attendee and Model UN Treasurer Michael Warner explains what members do in Model UN.

“Basically, Model UN allows you to simulate being within the United Nations. So you play a country and use their political beliefs and their agendas as your own.” Warner says. “You try to write resolutions and best represent [your country] as well as you can, while everyone else is doing the same thing from their own points of view.”

Before the pandemic, the MIZMUN team would travel to these conferences in person. 

“You would walk into your conference room and it would be full of, potentially over 100 people, representing their own countries.” 

Warner goes on to describe the huddles of people working together, crowding around a singular computer, all attempting to contribute their ideas to one paper. 

“It was very, very different. Because beforehand, it was a lot of face-to-face communication,” Warner mentions.

That face-to-face experience was not available this year. Instead, the conference was moved to Gatherly. 

“It’s fairly similar to zoom, except it has a board where you can click your icon with your name and country and move it around. If you click on another person’s dot, it’ll start up a face-to-face video chat with them and up to 15 people can join said video chat.” 

Warner says this online function was actually easier when it came to collaboration. Through the use of Google Docs and Gatherly, “if you managed to get a word in, everybody could hear it and generally, it would be added to the resolution,” says Warner.

A resolution is best described as a list of suggested solutions to a specific problem, and within the conference, there are multiple committees attempting to solve different problems. 

Warner was on the National Security Council Committee representing South Africa. His committee was focused on water scarcity and its relation to conflict. 

“Similar to how we have viewed minerals and such in the past, in certain nations water has become a precious finite resource.”

Warner was in fact one of the members who took home an award last week. He received the “Crisis Award” for his committee, despite only being in the club for two years. Warner says he joined MIZMUN to branch out of an echo chamber and face new ideas.

“The competition itself forces you to use a different country’s viewpoints as your own…while they might not necessarily agree with what you think, it allows you to understand where they might be coming from,” states Warner.

If you are interested in joining MIZMUN, you can contact them at mizzoumun@gmail.com or find more information on their Mizzou Engage page.

 

Edited by Rachel Henderson

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