A Debate of Diplomats

A Model United Nations (MUN. Em-Yoo-En if you prefer, m-uh-n if you prefer – never ‘moon’) is a simulation of the activities of the United Nations.

This, is easier said than done. The United Nations is the greatest intergovernmental organization that attempts to bridge the gap between all nations, big and small, and provide a common platform to decide issues ranging from gender inequality in Ethiopia, to chemical assault in Syria, to prison camps in North Korea, to drug cartels in Mexico. For this, the UN has many daughter organizations: its 5 principal organs – including the UN General Assembly and UN Security Council among others – and non-principal organs such as the UN Human Rights Council, WHO, UNICEF and so on.

A MUN tries to replicate the diplomatic debate that happens in the halls of Geneva – but with more focus on debate and less focus on diplomacy. And quite a lot of focus on the suits. And that one guy who walked into council in traditional Afghani attire because he was allowed to. Let’s not get into that.

Just like the UN, MUNs have a set of councils that they simulate, and these aren’t limited to organs of the UN – sometimes we go back in time, sometimes we go forward in time, sometimes we look into regional non-UN intergovernmental organizations, like NATO or Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

BITSMUN attempts to do just that: simulate councils of the UN with scope for diplomatic debate. In a fascinating mix of politics, International Relations, Disarmament, Anti-Terrorism, Humanitarianism and – most importantly – Lobbying, diplomatic debate is the order of the day when it comes to decisions that will be accepted by the international community. You can have fiery debates on personal issues, but while liaisoning with Governments, diplomacy matters; and that is what is what MUNs attempt to teach.

BITSMUN Hyderabad has been held annually, conducted by the BITSMUN Society of BPHC, since 2012. In 2012, there were four councils with around 150 participants in all; in 2013, there were five councils with around 200 participants; and in 2014, we attempt to simulate 6 councils, with a projected participation of 250 delegates. Over the years, BITSMUN has enjoyed various degrees of associations of the Student Union – affiliation, cooperation and even integration. After analysis of the history and the logistics involved, this year BITSMUN is being held on October 3, 4 and 5, in affiliation with ATMOS 2014 which will be held, of course, starting from 10th.

This year, BITSMUN attempts to simulate six councils – the General Assembly’s Legal component, the Security Council, and the Human Rights Council, out of the conventional organs of the UN; and the International Criminal Court, a historic simulation of the League of Nations, and a Futuristic Military Council, among the unconventional.

This edition of BITSMUN will be characterized, as always, by a tight focus on debate, professional news reporting, and transparent procedures of organization and evaluation of delegates’ lobbying skills. What exactly can I do, you ask?

As a student of BITS, there are several ways in which you can participate in, witness the proceedings of, or contribute to the organization of BITSMUN. Participation as a delegate or as a member of the press is open to all, and you can apply for participation at http://www.bits-mun.com. People can also register to witness the proceedings by volunteering as Liaison Officers – an LO’s job is to pass messages from one delegate to another, which will be in the form of chits, since cross-talk is not allowed in council. People can contribute to the organization: not only will you earn our undying love and a certificate of appreciation, but also the opportunity to work for an event of this magnitude – a golden one, I’m certain.

The best part? Attending or volunteering for BITSMUN means you get to do it and still don’t have to miss ATMOS.

So come over, check us out. Tell your friends.

Arvind Badri


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