(Photo courtesy of United Nations)
El Camino Real Charter

Column: Experience in a Model United Nations Conference – UNICEF Committee

Model United Nations is my passion and it was my very first conference, in which I was in the UNICEF committee, where I discovered my interest and passion towards debate. As I was filling out the applications for the conference, I went online and did some research about each of the committees. The very first option on there was UNICEF, and it was my last.

I already had a passion for raising awareness about issues related to children, as my dream career is to become a pediatrician, and debating on issues and coming up with solutions to those problems was exciting!

Immediately, when I got onto the website, I was met by their logo and mission statement, “UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.” Even though this was a lot of information to take in, I learned that the mission of UNICEF is to help, support, and protect children in any way possible. This was the starting of my Model United Nations journey and passion.

As my classmates and I started boarding our school bus to the University of Southern California (SCMUN), I was met by troubling thoughts, such as, “Will I be a good delegate for this conference? How will I even deliver a speech in front of 50 peers from other schools?”

Overseeing these troubling thoughts, I told myself, “Ok, Sriya. The main mission that you want to accomplish is to learn more about UNICEF and how Model United Nations works. This is your very first conference at a big university, so take a deep breath.”

Once our MUN team got off the bus and the administrators got a headcount, we started entering the campus of the University of Southern California. The scenery was beautiful and the campus was a very welcoming environment. After taking our group picture, we were escorted to our own committees. I still remember till today, the time when I entered the committee and looking for my country, which was France. I finally saw my placard and clipped the name tag to the side of my suit. This was when I saw my chairs, Nandita and Max.

After the chairs called out for Attendance and the protocol of “Present or Present & Voting,” we started to give our first speeches. I raised my placard, and I was chosen by the chairs to present my stance on that committee’s topic: Child Migration. I explained how the numbers of child migration were increasing due to gang violence, inconsistent necessities, and family conflicts. In my speech, I also addressed France’s stance and solutions and as I listened to my fellow delegates’ speeches, I also heard their opinions and agreed with their stances on child migration, too.

During the time of Moderated Caucuses, I called, “France motions for a 7 minute moderated caucus with 30 seconds speaking time per delegate for the role of NGOs in child migration.” My motion passed and therefore, the chairs called on France (my delegation) if I wanted the first speech or the last; and I was the last delegate to deliver my stance.

Overall, in this committee, I learned about the measures that UNICEF has taken and all the issues that child migration raises, with some possible solutions. Our team’s resolution passed and I was glad that I accomplished my goal and even more than that, as I got the recognition of “Honorable Mention” from USC. As I continued to research and find more about UNICEF, my passion for helping children also increased.

Today, I continue to build my passion for MUN and currently, I am currently on my high school’s Model United Nations team. On that note, I encourage you to explore Model United Nations and find your passion towards an issue that you think needs to be addressed more.