DanMUN at WorldMUN in Brussels

An interview with one of the delegates, Junior Sikabwe
Author: Mikala Sørensen, DanMUN Marketing Department Member

This spring, the Harvard Model United Nations, known as WorldMUN, was attended by some members of the DanMUN Society representing DanMUN. WorldMUN is a travelling MUN, usually attracting about 2,000 bright young minds from over 70 different countries. This year, the conference took place in Belgium, and DanMUN’ers were there to make their voices heard. The team consisted of: Sarah Vormsby, Mignote Mesfin Libsekal, Johan Juul Jensen, Marie Heldgaard Laursen, Maria Møller Stoffregen and Junior Sikabwe.
I had the chance to interview Junior about his experience in Brussels, and the result follows below.

Profile: Junior Sikabwe, is the DanMUN Society President and therefore also a DanMUN Board member. Furthermore, Junior works as Freelance Political Strategy and Communications Advisor and has worked with institutions such as the European Parliament & the French Embassy.

MUNs attended: DanMUN (twice), HamMUN, Vienna MUN (twice), EuroMUN, Israel MUN, Model European Union Tallinn, Model Nato Youth Summit, Paris International MUN, London International MUN, and Harvard WorldMUN

What made you decide to go to the WorldMUN in Brussels?
I’ve been involved with MUN for too long, and since I got a job in diplomacy, I wanted to find a way to say good bye to the simulation world, and WorldMUN was the perfect opportunity, because I’ve never been part of such a huge MUN and because it was my 10th university MUN as a participant.

Was this your last MUN?
Last one as participant. I’ve experienced a lot of MUNs, have gotten friends, a large network. I’ve learnt a lot and had a lot of fun, and I think it’s time for me to give back, and the way I can do so is by being active and involved with an MUN society, introducing people to the MUN world, sending delegations abroad and maybe also chairing mock sessions.

Which MUN has been the most memorable for you?
Well, DanMUN so far. It’s small, you get to know all the delegates, you can show up without being prepared, because there are relevant lectures briefing you about the topic, but just know the rules, they can be tricky. I got more great friends at DanMUN than at any other MUN, the social activities are also funnier at DanMUN because you know all the participants from day 1. The second on the list is Vienna, because it’s in the UN building and feels real – especially when you get a UN badge giving you access to the building.

Who did you represent in Brussels and what was the topic of your debates?
I represented the Republic of Moldova, a country very dear to me, in the First Committee of the General Assembly – Disarmament and International security Committee (DISEC). We discussed two topics: – drones legislation; and city criminality.

What did you do apart from the debates while in Brussels? How is a typical day?
I actually had a lot of things to do in Brussels. A typical day went something like this: WorldMUN at Egmont Palace, lunch at Place Luxembourg, roundtable on quality education in the European Parliament with the European Youth Forum and The European parliament intergroup. A launch of the 27th convention of the European Student Union at the Norwegian Embassy to the EU, plus a political debate between Morten Messerschmidt (Dansk Folkeparti) & Morten Helveg (Radikale Venstre) hosted by the Danish community in Brussels in the Danish church in Belgium. And also, of course, fun and catch up with friends.

Busy! What would you say people can expect to gain from going to WorldMUN?
They can expect a competitive environment and to an extent a chaotic one as well. When there are 400 delegates in one committee then it boils down to who speaks the most, submits the best resolution or the best amendment. If you are new to MUN then you will probably be overwhelmed, however as an experienced MUN’ster you will probably find the chaos enjoyable and motivating.

Gotcha – it’s a seasoned MUN’ster experience then. But, what do you think people gain from MUNs in general? And was WorldMUN the dot over the i of your MUN participatory career as you hoped?
Model UN is a motivational experience. It’s fun to pretend being a diplomat, a world leader solving the world’s most important problems. Model UN activates your imagination and creativity. With MUNs, we also enjoy exploring new places, sharing common experiences with fellow delegates and friends, and making new friends with smart people, including the best and the brightest from other countries. We also develop our confidence and public speaking skills.
When I first attended an MUN, I didn’t expect anything, no one of the people around me knew about it and since then I’ve been all over the world, got friends in most countries in the world, and my understanding of the world is just different. I remembered during last General Assembly in New York, I was watching on live stream then Israel motioned for a right to reply and shortly after that I met Andrea Coloma, DanMUN Head of Marketing, at her working place and then told her about it, and then the people around there asked: “What are you talking about?”
It’s just awesome to have a different understanding of the world which is not the common one.

Well put. On a final note, what can one do to get into MUNs, as in – which way in would you recommend?
There are hundreds of MUNs every year all over the world, just google “upcoming Model UN” I recommend it to everyone with an interest for international politics, conflict resolution or intercultural exchange.