‘I worked incredibly hard in Oxford, but I had fun doing it.’ Pim Jager joined United Netherlands in Oxford to participate in a MUN: a Model United Nations conference. ‘It was a lot of fun! I’ve lobbied non-stop.’
Pim’s lobbying hit the right note in Oxford: he won the Diplomacy Award (see photo), the award for the best delegate. ‘This means that the jury thought I was the best in contributing to the debate and the resolution.’
The students of UnitedNL represented China, Lybia, Italy and Spain in the MUN. Pim was member of the Committee of Science & Technology for Development and his fellow UnitedNL student Dylan was a member of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Dylan Waisman also received an award in Oxford: the Verbal Commendation Award. ‘I am so proud. This prize is recognition of my skills in diplomacy and public speaking.’ Dylan should be proud of herself. Only two months ago she froze when she needed to speak during a MUN training. ‘I felt terrible. You stand up, everybody is looking at you and you just don’t know what to say. Because of this I was quite nervous for Oxford. What if I would blackout during a debate there? But I trained hard and I was well prepared. As a result, it went very well. It got hard before it got easier.’
The MUN in Oxford is a ‘final rehearsal’ before the MUN of Harvard University in Boston in February. 3000 students from all around the world participate in Harvard National MUN. This tournament lasts four days and universities of various countries let their experienced delegates participate. The delegation of United Netherlands competes with new students every year. Pim can’t wait to go to Harvard. ‘I got such a kick from the MUN in Oxford! It was a couple of days of work hard – play hard. For me such a combination is very important. During the socials you build a better bond with the people in your committee than during the professional meetings. While you benefit from friendships the most, that’s the same in real life. For example, As ‘China’ I was working together with ‘Russia’. The delegate representing Russia was very nice, but if he had not been, I still would have cooperated with him. Just like soccer: you will kick the ball to the teammate you don’t like so much if it’s the best thing for the game.’
Dylan is also looking forward to going to Harvard. ‘Oxford was so much fun and it went very well, so now I’m even more excited to go to Harvard! We are ready!’
The trainers and the board of United Netherlands share the sentiment. They rewarded their group of delegates for their hard work with United Netherlands scarfs and ties.
Pim and Dylan are one of the 30 students participating in the course United Nations and Multilateral Diplomacy: Theory and Practice of United Netherlands. For short, ‘the Delegation’. During six months, they will be trained in public speaking, diplomacy, leadership and negotiation. They will need all these skills when participating in conference simulations of the United Nations in Oxford and Harvard. Pim, Dylan and their fellow ‘delegates’ will represent a country during the simulations of the UN, known as a Model United Nations (MUN). They will try to solve global issues by keeping the policy of their ‘own’ country in mind.
Article by Radboud University