Martijn van Iwaarden
Do you want to be challenged? Do you want your boundaries pushed? And do you want to do this in an ambitious international environment? Then you should join the Delegation of United Netherlands! My United Netherlands journey started back in high school, where I participated in the High School Program. However, when I went into the second year of my bachelor in history I wanted another challenge for myself. I came upon a Facebook post from United Netherlands, that asked if I wanted to go to Oxford, Harvard and New York. Of course I wanted to go there! However, looking back I can say that being a part of the delegation is so much more than just going to Oxford, Harvard and New York. It is an experience for which you cannot find an equal in your university life.
Being part of the United Netherlands delegation means that you will participate in the 10 ECTS accredited course United Nations Multilateral Diplomacy: Theory and Practice (UNMD). The UNMD however, is no standard university course. Together with 30 other students you are trained in public speaking, negotiating, lobbying and the ins and outs of Multilateral Diplomacy. During the intense 6 months training program, I not only learned a lot about the world of multilateral diplomacy, but I also learned a lot about myself, further developed skills I was not aware I had, and made an amazing group of friends.
The highlights and the moments your skills are put to the test are two Model United Nations: Oxford International Model United Nations (OxIMUN) and Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN). In Oxford, I dove into the complex world of oil scarcity, shale drilling, and sustainability, whilst representing Libya in the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries. In Harvard, I was paired up with my fellow delegate Frederike Vrancken. Together we represented Canada in the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, where we debated how we could improve United Nations Peacekeeping operations. The experience to deliver a speech in front of 350 fellow students and feel confident while doing it, to have influence on a resolution that is a product of over a hundred students working together, and to see how much I had improved at the end of UNMD, is something I can hardly describe.
The short version of what the UNMD entails, is that it is an amazing experience. Not only do you develop and challenge yourself, you do this in group of like-minded, driven individuals. For the long version of what the UNMD actually entails, you will have to see for yourself. I simply cannot stress enough, how much I enjoyed it and how much I learned during the delegation. Therefore, apply!