General Assembly 2nd (GA2)

Second Committee: Economic and Financial (ECOFIN)

Agenda Topics

  1. The Role of Intellectual Property in Facilitating Trade and Attracting Foreign Direct Investment
  2. The Role of Microcredit in Promoting Economic Development
  3. Freshwater Management and Economic Development


Yahya Alyafai
Political Science | International Studies | VP of Leader’s Against Systematic Injustice Club

The Model UN conference is the best educational experience I ever had. I learned a lot about the subject matter, the people around me, and also about myself. I learned about the subject matter by leaning how the diplomatic work is done, the long hours, and the long sleepless nights, and I got a taste of how diplomats spend their time. I learn about others the fact that we are a team and that we have to look at what brings us together rather than what takes us apart. I learned a lot about myself, that I talk while sleeping, and that I am a good negotiator and that I am patient and that I can bring people together, stuff I didn’t know about my self.

The closing ceremony of the conference was in the General Assembly of the United Nations, which was a very exciting thing to go through. I made a lot of friends, from all over the world: Italy, Germany, Thailand, Vietnam, and Fiji. That was a very unexpected thing to do. I didn’t expect to see someone from Fiji, I had only drank the water that is called Fiji, I never thought I would meet someone from that lovely Island. Overall the Model UN was the best experience I ever had.

Tawhid Islam

Being a transfer student, this was my first semester at CCNY and I didn’t really know anyone. I didn’t really have time to get to know my fellow classmates because being employed and having enough time for school alone was a task.  Getting to know other people wasn’t a priority. My grades and my job were my priority, and in that order. Then came time for other things like the gym and finally making friends, respectively. After the first two-three priorities, I was usually so tired, that I didn’t get a chance to make new friends, even though I love people and working with them. CCNY Model United Nations changed that.

Model United Nations (MUN). If I could sum it up in just one sentence, this would be it: One of the BEST experiences of my life and something that I will never forget. I was very hesitant when I first started the class, but now I am so thankful for having been given the opportunity to represent CCNY, as one of the delegates, at the National Model United Nations conference (NMUN). It was unforgettable in every sense of the world and I can’t even come close to explaining the experience, because the only way to understand it is to live through it.

Starting off the semester, Joao was very adamant about certain things and I wasn’t sure why some things were so much more important than others, but now I know. All the research that we were asked to do, the formatting we were told to follow, and the sample resolutions we had to write. It was all to prepare us for the event that would encompass four nights and five days of our lives. For many of us, including myself, it felt like one very long day with 2-4 hours of naps in between our work. It was the best, longest, day of my life with its own rewards.

You don’t sleep, and even when you want to, it’s just at the back of your mind. You wake up, and whether you’re a morning person or not, you realize that there are certain things you need to accomplish that day, and no matter what, you’re going to finish them. These things include doing additional research, writing resolutions, brainstorming ideas, and negotiating with other delegates so that you can understand what concepts are important to them and see if they fit into your own ideas. Sleep isn’t a priority. Everyone understands that and everyone who you work with is running on the same mentality. Once you have that realization that these people are just like you, you begin to think differently because you are ultimately working towards one goal.

When you eat, you do it with other people that are in your group. You get to know each other as individuals. You grow with these people and as you learn about them, you learn about yourself because they learn about you. You spend time with complete strangers and at the end of the five day period you realize that it feels as if you’ve known them for years. Although you may not know everything about it, the information you take away with you is enough to create an everlasting foundation that you can build upon. Sharing snacks, candy, and drinks was all a part of the learning process and in a sense a diplomatic strategy to form a interpersonal relationship with the people that you are working with.

The first night was spent on setting an agenda and of course majority rules, so remember to choose wisely when you decide which topics you decide to prioritize. The second day was spent on forming groups and brainstorming ideas. The third day was spent on writing, re-writing and editing resolutions. If your ideas were merged with another group, make sure you leave time to work out the minor details. The resolution writing process is extensive. It is very detailed in areas and there is no way to just do it last minute or not put effort into it. The third and fourth days were also spent gaining support for your ideas and enlisting the help of others. The fifth day is the final day in which the voting procedures occur, so if one of your working papers doesn’t become a draft resolution, you better hope you’re a sponsor on another one. Finally the voting takes place and draft resolutions are either accepted or discarded. Awards are announced on the sixth day and the feeling of knowing that your school was recognized for its efforts is amazing. As a team, you were able to bring honor to your school as being a member of the distinguished delegation tier.

My experience wouldn’t be complete without some of the downsides that may happen which I was unfortunate enough to experience. My working paper never became a draft resolution. This was through no fault of my own, or my group, and I believe this wholeheartedly because I know how hard we worked on that paper.  I spent no less than 50 hours on that paper personally, which doesn’t include the efforts of the 11 other members that helped with their own ideas. On the last day, as all the other draft resolutions were being given back, we never received ours. When we went to initially inquire about it, we were told that it was being edited at the moment. The second time we went, the director and her team spent time actually looking for our paper and when they finally found it, it was “too late to do anything about it and they would get to it when they could.” Not only did those words undermine our efforts as a whole group, but also they wouldn’t accept any form of responsibility for misplacing our paper. This however didn’t stop me from experiencing the rest of the conference including the voting procedure and closing ceremonies.

I was lucky enough to be accompanied by a great co-delegate Yahya and a back-up delegate Yukari, who were essential to the General Assembly 2nd Committee team. Yukari provided the essential functions like reminding me about different resolutions that were passed previously, doing extra research on topics or something as simple as bringing me snacks or a phone/laptop charger. She did it because was a part of the team and because she wanted to help us in every way possible.

Lastly, I’d just like to end by saying that regardless of the events that unfolded, I would undoubtedly do this conference again in a heartbeat. There would be no hesitation if I had the chance to experience it again. I can’t emphasize it enough. Humaira, who was our TA, did an amazing job in filling in any gaps that may have been missed, and also through her support and questions about anything we didn’t understand. The head delegates that accompanied us, Gina, Tahsin, and John were amazing. I’ve never met such supportive people in my life to which I was almost a complete stranger to them aside from the few classes we had prior to the conference. There was a different kind of genuine love towards us from their own desires of wanting to experience the conference again, and also because they thoroughly understood our emotions and mentality because they had experienced it before. Just try it once, I promise you’ll be addicted. The last time I experienced something as different as this was when I pledged Sigma Beta Rho. It will definitely help me to grow as a person because through the entire event I learned a lot about myself, my limits and how much I can push past those limits, especially if I have the right support. Thank you. =]


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