Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20)

Agenda Topics

  1. The Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication
  2. Keeping the Green Economy Blue: Protecting Oceans and Fisheries for Future Generations
  3. Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development


Janee Aiken
International Studies

Monica Siu
International Studies

It felt like a plunge into cold water. I couldn’t seem to move. The shock of seeing those imaginary people become real left me paralyzed at the entrance. It was finally real. It was no longer an image in my mind, nor was it just empty words from my colleagues. Model United Nations was real; maybe it was a little too real.

The Model UN Conference is something no student can completely prepare themselves for. The advice, the stories, and assignments were just a fraction of what this conference entailed. The students were buzzing and the sound was overwhelming. Among the feelings of anxiety, there were also feelings of excitement. The air was not as threatening as I thought it would be. Listening to the words of ex-veterans, I pictured students with fiendish eyes, thirsting for blood. We had been prepared for war; or at least the worst. However, this did not appear to be the case.

The Conference of Sustainable Development and its chair was asking that all groups and delegations consider the need to create one great resolution. This meant that we would be faced with many mergers. During our class and among all other students, there was a sense of competition but this was a strong call for cooperation. I found that this atmosphere was much more appropriate for me; and I was not alone in that regard. We had all come with a strong set of skills and information under our belt. We had strong leaders that helped us gather our research; helped us learn the technicalities of paper writing; and helped us prepared for the mental game. However, there were moments that cannot be taught or prepared for. I only say this because a lot of what you finally experience can only be experienced; not taught. Setting motions, writing position papers, and resolutions were only a part of the conference; a part that felt like a series of unconscious movements that we had well understood by this point. All our skills were challenged. It was a stream of “how wells” – how well do you understand the subject, how well were you able to formulate a creative solution, how well can you pitch an idea, how well can you sell yourself, how well can you think on your toes, how well do you deal with pressure, etc. The list goes on and on. Fortunately, I found that our team did not lack in any of these areas because our department has a large group of well-rounded students. This experience was just not limited to the conference or classroom, but it also includes the students that our department and that City College have produced.


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