Our delegation arrived one day before the conference to the enchanting city of Istanbul to use our extra time for some sightseeing, as one does not visit Istanbul every day. We had the chance to walk between the ancient walls of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, along with deepening our knowledge of the Turkish cuisine. After our leisure time the conference began on Monday. Personally, I was incredibly curious about it, because it’s debating structure contained several new methods. Furthermore, my committee had more or less an open agenda, which means that the delegates could decide on what are the main aspects of the topic they would like to debate on. In the morning we had the opportunity to improve our debating skills on different workshops and finally at 5 pm the Secretary General opened Model United Nations Istanbul 2014. The one thing that was the most memorable for me from the Opening Ceremony, was the concert of some university students, that helped everyone to relax a bit before the sessions started and to remind us, that we are not only here to develop ourselves professionally, but also to have fun.
The first difference on MUNIST - compared to the conferences I have attended earlier – was that our first session was held right after the opening ceremony in the evening. I represented Tunisia in the Mediterranean Summit on the Reconstruction of Northern Africa. This committee was special for many reasons, for example all Northern African states were represented by two delegates, one of them was the Head of State and the other person was the Minister of Foreign Affairs. I have to admit that our topic was truly difficult and complex, as we had to discuss the economic, social and political aspects of the issue in three days. On the first day it was a bit hard to start the debate as the structure was new for most of us, furthermore we did not really understood what kind of final document we should come up with. Fortunately, we had helpful chairs, who pushed the debate forward when we were stuck or explained us the rules again. On the rest of the days the flow of debate was much more fluent, in addition we were among those committees, who completed their final documents the earliest, so we still had time for a photo and to sign each other’s placards before the closing ceremony. On the closing ceremony, as usually, we had the chance to encounter ourselves with the work of the other committees and the rewards were announced. One thing I was incredibly proud of, was that my delegate partner has won the Best Delegate title in our committee.
However, one has to admit that MUN is not all about professionalism, but also about meeting new people and having fun. Unfortunately, the organised parties were not the best, but it did not ruin the great atmosphere we had. And most probably slowly everyone finds out that if the Hungarian delegation does not like the organised parties, than we organise one for ourselves. For instance one night the club was extremely crowded so we decided to explore Istanbul at night on our own and ended up in the middle of a traditional Turkish wedding in a Shisha bar.
After the conference has ended, we decided to stay for one more day in Istanbul, to explore the Topkapi Palace, the Grand Bazaar and where one can drink the best coffee in the city. In the evening we also visited a traditional Turkish bath that helped us relax after the busy week. We spent our last night in Istanbul in a small hostel in the middle of the party district and the ‘festival feeling’ was guaranteed by the live concert held under our rooms. We arrived home on Sunday exhausted, nevertheless enriched with a lot of new experiences, as one does not always cross the Bosporus.
Ms Kata Szalai
- Date: 18th - 22th July 2014
- Participants: 11 delegates from IDSA
- Main focus: Model UN