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Long nights and new friends

Delegation headed by ESB Business School takes part in the first online National Model United Nations conference

By Katrin Reil

The decision was made early this year - for the second year running, the National Model United Nations (NMUN), would not be able to go ahead in person in New York in 2021. Instead, NMUN invited students from all over the world to the first online event from March 28 to 31. The Reutlingen University delegation headed by ESB Business School represented the country of Rwanda and mastered this task brilliantly.

With a few exceptions, the entire team from the previous year was able to attend the conference. Back then, the event had been postponed by a year due to the pandemic. Now the delegation met again online - and across national borders, because some of the students are currently abroad.

This time, the preparation also took place online. Prior to the event, the team had an online meeting with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations. “This allowed us to exchange information about common diplomatic practices, key partners and Rwanda's priorities so that we could reflect the country as realistically as possible,” says NMUN participant Maximilian Münch.

Finally, the time come - on the conference platform, the delegation from Reutlingen took part in numerous formal and informal sessions in which they represented "their" country, for example in committees on the topics of disarmament, sustainable energy, and sustainable development goals. Delegation member Mathis Kary draws a positive conclusion, saying “Although the conference was held online, nothing was lost from the learning experience. We still soon got to talk with delegates from all over the world, we represented Rwanda well and made contacts that will stay with us for a long time.”

Nevertheless, he and the other delegates hope that the next team will be able to attend an NMUN event in New York next year. There are also very practical reasons for this - “For us, the conference took place from 3:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. German time. The team from Hawaii had to start at 3:30 in the morning, the one from Vladivostok at 11:30. Even though we were happy to put up with the long nights, we would be glad for our successors if everyone could meet again under the Statue of Liberty for NMUM 2022.”