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Irene Kwon: Uniting the International Model UN Community Through GLOMUN 2020

Irene Kwon (Phillips Academy Andover ’21) is a rising senior from Atlanta, GA. As a delegate who has been participating in Model UN for four years, Irene was inspired to create her own virtual Model UN conference together with friends from all over the world as a summer project during quarantine. She has the honor of serving as one of the Secretaries General for Global Leaders Online Model United Nations (GLOMUN) 2020 and is excited to share more details about this project with all of you.

About GLOMUN:

GLOMUN, or Global Leaders Online Model United Nations, is a virtual Model UN conference that will take place from August 1 to 2. Our leadership team comes from fourteen countries and every inhabited continent. To showcase our conference’s diversity, we will have thirteen committees, featuring two languages (English and Spanish) and two MUN procedures (THIMUN and UNA-USA). All net conference proceeds will be donated to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, as our hearts go out to those affected by the pandemic.


Inspiration:

Since the very beginning of our Model UN careers, we delegates have been taught that through cooperation and collaboration, we can achieve anything. The foundation of Model UN rests on the principles of being able to work together and communicating our ideas articulately and logically. We write working paper after working paper, give speech after speech, yet our work is only the precursor to the real future, when we ascend to leadership positions beyond the scope of high school. When the COVID-19 pandemic caused opportunities around the world to be postponed or cancelled, I watched the international Model UN community come together in solidarity, and we reminded each other that despite the world’s hardships, we could use this as an opportunity to create something new, something better, capitalizing on the lessons we had learned since the beginning of our Model UN careers. This inspired me to consider the possibility of creating an online conference, one that could involve delegates far beyond my own country and continent. Together with delegates and friends I had met from all over the world, I helped GLOMUN come to life. We truly embody our conference theme of connection, as delegates are uniting not just through the Internet, but also figuratively, in the sense that we are uniting in pursuit of a common goal, which is to push the frontiers of virtual Model UN and embrace challenge as an opportunity to effect change.


Challenges:

Definitely the time zones. With members of the leadership team scattered across fourteen countries and fifteen time zones, the biggest challenge is scheduling meetings at a time where everyone can be present. Luckily, every single team member is so dedicated and passionate that the impossible becomes possible, and once a week, we are able to reunite and share our weekly progress with one another.


Reflection:

Though the prospect of planning a Model UN conference seemed daunting at first, I was amazed at how much support we received from delegates all over the world. Without their faith in us and in our mission statement, I’m not sure if we would have actualized this dream, and I realize now that taking that first step really is half the battle. Once we took that first step, the entire process became much smoother and more enjoyable as we started to see tangible progress week after week. I also can’t help but recognize that with any project, it becomes much easier with a team. My incredible Secretariat and leadership team compensates for the areas that I myself lack, and it’s only because we are all together that we are able to complete a project like GLOMUN. Though I don’t know how to code a website or curate a truly aesthetic Instagram feed (@glomun2020 !!), it’s because I have other people around me who do have those abilities and can make up for my shortcomings. It’s truly the virtue of teamwork.


A Sneak Peek of GLOMUN 2020:

Though I can’t reveal too much, we are working hard to ensure that GLOMUN delivers every single aspect of a real conference experience. We will be holding plenary sessions as usual, featuring distinguished speakers, as well as an awards ceremony that can remind you of your time at GLOMUN 2020. Our committee options are exciting and novel, ranging from topics such as rights of journalists in conflict zones, the 1953 CIA Coup in Iran, and the human invasion of the fairy tale universe.


Get Involved!

If you are involved in Model UN, please consider registering as a delegate for GLOMUN 2020! I promise that this conference will be a fantastic learning opportunity, and our team is working tirelessly to deliver an incredible committee experience. You can find out more about GLOMUN by visiting our website: glomun.org


This article was written as part of the Student Alliance’s Student Stories. You may find more information about the various articles on our website www.thestudentalliance.org and Instagram page @thestudentalliance. As always, thanks for reading!


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