Something of a veteran of GIMUN, IE University student Ghita El Hachmi took things to the next level this year by acting as Chair of one of the debates.
This annual conference brings young people together in Geneva in a series of talks designed to show how the UN (United Nations) works, and the value of both its work and skilled, constructive debate. She told us about her experience, and what she’ll take from it into her studies and beyond.
My name is Ghita El Hachmi. I’m from Morocco and I’m a third-year student in Politics, Law and Economics at IE University. I participated in GIMUN 2020 (Geneva International Model United Nations) in February 2020 as a Chair of the Pan-African Congress of 1945. It was my third MUN (Model United Nations) participation in general, but my first time chairing.
Back in September 2019, Victoria, one of the leaders of the debate club, told me about GIMUN. She told me that since I was bilingual, I would be perfect for chairing a bilingual committee. I took her advice and applied.
The debate club, present in both campuses, is a great opportunity for students to practice their public speaking skills, to meet people and to debate topics different than the ones studied in class. Last year, I represented IE University in the “IE University in IEU vs Artillery Academy” debate on the Trump administration. I’m happy to say that preparing for this debate and the debate itself helped improve my skills a lot, and boosted my confidence. It’s one of the reasons why I decided to apply to GIMUN 2020. Also, the debate club helped me meet the people I share an apartment with. I couldn’t wish for better roommates.
In one word, the Model of the United Nations was amazing. We were in the “Palais des Nations” in Geneva, and we felt like real delegates. We dressed formally. We spoke conventionally. We followed rules of procedure during the debates. We were walking around heads up, happy and proud to be there. My committee was bilingual, so I felt like I was in a real UN committee, with interpreters and translators. It was the first time I’d ever managed a debate in both languages, and it was a good experience.
As a Chair, I learnt that patience is really important. I also noticed that people hear each other but don’t listen to each other, and that sometimes people talk just to talk. But most importantly, everyone is willing to make a small sacrifice in order to reach an agreement. Reaching an agreement among different delegates was my ultimate goal. By the end of the week, they wrote a resolution together. A resolution they all agreed on. I was really proud of them. Personally, I feel like the most important thing I took from this experience is the people I met. GIMUN was a week-long, meaning that we saw the same people every day and every night. I made friends that I am confident I will see again. I met people from different countries, with different backgrounds, but with whom I shared the same passion.
Participating in MUNs helps you improve as a person. You become more confident, you learn to listen and not just to hear, you meet people just like you and you gain an insight of what politics look like at the UN. Regarding the UN, I feel it’s not perfect, but it’s the best thing the world has so far. After GIMUN, I came to the conclusion that so many conflicts are avoided because the UN gives the possibility of discussion in a neutral and peaceful environment, giving more time for these people to think again and not consider war as their first and best option.
I would recommend MUNs to everyone, even to people who don’t want to go into politics. I believe it’s a good experience—you learn a lot and you meet a lot of people. Moreover, MUNs are not just people representing countries—they’re bigger than that. It’s Presidents managing the debate and leading delegates towards an agreement, it’s Under-Secretaries-General coming up with crises, organizing events, taking care of logistics, receiving applications, helping students with accommodation and Visa applications, etc. It’s also Secretaries-General overlooking everything and putting heart and soul into perfecting the conference. I believe that everyone can find their place in MUNs, and personally, I was happy with being a Chair.
An unequivocal recommendation for the GIMUN experience from Ghita, whose evident passion for her subject and belief in the constructive power of debate have taken her to the position of Committee Chair. So positive have her experiences been, in fact, that it was her previous participation at GIMUN that helped her decide to study politics. Participation in these Model United Nations offer unique insights into how the real UN works and invaluable personal skills for their future careers.
Congratulations to Ghita and the other IE University representatives at this year’s conference.