Harvard WorldMUN

Written on March 26, 2019 by Campus Life in IE Stories

The Harvard WorldMUN conference lasted from the 18th of March until the 22nd of March with over 1800 delegates from all over the world, IE University Debate Club Segovia sent 11 delegates from the BBA degree, BIR degree, Architecture as well as Law. The conference took place in Madrid Palacio Municipal de Congressos and it was an amazing opportunity for the students and members of the debate club to put into practice the theory from class and meet students from all over the world with various perspectives. Our 11 delegates were representing the states of Kuwait, Gabon and Dominicana across a committees such as Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, Special Political and Decolonization Committee, Historical Legal Committee and the World Health Organization. Below we have the day-by-day report of what occurred in the various committees and overall events of the conference.

Day 1 Monday

The day started off with a training session for the General Assembly committees. It was basic and short. It cleared off all the parliamentary inquiries that we had and what we would be expecting for the coming four days of the conference.

The atmosphere of the whole event was pretty enthusiastic, but people were also tired from their travels. After the training, we had the opening ceremony. The ceremony was grand, with an orchestra, dance performances and speeches from very important people. We had Mayor Carmena speak about the new Central Madrid, no pollution zone initiative, and then have the King of Spain give an encouraging speech about the leaders of today and tomorrow. The biggest surprise was the presence of the King; for many of us, it was the first time that we saw him. The day also included meeting other people from various universities and countries, getting to know them. These were after all the people we are going to spend the next four days with. Due to this event an interaction is formed between the Madrid and Segovia campus of IE. It was refreshing to see new faces and new perspectives. That night was the most riveted social event of Harvard WorldMUN, Global Village. Delegations from all over the world set up booths representative of their home culture and shared various trinkets and drinks and foods. Our delegates thoroughly enjoyed socializing with those from all over the world and experiencing a different culture right in the heart of Madrid in Palacio Cibeles.


Day 2 Tuesday


The debating session started with the speakers’ list on which the delegates gave speeches on the subject of Women Sexual reproduction rights. The speakers raised different issues on which we discussed later when the motions were opened to moderated caucuses. Some of these subjects included the social cultural norms that are against sexual women reproductive rights of women such as the female genital mutilation.


The day began rather slowly; Kyle Sargent, the Chair, introduced himself and his assistants, as well as outline some personal preferences for procedures and whatnot. The excitement of the room died down somewhat quickly as the event began as note passing and electronic devices were not allowed for the first hour of the committee session (which was then extended longer).

For somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours, we trudged through the speakers list as we attempted to make our way through the some 120+ delegations present. The first session ended with roughly 60 or so having presented their positions. Lunch was enjoyably spent with other IE students. The second session began to see more liveliness, as various motions comically failed one after another until finally some moderated caucuses were passed, and blocs for working papers quickly began to form. The remainder of the second session remains a blur of constant communication with delegations scrambling to speak, negotiate, and create established collective stances. With papers due by 9am the following morning, some would continue to work on them late into the night.


As representative of the Commonwealth of Dominica and member of the WHO, I have been able to talk about the usage of biotechnology and its related products, for example, GMO foods. The first committee session has mainly brought forward the position of different countries, which can be largely divided in two big blocs: in favor of and against GMOs. Moreover, some delegates have raised concerns over issues like GMO labelling, risk assessment and public awareness. I, as representative of Dominica, have particularly focused on issues related to labelling and public awareness. During the second committee session, the emphasis has largely been placed on finding common positions with other countries and, therefore, various blocs with particular concerns have emerged as the session progressed. Working paper drafting has already began and the focus is now being placed on finding specific solutions to issues like GMO labelling.


The start of the sessions began with many speeches regarding the significance between the right to sovereignty and the right to secede. All the speeches gave the delegates an idea and understanding of all the different positions of the various committee members. This enabled the delegates to begin their formation of blocs and once the chair allowed the beginning of lobbying time, double delegations left the conference hall and proceeded to lobby extensively forming blocs and started working on the working papers; well into lunchtime. As debate raged inside on the various points and issues to include in the working papers, and delegates outside worked tirelessly we were ready to anticipate the rest of the conference and the solutions to emerge out of our committee regarding peaceful ways to declare independence and self govern.

Day 3 Wednesday


On Tuesday, we split into seven different groups that had the goal of writing working papers defending their interests and aiming to be a possible resolution for this social and humanitarian issue. As an African country, Sanae and I decided to participate and to have our name written in most of the working papers which we believe were realistic. On Wednesday, the debates began with a presentation of each working paper. We had the opportunity to ask questions to each leader of the group regarding some doubts and asking for some clarifications. At the end of the presentation of these potential resolutions, one delegate launched an immoderate cocus so that each block could collaborate. We therefore decided to bring together three resolutions, 1.5, 1.7 and 1.2 because they were similar and shared the same interests.


Wednesday was both a tense and a relax day. On one side, the blocks had to submit their working papers very early in the morning for the chair to choose those that would pass. On the other side, we only had one committee session, so after it finished at 12pm we were free to go home or join an in-conference trip to El Escorial. At night some of us went to one of the most famous clubs in Madrid, Discoteca Kapital, to party with the other participants of WorldMUN


As always the session started with a roll call after which, the entire duration of the committee meeting was spent to discuss a more detailed specifics of the legality of US intervention in Syria 2014 and credibility of G.W. Bush’s declaration of the “war on terror” after 9/11. Part of these debates were dedicated to interpretation of Article 51 of UN Charter VII, justification and possible modernization of Jus Ad Bellum and Jus In Bello principles as well as application of Unwilling and/or Unable Doctorine to the Syrian case in 2014. The atmosphere inside the room was extremely intense as one poorly selected word could change the direction of the debate. Regardless of that, the debate outside of the room got heated too. The chair required at least one of two delegates per country to be present in the room. Meaning that the second delegate could lobby outside of the room. Previously formed blocks based on common interest, quickly gathered delegates outside in order to work on Working Papers, while maintaining communication with inside debate in order to be up to date.

Day 4 Thursday


We discussed on the proposed working papers 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3. The working papers were presented by the proposers of the resolutions and when questions were asked, the bloc members responded in favor of their proposed resolutions. In the end the committee had open the floor for amendments where delegates proposed possible amendments to some of the resolutions and the collective vote by the delegates decided whether or not it would be accepted or not. By the end of the sessions on Thursday we had three resolutions with amendments to be voted on Friday.


During its fourth session, the Historical Legal Committee spent a considerable amount of time discussing the working papers that had been presented the day before in multiple moderated caucuses. Various delegations put forth concerns regarding the feasibility or legality of some of the solutions written in the working papers. Other delegates also expressed their unease regarding definitions that were created such as the definition for terrorist acts. Following the debate, various blocs merged in order to reduce the amount of resolutions presented to the council and combine similar ideas within the papers.

Following the break, and the 2:00 PM deadline, five resolutions were presented to the council. Of the five, only three were allowed to be formally introduced: 1.1, 1.3, and 1.5. Nonetheless, following technical mishaps and a slight misunderstanding, resolution 1.2 was also allowed to be presented. The day concluded with the presentation of the resolutions and opportunities for questions and answers.


Thursday was an intense day for the committee as delegates scrambled to merge the various working papers into draft resolutions. In the spirit of diplomacy and negotiations, merging was heavily emphasized, resulting in the need for delegates to find common grounds amongst their various policies and state interest. It was remarkable to see the skill of diplomacy being tested as the draft resolutions were worded and re worded again and again to satisfy all member states. The intensity in which each delegate were pursuing their individual state policy lead to an extension of time to work on the papers, causing the time allocated for amendments to be moved to the next day.

Day 5 Friday


For the last committee session in SPECPOL, both blocks presented the amendments for the Resolution drafts. Indeed, amendments such as strengthening the Agenda 2030 of the Decade of the Sustainable Development for Non-Self-Governing territories (SDGS 4 NSGTs), to specify the recognition cases, the requirements of the formation of states or the necessity of involvement of special committees in the execution of self-determination were made. Countries as Albania, France, Russia, Macedonia or Papua New Guinea were the main presenters of the resolutions. By the end, Resolution 1.1 was voted and approved by the majority.


It was the last day of the conference. The draft resolutions were finally going to be voted on. After the submission of quite a few amendments, and some persuasive speeches from delegates, it finally came down to voting. The first two amendments failed by a long run. The one that won, DR 1.3, was a really close call; just 1 extra vote. Either ways, with that the formal committee session came to an end. We still had time, and finally it was the most awaited time of any MUN Conference. The Motion for Entertainment. We had a delegate singing songs in 6 different languages, an accent battle between the chair and the delegate of Saudi Arabia, a flash mob, where everyone came in the centre of the room dancing, and a competition between the best memes made in class. The last session was the best one by far.

Finally, everyone adjourned for the closing ceremony. There were songs by Queen and Imagine Dragon, and many more artists, that everyone sung along to. We had dances, and many speeches. Our delegates are extremely grateful for the opportunity of the past week and to experience and see the application of theory in real life. In the closing ceremony, the directors of this edition of Harvard WorldMUN gave emotional speeches and delegations from Yale and Georgetown university won most of the awards, however, delegations from Peru, Venezuela and Pakistan were definitely the winners of the Conference. The speeches of the closing ceremony and the award giving portion ignited a fired in our delegates to achieve more and And many went out of the building looking forwards to the next edition of the MUN; and a will to win as we saw and applauded the celebration of other delegates from around the world.


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