Rotaract Model UN instills courage

Delegates to the Rotaract Model UN in Romania practice diplomacy.

Delegates to the Rotaract Model UN in Romania learn the discipline of decision-making.

By Alina Cristina Buteica, member of the Rotaract club of Bucharest Triumph, and participant in the first-ever Rotaract Model UN in Romania

The courage to shine and take a stand. The courage to make informed decisions that will impact the world. The courage to find innovative ways for building international dialogue.

These are the things that come to my mind in reflecting on what I learned during the Rotaract Global Model United Nations in  Baia Mare, Romania, 21-25 August. I had just spent a full year working in 10 countries in Africa when a good friend told me about this initiative and encouraged me to apply. I could hardly have imagined what I would experience. 

The event in Baia Mare was the first of what we hope will be many Rotaract Global Model UN conferences. It felt to me like a time-capsule: an intensive week in which young students and professionals from four continents had the privilege to meet, work together and debate some of the most pressing issues on the international agenda at this moment.

This first Model UN simulated three councils: The Security CouncilHuman Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission. Delegates had to step outside their comfort zones to suggest new, practical solutions to old problems, such as the situation in Syria, peacemaking in the Central African Republic, or the impact of climate change on indigenous communities.

The Romanian model UN introduced a new concept: a Rapporteur Office, responsible for forwarding a report containing our final suggestions and conclusions to the regional and international decision-making bodies, including the UN. As participants, we felt the weight of our responsibility on our shoulders.

It was an amazing experience. We all bonded and shared so many stories and anecdotes in just one week. Our friendship went beyond borders, cultures, or ages. As I chatted with friends after the conference, we all missed being in debate-mode and taking part in negotiations. The conference has also been a wonderful opportunity for us to explore the  beautiful scenery of Maramures, a historic part of Romania.

I would say there are four chief things the Rotaract model UN brings forward:

  • An awareness of the main international issues impacting our lives
  • The art of debate and diplomacy. Or more simply put, how to look at old problems through a new lens, that of the younger generation.
  • How to take responsibility for our opinions and resolutions (the discipline of decision-making)
  • How to seek informed, collaborative solutions through cross-cultural dialogue, understanding, and peace-building (the discipline of collaborative action)

What is it that makes me feel a bit more confident about the future? It is our ability to take action and shape the future we want to see.  As “Rotary in Action,” Rotaractors and youth from all over the world creatively engage in these debates during every edition of Rotaract Model UN.

What message do you have for present and future participants in the Rotaract Model UN?

16 thoughts on “Rotaract Model UN instills courage

  1. Pingback: Rotaract Model UN instills courage | Warsaw Rotary , Club 3393, District 6540

  2. Nice piece, our voice need to be heard. And our Rotary dream + vission also need nurture and tutored to a promise land in humanitarian service.

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  3. Pingback: Today’s Links | Rotary International District 3040

  4. I’m happy that the first Rotaract Model UN was did as well as it did to bring people from all other to work together. I wanted to attend but the dates of the conference fell too close to my first day of instruction. I was on a Model UN team from my school, so I know how rewarding the experience can be. I hope for the best for future Rotaract Model UN!

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  5. Pingback: Preparing future leaders to pursue peace | Rotary Voices

  6. Pingback: Preparing future leaders to pursue peace | Warsaw Rotary , Club 3393, District 6540

  7. Dear All camaraderie,
    It’s great to hear from all lovely friends that you all had a marvelous experience with Rotaract Model United Nation 2013. It’s time for us to be a witness and authors for this planet to be the planet of service.
    I am looking forward to be part with the next Rotaract Model United Nation.

    Cheers
    Aileu Rotaract Club – Timor Leste

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    • Hi!
      I am trying to get in touch with David Boyce of Dili RC regarding a possible new project. My club Bergen-Syd RC has cooperated with his club over a number of years. If you can help me, please forward contact details to vibecm@online.no. Best regards, Vibecke Mehn-Andersen, Bergen-Syd Rotary Club, Norway, District 2250

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  8. It’s good to hear that there are new quality MUNs appearing out there. Last year I did 5 and for my 2014 agenda I ll definitely include Rotaract.

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  9. Congrats Alina et au Rotaract club of Bucharest Triumph,

    Un vrai travail de longue haleine,

    Nos amitiés de Madagascar

    Anthony Président 2013-2014 Rotaract Club Antananarivo Tsinjo

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  10. Pingback: RotaractMUN on Rotary Blog! | Rotaract Global Model United Nations

  11. Rotaract Global Model United Nations 2014 organized by Rotaract Club of Westminster in London will take palce from 4th to 7th of September. Save the dates.

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