Tamara Lehoczky, our sophomore student and the student of Toldy Ferenc High School, has just won the Best Delegation Award in New York at the CWMUN MUN conference.
But what is MUN? Read Tamara’s summary of MUN below, followed by her journey at the Society and her plans as the newly elected President of Milestone’s MUN Society.
BN: Can you tell us a bit about MUN’s inner workings and history?
TL: Sure, happily! The Model United Nations Society (MUN) has been one of the most popular and prestigious societies of Milestone since its founding. Currently, our Society has about 15 active members who attend each session while we are always striving for recruiting new ones and lighting the passion for MUN in other students as well. In Model United Nations, students take on the roles of diplomats, representing a country other than their own to discuss actual global issues and come up with resolutions in line with the official UN rules of procedure.
During our weekly sessions, each delegate represents a chosen country’s stance on a topic given by the Presidency, – for example, the Coup and Humanitarian Crisis in Myanmar – and tries to come up with a solution to complex international issues the United Nations is dealing with. Delegates are delivering speeches, debating, writing resolutions and engaging in negotiations with each other. The sessions are always pretty fun, and they are good for further building our strong community.
We attend conferences together, travel abroad and organise our very own conference – MIMUN – yearly. Special sessions – such as the MUN Baking Party – are usually very popular and help us improve our community further. At sessions, we are modelling the work of the real United Nations, hence MUN is the perfect choice for anyone who is interested in politics, diplomacy and international relations. Nevertheless, our Society is not a competitive environment at all; I am happy to state that everyone is incredibly supportive and pleased to help others.
Our goal is to help our members become more confident, develop their public speaking skills and allow them to gain invaluable experience. In the next Academic Year, the new Presidency is going to focus on redefining the MUN Society within Milestone, recruiting many new members, and organising MIMUN 2022, Milestone’s own MUN conference. By choosing MUN, our members can invest in their personal development. Our goal is to make sure everyone is having a good time while preparing together for the sessions and conferences and helping each other achieve our goals.
After this brief introduction of the MUN Society, let’s read about Tamara’s personal experience with MUN.
TL: Originally, I started doing MUN because of my passion for the real United Nations. Since the age of thirteen, my dream was to work in the UN, mainly because the cohesion, solidarity and cooperation that the UN is built on captivated me. I wanted to help people, and I decided to become a diplomat because of that. Hence I started to attend weekly sessions of the MUN Society of Milestone, which was quite difficult at first since they were all online. But the BIMUN 2021 conference came and I enjoyed it a lot. I won the Best Delegate Award in the Human Rights Council, representing the Russian Federation.
After BIMUN 2021, the MUN Society went back to offline sessions and I was finally able to meet this amazing community in person. Throughout the Summer Term, I attended weekly sessions, and as a culmination of my MUN activity in Milestone, I won the Best Delegate Award at Milestone’s very own MUN conference, MIMUN2021, representing the United States in the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC).
In November 2021, I attended the Oxford Global MUN, representing the Republic of Niger in the Security Council which was quite challenging but I enjoyed it a lot. To my knowledge I was the only delegate who received two awards; I won the Best Position Paper Award and the Outstanding Delegate Award.
At this point, I decided to broaden my perspective and dedicate myself to MUN and participate in conferences on my own. I applied to CMUNCE XXI, which is organised by Columbia University and Change the World MUN New York 2022, organised by Association Diplomatici, an Italian NGO that has a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. They have been hosting CWMUN conferences all over the world since 2012 with the New York conference being the most famous and most prestigious one.
In January 2022, I attended CMUNCE XXI online, where I had many obstacles such as being the only non-native English speaker and having to stay up until 4 am because of the different time zones. I represented the Foreign Minister of South Africa during the Angolan Civil War and received a Verbal Commendation Award. I am still really close with some delegates I got to know at CMUNCE XXI and the overall network I have built during my MUN journey.
CWMUN granted me a 1000 euro merit-based scholarship after I completed the application process. I also attended a three-month-long training course that culminated in a four-day long virtual conference at the beginning of March where my co-delegate and I won the Delegation Award granted by other delegates and the Best Delegation Award given by the Chairs. I represented Sri Lanka in the Food and Agricultural Organisation in both online and offline conferences with my co-delegate Matilde Lorieto, who is from Uruguay and who we grew really close with. She was an amazing co-delegate who represented Sri Lanka with me.
After the virtual event, I travelled to New York City where the conference was supposed to be organised in the UN Headquarters, however, due to the war in Ukraine we were not allowed to enter the building which I felt really sad about. Still, it was a great experience; I made many friends and participated in an extremely difficult conference, mainly because there were over 3000 delegates from all over the world, and in my committee, there were 115 countries (mostly double-delegations) represented by 250 students. Eventually, we won the Best Delegation Award out of that 115 delegations which I was extremely proud of. At the Closing Ceremony, I was able to listen to a speech delivered by the 42nd president of the United States, Bill Clinton, who honoured the conference with his presence.
From New York I flew to Prague in order to participate in PORGMUN 2022 with the MUN Society of Milestone. Due to the proximity of the conferences in New York and Prague I would not have been able to prepare as a delegate and therefore decided to gain more experience as a chair; consequently, I applied to be the Chair of the African Union. Being a chair instead of a delegate for the first time in my life was important to me since as elected new President of Milestone MUN Society, I am going to chair almost all sessions of the MUN Society from the Summer Term onwards.
Before I left for New York, my amazing friend and vice-president candidate László Varga and I ran a successful election campaign together, planned our agenda, created campaign materials and addressed the questions and concerns of our fellow delegates in the Society. I was glad when I received the notification in New York that we won and I am officially the President of the Society.
This is my MUN journey so far. Now, I am reflecting on the past year when I first experienced doing MUN and started to enjoy it, and then finally discovered that MUN is my biggest passion. For the entire time, my parents and friends supported me throughout all of my conferences and my campaign, which I am incredibly grateful for. I built a network I am extremely proud of, connecting with delegates all over the world. My further plans regarding MUN are listed in our campaign materials. I am incredibly excited to be the new president of the MUN Society and make our vision a reality. I am going to design a new programme for delegates who are preparing for conferences while continuing to build our amazing team and extend the range of conferences we are attending on a Society level. We would like to organise the very first international MIMUN this summer and invite MUN Societies and delegates from both Hungary and abroad. In the next year, I would like to focus on improving the MUN Society, bringing innovation, new ideas, new conferences and more skills to the people who trusted me with their votes. Besides that, I would like to keep up with going to conferences and continue it throughout college as well, until I get to the real United Nations.
I have learnt many important things about people, success and empathy, evolved as a person and as a delegate. I hope that the knowledge and skills I have gained throughout my journey will help my beloved Society in the future.