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A look back at the experience of Emma Depoorter (class of 2023) at the National Model United Nations in New York

14 April 2023 Alumni News
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"As I had always been interested in going abroad, I jumped at the opportunity to do a double degree with Université Laval in Canada for my final year.

It was really by chance that I came across the Université Laval United Nations Simulation Association (ASNUUL) during the associations week at the start of the academic year.

I already knew a little about the UN’s actions, but I found it all a bit distant and abstract. While talking to members of ASNUUL, I found out about the exciting adventure of participating in the National Model United Nations (NMUN), the most prestigious United Nations simulation held every year in New York City.

Throughout the year, the Association leads a delegation of about 20 students in their quest to become diplomats and participate in this official simulation, which brings together about 5,000 students from all over the world. I thought "why not give it a try?", so I applied and I was selected. I found myself sharing this experience with 23 other students from a range of disciplines. Together, we had six months to become experts in UN protocols and get to know the countries that the NMUN had assigned to us: Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.

Divided into groups of two per committee, I worked with my co-delegate on Turkmenistan's representation on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The preparation was hard work, and included a mandatory weekly three-hour meeting, several weekends spent on practice simulations with other delegations, fundraising activities and preparation for our committees.

When looking for sponsors, I wanted to get the EM Normandie community on board to talk about my adventure, in the hope of inspiring other students to try this amazing experience! The simulation in New York involved five days of conferences from 8am to 10pm. It was intense, but I met some fantastic people and also developed my negotiating skills, leadership skills (always a plus!) and my English.

We left the event with two nominations for "outstanding delegation" and "distinguished delegation", for the quality of our work. Meanwhile, I also made some great contacts, and gained many fond memories!”

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