Letter to Delegates

Dear Delegates,

A warm welcome to NPSiMUN 2019!

Allow me to express my gratitude towards you for taking the first step to being a part of this enriching endeavor: coming to this website. As you may already know, Model United Nations is a platform for individuals like yourselves to develop an acute awareness of conflicts and issues that have global implications. It goes without saying that these agendas go beyond what one would conventionally find being discussed in mainstream media outlets, for sometimes the most pressing issues which truly threaten the status quo are sequestered behind banal political dissent and inflammatory rhetoric.

However, the truth of the matter is that MUN is something greater. It is an opportunity for you to develop your analytical skills, voice your convictions boldly, and sometimes even shamelessly flirt with your fellow delegates through diplomatic euphemisms (trust me, it’s a legitimate skill). Nevertheless, I am aware that these things may be meaningless to those of us who don’t have a habit of speaking in public or keeping up with current affairs. As cliché as this may sound, the fact of the matter is that it’s never too late to start. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we are living in times where it is nearly impossible to isolate ourselves from the outside world. Perhaps that’s a good thing because, at the end of the day, none of us can be completely impervious to what goes on in other countries. Slowly, subtly, but surely, we will taste the consequences of actions we would have once considered to not concern us.

Right now, we need MUN more than ever. Our generation is enslaved to digital depravity and I apologize if I sound “outdated.” In the age of the internet, it is so easy for our impressionable minds to adopt a radicalized identity because of one trending hashtag. Although some of you may not have noticed this, a lot of us are also quite quick to consolidate our political identities as well. Again, not necessarily a bad thing. But for a significant number of us, this has diminished our ability to keep an open-mind and reduced our willingness to educate ourselves before we pledge our allegiance to a particular cause or party. It is in our hands, and our hands alone, to change that.

The world has enough partisans, but what does not have is enough good people. If you think you have to familiarize yourself with a ton of pedantic words (guilty-as-charged) or come up with the most creative resolutions to succeed at MUN then you are gravely mistaken. Sometimes all that it takes to contribute meaningfully to a discussion, inside and outside of MUN, is to be a good listener. If you ask me what makes a good delegate, the first traits that would come to my mind are patience, empathy, and humility. It would be incredibly foolish of me to suggest that we have the ability to teach you how to excel at all of the above over the course of three days. But what I can promise you is that we will try, and try we must if we want to see the kind of change that only few can afford to dream of.

At the end of the day, you can still argue that nobody cares about what resolution gets passed or what conversations transpire in the classrooms of one school, because when all is said and done, it’s just a simulation. To this, I would retort by saying that the values we cultivate and espouse in these simulations have profound effects on how we conduct ourselves in the real world. Sure, we may never be in a position where we wield the power to influence national or international policy, but we will always find ourselves in a position where we can better the lives of those around us. Perhaps much to your surprise, the fundamental pre-requisite for achieving either are the same: being a good person.

If you still disagree, take it up with me in committee.

Vyas Nageswaran,

Secretary General – NPSiMUN 2019