IMUN 2017 has just came to an end. It was, as usual, a rollercoaster of emotions, but eventually we are deeply proud of its success. The enthusiasm showed by the young students who are getting involved in this project give us the energy to do more and more, edition after edition.
Every year United Network EU selects some of the best students who attended the conference and give them a scholarship to fly to NY and be part of GCMUN (Global Citizens Model United Nations), an international simulation organised in NY. They’ll also have the opportunity to go inside the UN Headquarter. This is year we awarded four incredible students who excelled with their passion and hard work in their respective committee. We announced their name during the Closing Ceremony, but in case you have missed it, here they are: Aramis Sebrechts (from liceo Vivona), Kaoutar Frayji (from liceo Jacopone da Todi), Filippo Strolighi (from Liceo Democrito) and Caterina Ratini (from liceo Galileo Galilei). We catch up their feelings and last minute emotions about IMUN and the upcoming GCMUN conference which they’re going to attend in a few days.

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Describe your personal experience at IMUN 2017 using three words.
Aramis: “It was an emotional and unexpected experience”

Kaoutar: “open-mindedness; collaboration; creativity”

Filippo: “It was unforgettable, useful and emotional”

Caterina: “The most beautifulexperienceofmylife (this counts as one word right?). Without cheating I would say “inspiring, motivating, unforgettable”

What is the best memory you have of your committee? And what do you expect for GCMUN?
Aramis: “The moment we had to support our draft resolution in front of some tough oppositors. From GCMUN I have very high expectations. I think it’s going to be a fantastic experience!”

Kaoutar: “It is the first time I raised my placard to be added to the speaker’s list. It was the very beginning of the session and I had no experience, as it was my first MUN. It could have been wiser to listen to what the others were going to say. However, at the time they asked it, I immediately raised my placard, without thinking twice. I still don’t understand how and why I did it; it was a pure act! My friends kept looking at me trying to understand my action, considering me a little bit crazy. Moreover, I had to speak after a very capable delegate (who won the “Best Delegate” prize too), who was in his fourth MUN and was representing the United States of America! How could I manage to capture the attention of the others after his speech!? I did it and that was the first leap that immersed me in the simulation and that gave me confidence. I would like to say to the students who are new to MUN to always make a run and never be scared, as the others are in their same situation. They are not monsters!
From GCMUN I expect a lot! I hope it will give me what I have always loved! I would like to meet a lot people from all over the world, to speak with them in their own languages, if it is one of the five languages I can speak of course, to learn about their cultures and from their personal experiences… I would like to feel as a real citizen of this global community! I have a very open nature and I have always enjoyed being in contact with many people. Therefore, I am looking forward to finding new friends and to collaborating with them so that we could make the world hear our voice of hope for a better future.”

Filippo: “The best memory I have of my committee is when we found a common solution with the other group od countries. We found it thanks to the dialogue after days of discussions. From GCMUN I expect a challenging simulation, even because I will represent Mexico on American soil.

Caterina: “It’s hard for me to pick just one memory, my committee was amazing, there were many splendid guys and they always surprised me with their speeches. If I had to choose one I would probably say during the first day, the moment when the delegate which then became the leader of the other resolution said something very smart and intuitive against my previous speech, that was probably the reason why I won: in that second my mind told me “I have to get better and better every single moment if I want to keep up with my expectations” and it gave me such a strong motivation that I never had in my entire life!
From GCMUN I’m expecting something great, I have the feeling that it’s going to be as unforgettable as IMUN, of course I’ll do my best in order to not dishonour the title as Best Delegate!

What kind of emotions have you felt when they called your name from the stage and you found out that you have won the “Best Delegate” Award?
Aramis: “It was literally one of the most emotional moments of my life, i could hear my heart pounding when the speaker said my name and the subsequent applause was even better”

Kaoutar: “I could not describe what I felt. It was a lot for me and I felt a lot of mixed emotions! I couldn’t believe it! I continued crying (I was already crying before they called my name from the stage, because I was living the last minutes of the best experience of my life) and I could’t speak… My English teacher told me to go to the stage, because I was still sitting on my place; I couldn’t believe it was real! Me!? Once on the stage, I wanted to express all my gratitude to the Secretary General, the Director General, the Directors and the Assistant Directors of my committee, but all I did was embracing them and continuing to cry. I think it was the most emotional moment of my life.”

Filippo: “When they call my name I didn’t realize what was happening. After a few moments I got up from my seat and I went up on the stage with tears in my eyes.”

Caterina: “So here’s a funny little story: when the President of United Network was announcing the award and said “from CCPCJ”, I turned around to my friend that was in my committee and said “it’s your moment”. Then I heard the name of my school and my mouth started to open like it wanted to eat all the mosquitoes in the room and I just couldn’t close it, when I heard my name I completely got frozen and I forgot to breath for the next 20 or 30 minutes, while I was taking the flag I asked if they were sure that they didn’t mistake my name with someone else’s because I just couldn’t believe it! It was an overwhelming emotion and experience that I’ll hardly ever forget.

If during IMUN you could have chosen a superpower which one would you choose? And why?
Aramis: “The power to pass through walls for when I had to go to the toilet but the Permission Paper were all already taken.”

Kaoutar: “It is a difficult question. I would choose to read the other delegates’ thoughts: during the unmoderated caucuses we don’t have much time to speak with all the others, as we are too many. This would quicken the simulation, better understand the dynamics of the committee and maybe find a resolution that everyone agrees with. However this kind of superpower would be bad towards them and would kill the most important values of MUNs, which are communication and opinions exchange. Therefore, I would like to live again this experience with the instruments that I had, which are hard work and a good preparation (in and of it selves superpowers) and to enjoy again every single moment of IMUN as it was. Everything was perfect!”

Filippo: “I would have chosen the power to read minds in order to know what my fellow delegates were thinking or what they wanted to say”

Caterina: “So I would like to say the power of a super Sayan but I feel like it wouldn’t be appropriate, reading minds would have been boring because I liked the challenges and surprises that kept coming from everyone in the committee, I’ll go with something that will probably sound lame but for me it would have been awesome: the power to control my emotions. Even if I won the award and I did a good job during the debates, I made a lot of mistakes due to the fact that I would constantly get carried away with anxiety and fear of not doing well enough, I had a small but intense (verbal) fight with a delegate because of it!
Now, if I can add something I would like to thank all the guys from my chair because they were simply amazing, also a big thank you to all the staff, I wouldn’t had been able to get so many positive memories and emotions if it wasn’t for the fact that everything was perfect and well prepared. In fact I can’t wait to be part of it!

Matteo Carloni