Model United Nations conferences, in many ways, represent the coming together of two extremely powerful ideas.
The first is the celebration of the inviolability and strength of freedom of speech. Louis Brandeis -
American lawyer and associate justice - said that is the function of free speech to free men from the
bondage of irrational fears. Free speech, apart from its obvious practical utilities, is something of an
antidote to oppression - mental, societal. It is essential for the very fabric of civilization to continue to
The tragedy here is that it is under attack. Institutions that represent free speech and open discourse are subjected to hostility, to aggression, to violence. It happens before our eyes, we see this shining light of democratic society constantly clamped down upon. In this culture that punishes dissent, MUNs gain a special significance. It is your job, delegates, to do justice to this. Each time you attend a conference like this one, you take a step towards restoring free speech to the pedestal on which it belongs, and that is why a culture of MUNing is of such critical importance.
The second is the concept of power lying in our hands. We all know that MUNs - albeit for just two or three days - give us the illusion of holding positions of tremendous importance, of potentially changing the future of the world as we know it. The true effect, however, runs much deeper.
MUNs, through this illusion of power, plant an idea in our heads: the idea that we can . By forcing us to engage with world issues of pressing importance and to confront matters we might otherwise ignore, we come face to face with our own role as citizens of this planet. We realise our tremendous - if unwritten - duty, and thus is born a desire to fulfill it.
SBSMUN2017’s roots are in the magic of this confluence, and our committees are designed to reflect the same. The ECOSOC brings to attention the impact of our own actions on the lives of the so often neglected indigenous persons. The UNHRC takes a long hard look at a problem that augments around us - militant nationalism - and analyses its effect on human rights. The Bundestag enters the realm of a warped and tense future with Germany exiting the European Union, while the Arab Leaders Meet delves into a past that continues to torment the Middle East even today. These have each been handpicked to create stimulating and - with your assistance - electric debate and discussion.
Good luck, and see you soon.