Model United Nations for the Unheard

Artwork by Alessandro Mulya

Back then when I was working for an international school, I stumbled across one amazing course — it was called Model United Nations. In it, the students were representing different nations, and given a particular topic, they will debate the best solution for each of the problems today’s world is facing. It ranges from health to politics, from economy to ideologies, from pandemic to disease management, it touches the surface on everything. But that’s the thing I was worried about. It touches the surface.

When I discovered such course in my ripe age of 22 years old, it really opens up my eyes about how my education was less than what it is needed to break through to other countries, but I spent my high school years still learning about the English translation of “door” and “spoon”. That’s when I realize that education is a privilege, and it is not enough that you can afford one, it matters most when you can actually afford the best one out of all. But I’m not here to talk about the rich vs. the poor, I’m talking about Model United Nations the students get during their course, and the problems were far from solvable during their lifetime — I think it should be acting locally and thinking globally. Such feats, however, can only be attainable if we know the root of each topic’s problem, and let me give you a brief example on that.

Let’s say the mediator have a topic about pandemic; the distribution of vaccines and the enforcing of social distancing and other rules, and about more than half of the country’s representative will offer a solution ranging from “increasing labor of nurses and doctors” or “forbidding people to get out at night and curfew hours”. What the solution fails to understand is the bottom part of the problem that’s not even barely touched by the solution itself — that the labor of nurses and doctors was greatly underpaid and severely overworked. That the law could not comply with the overall “empathy” of people working during night hours and one person that have to get out to buy medicine. Such complex problems was unheard of, so does with the solution itself.

Sure, comparing a nationwide problem with the often-talked problems of the civilian is by no means comparable. But even so, the problems of the people itself is the one that needed the solution. Multiply the overworked doctors by ten thousand, and you got yourself a nationwide problem. Often times, that is the case — and Model United Nations tackle such problems with trivial solution that offer slim chances of being actually solvable in the near future. Don’t get me wrong, Model United Nations is an awesome course and a valuable learning in of itself, but the technicality and bureaucracy of a nation prove harder on trial than on paper ( I’ve been thinking of a thing, a Model United Villages, maybe? ).

Model United Nations need what we all need in a symbiosis mutualism, we need a platform to give our voice and the platform need our voice. Southeast Asia has a plethora of similar problems and advices on such problem on a microscopic scale might a fresh breath of air we all needed. Or in terms of managing problem with one-man army of representative, it will need, in a lack of better words, more army. Or perhaps, changing the Model United Nations unto Model United Regions. Representative from different cities with a given topic and solution offering given on their same experience in the same school and in the same town has a higher percentage of feasible, logical and rooted-down solution.

This is by no means an attempt to undermine a course, let alone a bad-mouthing rant about how I envy an education system I never get before in my lifetime. But rather a commentary, of a different strata of people living in different life can offer a middle way out. Frankly, the idea itself of a Model United Nations for the unheard relies heavily on my own experience, so it may varies, both in storytelling and the actual things that happened during that course, so take it with a grain of salt. With that being said, I hope someday of such courses that were available throughout all schools and how it could impact the way we think about global politics and everything else in between.

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