Conducting an online MUN and Presiding over the SC.

This weekend, I had the opportunity of presiding over a simulation of the Security Council and being Secretary General of our school’s and my city’s first ever online MUN. I made a commitment to organizing a conference way back in August, at the start of my tenure as MUN Club President. COVID-19 provided me with a unique opportunity, the chance to conduct a virtual conference unlike other MUNs in how effective I wanted it to be and the fact that all committees would be working together to come up with solutions for the current pandemic. We had crisis updates in the General Assembly impacting proceedings in the Security Council, speeches PM Modi being broadcast in the GA, and the Security Council and WHO having a joint crisis on the basis of Iranian bioweapons allegedly supplied by China. It was truly a wonderful experience.

I had the idea of conducting such a conference over a month ago. I immediately reached out to my peers and teachers, and got the planning underway. We made a team, divided all the work, and got everything done very quickly. In fact, the hard work each team member put into the event, whether it was our logistics heads texting every single delegate, or our Vice-chairs who were tasked with working on Background guides, is commendable. Now, more about what I did.

As President of a Security Council meeting that was investigating COVID-19’s origins and evaluating the possibility of it being a bio-weapon, the fact that it was a simulation did not draw away from how serious the situation was. Debate started with the Russian Federation introducing a verified, reliable research paper that clearly proved how COVID-19 couldn’t be artificial. I then urged our committee to investigate some more pressing prospects such as COVID-19 being a natural outbreak intentionally allowed to get out of hand and it being a sort of evolved form of SARS for which a vaccine already existed (concealed by the Chinese). After a round of statement speeches, I introduced the first crisis of the day, a video of a worker in the Wuhan virological center stating how the virus was laboratory made and intentionally released. Not soon after, one of our MUN mentors who has now graduated high school joined as the guest delegate of Japan, accused China of approaching him in informal session with an offer to trade the formula for the vaccine for economic and financial support, and abruptly left; committee had just livened up. Allegations flew across the floor during formal session, and insults during informal session. China became a sort of punching bag for the rest of the committee, soaking up countless jibes and taunts and resorting to reminding the other delegates about what I said and the source Russia provided.

I then took it a step further by releasing another video made by a resident in Wuhan claiming they were receiving ‘magic medicine’ from the authorities, and that all who refused to take it were being welded shut into their homes. This effectively meant that the Chinese had a vaccine, or had discovered an accidental cure. In either case, it meant China was concealing something important from the rest of the committee. This marked the end of the first day. However, at midnight, the General Assembly convened for a midnight crisis (a fascinating aspect of MUNing I saw happen for the first time), and witnessed PM Modi deliver a speech on how an Indian lab had created the vaccine. We then received an informal tip-off hinting upon a US-India partnership involving the US and India distributing the vaccine to their civilian populations before the rest of the world, and reaping the economic benefits of selling a highly demanded product to 189 countries at a very high price. I took this opportunity to text all members of my committee with a midnight update, alerting them to what had just transpired.

Committee convened again at 8 am in the morning. We debated on the draft resolution at hand for the first two sessions, cut away more than 80% of it and ultimately vetoed it, so 5 hours of effort went down the drain, not because we failed to pass a resolution, but because I failed to engage delegates in the resolution drafting process. Judging the results of an informal vote and what I believed to be best for committee, I decided to have a series of crisis updates for the last two sessions.

The first of these was an announcement by the Indian chief of army staff, detailing how the sole laboratory with the cure for COVID-19 had been blown up via a terrorist attack, and that the delegate of India to the Security Council had been assassinated. Dealing with the fact that the only verifiable vaccine was gone, and that China had a potential vaccine, all blocs split apart as China, Russia, and the US faced a series of allegations. This was followed by an announcement by the Russian Federation detailing how they had obtained the vaccine and were prepared to sell it to all other countries at subsidized prices, but would mass produce it in the public sector and not distribute the formula so as to reap colossal economic benefit.

So, that’s how committee ended. While we certainly didn’t have any progress towards satisfying our agendas, we had that kind of accusation-abundant, intense debate where blocs don’t really matter that brought out the best in our delegates. It was incredibly interesting to see our delegates handle incredibly absurd and riveting crisis updates, and do so while coping with incredibly arcane unmods. Conducting eJPISMUN was a brilliant experience, and the way our conference turned out exceeded the aspirations I had for it when I came up with the entire idea.