November 03rd 2017
On the last day of school before the half-term break, girls were taken off timetable for a full school Model United Nations Conference. Several girls formed a 'press team', and interviewed the Head Chair, Year 12 pupil Britta.
One of our journalists, Olivia, caught up with Head Chair of the MUN, Britta, who told her what it takes to be Secretary General.
We sat down with Secretary General, Britta, to ask her everything you need to know about being Head of Cobham Hall’s Model United Nations Conference.
When asked what a Secretary General does, Britta replied with a smile; “Secretary General is the Head Chair of the MUN, who runs the General Assembly”. This is not Britta’s first go in this role, as she tells us that she has chaired five (possibly more) conferences in the past, making her a connoisseur in all things MUN. Britta won’t be working alone though, as she has the help of her secretariat, Shakira and Zara, to ensure the smooth running of the conference.
What skills must you need to be a Secretary General? You may wonder. For most people, being Secretary General would prove very difficult – from the organisation it requires to speaking in front of large audiences and staying unbiased. But, be reassured, as Britta has learnt to keep this all under control and she really enjoys chairing conferences. Her past experiences and vast knowledge on MUN helps Britta every time she steps up to the role.
To be successful in MUN, you must be able to step into the shoes of your country, as you are arguing from their point of view, not your own. Britta particularly enjoys this aspect of MUN, stating that she ‘gets great satisfaction from watching people stepping out of their comfort zone’ and truly getting into the role of their country.
As Britta says, it is very rewarding seeing the even the shyest delegate, despite the shaking of their hands and trembling legs, manage to speak in front of the General Assembly for the first time. She says the first time speaking can be extremely nerve racking, although after this it becomes much easier.
MUN helps delegates to increase their political awareness as well as the ability to interpret what is going on in the news. Students considering a political career in the future will benefit massively through Model United Nations. Delegates become good at knowing what to say and how to say it. Britta shared one of her personal experiences with us. After being a delegate of Afghanistan, at one of the many conferences she has attended in the past, she met two girls who were natives of Afghanistan. Britta expressed how fulfilling it was to have a conversation with these two girls about the situation and opinions of their own country, of which Britta had previously argued.
To conclude, being a Secretary General for Model United Nations may require a lot of effort and hard work, but it is worth it. Stepping outside of your comfort zone in this way will help you to be able to efficiently talk to people in the future, whether a job interview or an important speech.