The Indian International Model United Nations (IIMUN) conference was held from 15-18 August 2017 in New York. This was not only a conference to understand the problems of the world and how to combat them, but also a platform for students to build a strong network. The programme comprised a visit to three states, viz., Orlando, Washington DC and New York. A convoy of 21 students with two teacher escorts journeyed to New York for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The students got a chance to visit the White House, Lincoln Memorial and the World Wars memorial. At the Capital state building they were given a guided tour of the place and they got to see the chambers where important decisions are taken by the President and the senators of USA.
The visit to Orland, New Florida the next day was the most awaited one. They made a trip to NASA. The students’ excitement knew no bounds when they reached the Kennedy Space Centre. It was a very fruitful visit that was summed up by a talk by Mr. Roger Keith Crouch, an American scientist and astronaut, who flew as a payload specialist on two NASA space shuttle missions.
The next two days were absolute fun days as the students visited the Universal Studios and also The Sea World, where they got to witness the Dolphins show, the Sea Lion Show, the Shambu shark show and the Penguins in the Atlantic. The students took a walk down the streets of Hogwarts town later.
Back in New York
After a wonderful journey to all these places, it was time for the students to return to New York. Once back in New York, they were briefed about the rules and regulations at the UNO, as the opening ceremony was scheduled the next day. The students also didn’t miss an opportunity to walk around Times Square that evening.
Independence day celebrations
On 15th August, there was evident jubilation in the air as for the Independence Day celebrations all of the 750 delegates and teachers were dressed in Indian attire. Indeed it felt so proud to be an Indian. The flag hoisting ceremony was held at the terrace of the UN headquarters. Mr. Vikas Khanna, a noted chef and Ms Nina Davuluri, Miss America of Indian origin, were present at the ceremony. Ms Davuluri gave an excellent thought provoking message as to how one never need to lose one’s identity wherever we are.
The students then assembled for the closing ceremony when it sadly dawned upon them that their trip would soon conclude after the ceremony. They were back on SBA campus on the 20th August, enriched with immense experience and a plethora of wisdom that they acquired in a country so mega diverse that it will surely last a lifetime.
The IIMUN is a students’ organisation that believes in the concept ‘By the Youth and for the Youth’. This initiative was started in 2011 by a young student who wanted to give a platform to the youth to voice their opinion about the current affairs in the world, and give students an international exposure. It is the first external civil society organisation to hold a full-fledged conference inside the UN Headquarters in New York.