Best Delegate in TEIMUN 2014: Have Faith, It Will Lead You Anywhere You Want

I love travelling since I was born (haha sounds nonsense) but really! I was very lucky to conquer some parts of USA and Europe in my early age. It's because of my father. He had his master in Pittsburgh and my mother followed him there. Unluckily, I remember nothing. I could just stare on the beautiful printed photos inside every page of some big albums in the house.

When I reached the third year of my university, I found an activity that might bring me back to USA. Yes, it was a Model United Nations. It is a simulation of United Nations Assembly. As the name suggests, Model United Nations, or more commonly known as MUN, is an academic simulation of the United Nations. Basically, delegates inside an MUN will act as a representative of a nation state and convey its stances upon certain global issues. Through MUN, delegates will have the opportunity to learn more about diplomacy, public-speaking, critical thinking and also legal drafting. The MUN that I was talking about was Harvard National Model United Nations (HNMUN) in Boston. I gave HNMUN team selection from UI MUN Club a try. Aside from the traveling, I thought that I could polish my public speaking skill through the coaching and I would be able to meet new friends from all around the world. Never in my life had I tried MUN. It was a very strange world to me. I told no one that I joined the selection. I was afraid of failing but still I gave it a go. Equipped with enough confidence and public speaking skill, I was ready to join the battle. They said it's hard to get into the team. The heck, I was there, nothing to lose.

The first stage was writing test. There were some multiple choice questions about United Nations and we had to write an essay about international issues plus our intention to join the HNMUN. I passed the test. Next one was the simulation. It was so rough. Everyone in the council was enormously talented. I mean it. They were very ambitious and fairly I could say they were so good. What about me? I spoke in the council quite a lot but I didn't really give a damn about what I was saying. This means I sucked. Wait, I passed this stage as well apparently! The last stage was interview with the previous delegation. I thought I did my best to convince them, that this newbie is worth a try. Well I failed anyway.

I was sad but not really that sad because I know I was not good enough (yet) to join the squad.

Some months passed and I wasn't really interested about the USA thingy. It was shifted into vanquishing MUN. There was another MUN selection from UI MUN Club. It was Asia Pacific Model United Nations Conference (AMUNC) in Brisbane, Australia. I tried again because I believe that I would do better this time. I convinced myself that I should speak more fluent and confident enough to lead a bloc in the council. Well, I did so. I made one Working Paper and presented it on the screen. I was a strong country, Russian Federation in a topic of LGBT. I thought I did it well until the interview stage which was the last stage. Unfortunately, the time is yet to come. I failed, again. I failed, twice.

It was like, whaaaaat? I was heartbroken. What did I do wrong?!

After a very long deliberation with myself, I decided to ask one of my friends, Rangga Husnaprawira. He's an FEUI student which was one of the selectors in the AMUNC selection. I knew him from the HNMUN selection. I told him I was sincere about the result and I would like to know why I didn’t get into the AMUNC. I have never received such a long voice note of feedback. He told me everything. He started from the research, the speech, the negotiation, the drafting. Those are the elements of MUN. He scrutinized the elements one by one. He said that he knew I didn't do much research because my stance was rather shaky. He said my speech was not clear and almost always running out of time because I said too many things. He said I wasn't a good negotiator because I wasn't actively asking other delegates about what they want and what would be a common ground to solve the problem. He said I wasn't really stood out either on drafting. So his point is that I wasn't "being there." Not only criticized me, but also he gave me some solutions.

It is always not easy to receive feedback sincerely. Especially when we feel like we're good enough and we're in the comfort zone. If I wasn't that determined to change myself and to reach what I want, I would quit.
But that's just not me. I listened and applied everything that Rangga said to me...

Finally, my last hope emerged. My last chance to join international MUN. The European International Model United Nations (TEIMUN) in The Hague, The Netherlands. This time, I told myself "this time I won't fail." I directly called my distinguished friend, Andhika Putra Sudarman to give me tips for the simulation phase. He told me many things and he encouraged me to be the leader of a bloc. Even he gave me suggestions of solution for the Questions a Resolution Must Answer (QARMAs). It wasn't easy to play a role as China in such a topic as Geopolitical Frictions as a Result of the Melting Ice Caps in the Arctic. China was so ambitious to do research there in Arctic. I was able to create Draft Resolution and presented it.

I was so desperately anxious of waiting for the announcement. Guess what? I GOT INTO THE TEAM! This wouldn't happen if I didn't ask for Rangga's feedback and Andhika's guidance. Thank you, guys.

I was extremely happy and nervous at the same time. The happiness lasts for only around 1 week because the pressure was on! I had to continue the legacy of UI TEIMUN Team of winning and... I had to finish my law school before I could go to The Netherlands. It was so hard to manage my time and I had to sacrifice my internship in a prominent law firm because of that.

For about 8 months, I have prepared everything for the competition while also finishing my thesis. Luckily I had two very supportive thesis supervisors which were Pak Suharnoko and Bang Togi Pangaribuan. I nailed my thesis defense on June 11th. It was a month before my departure to The Hague. After that I got more focus on TEIMUN. 

Thanks to my coaches Tanita and Azira and my team mate Dinda, Ilman, Adeline, Patty, Victoria, Okky. They were so helpful. We were just like a family... On the training journey, I joined some MUNs for exercise so that it could scale up my confidence. One of the most memorable MUNs was Jakarta MUN which I only got Honorable Mention (third place). It was so disappointing because I thought I deserve more than that.

I told one of my friends, Vicario Reinaldo, about this. He gave me his blog's link and I started to accept my "loss":
With a lot of spirit, I flew to The Hague and I was representing Japan in General Assembly council. It was a big council which consisted of incredibly passionate delegates. They were from around the world, like literally! As far as I remember they were from Ireland, Germany, Egypt, Afghanistan, India, Bosnia, Georgia, Russian Federation, Italy, Kenya, The United Kingdom, Peru, The Netherlands, etc. I didn't lead the conference since day 1. I asked the director about my performance. They said I wasn't that shining. The next day, I tried to drag the council into the subtopic that favors me. It wasn't so smooth because there was this delegate that was really powerful and he really could deliver an influential speech. His speeches have always been smooth, on fire and fluent. He was such a threat. Oh wait I forgot to tell you the main topic; it was "Prevention of Arms Race in Outer Space." It is indeed very interesting, right? When I passed a topic to discuss about "transparency," all the delegates started to pore over the topic and maintain their own stance regarding that. From all the 7 days, we talked about this for 5 days. Can you imagine? 

As Japan, I tried to mediate the interests from every country. We were really proud when we could produce 9-pages-long Draft Resolution! At the end of the penultimate day, we started to discuss about "Global Prevention of Animal Maltreatment." It was such a very unique topic and Japan is in a dangerous position. Japan people still eat whale meat, which was cursed by Australia and other developed countries. But there's always justification of something that seems wrong. Japan has this culture since a long time ago and it is for the food security. Too bad, there wasn't enough time to discuss the last topic which was "Free Trade Versus Protectionism."

Aside from the serious and tense sessions, TEIMUN offered such an unforgettably marvelous fun time. There were parties and excursions to several important places in The Hague. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Council of State, but the city is not the capital of the Netherlands which constitutionally is Amsterdam. Most foreign embassies in the Netherlands and 150 international organizations are located in the city, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, which makes The Hague one of the major cities hosting the United Nations, along with New York, Brussels, Geneva, Bonn, Vienna, Tokyo and Nairobi. For this fun part, I think it would be better to explain by pictures!
In front of The Peace Palace (International Court of Justice is inside this building!)
In Madurodam
UI TEIMUN Team in Orange Party (left to right: Victoria, Adeline, Okky, Ilman, Dinda, Patty, me!)
Beach Party

Global Village

When we participated in TEIMUN, we were lucky that we could stay in Wisma KBRI Wassenaar. I think it's safe to say that the distance from our accommodation to the venue of the conference is far. It took us around 30 mins with 2 times bus. It was from Wassenaar to Denhaag Central and then to the venue. Imagine, the conference always has party at the end of the day and then after that we got to take 2 buses before having a rest? EXHAUSTING.

Well although it was a tiresome conference, we were so happy that the hard work paid off! It was, surreal... Alhamdulillah.
With Pak Arman Nefi (on the centre), our Faculty Advisor which also came to The Hague

Let me present: (left to right):
Most Outstanding Delegate of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: Haryani Dannisa/Social and Political Science
Best Delegate of the General Assembly: Nadia Sekarsari Anindyati/Law
Most Outstanding Delegate of the UN Security Council (double delegate): Adeline Tiffanie Suwana/Economics
Best Delegate of United Nations Environmental Program: Ilman Dzikri Ihsani/Social and Political Science
Best Delegate of the United Nations Human Rights Council: Patty Regina Sausanto/Law
Most Outstanding Delegate of the UN Security Council (double delegate): Anna Valeria Okky Oktaviani/Social and Political Science

We celebrated the Eid at the Embassy, the day after TEIMUN's closing ceremony:
With the Ambassador of Indonesia to The Kingdom of Netherlands, H.E. Retno L.P. Marsudi & her Husband

TEIMUN journey taught a great lesson to me. Anything worth having is going to be a struggle. Commitment doesn't come easy, but when you're fighting for something you believe in, the struggle is worth it. Have faith, it will lead you anywhere you want.

Lastly but most importantly, I would thank my father, my mother, my sister for their endless guidance to me. I wouldn't be able to reach this without their prayer, without their concrete supports. I love you Ayah, Ibu, Kakak!
My everything...



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