By Parmita Protik Das, CNN
(CNN)— Delegates from far and wide gathered in the Constitution Ballroom of Boston Sheraton for registration on 26 January 2017. Needless to say, HMUN has some of the friendliest and most outgoing delegates and the room was positively bubbling with excitement for the conference. After registration, delegates hurried off to attend the HMUN Academy seminars, which were an enriching experience for delegates of all skill-levels. The programming provided insight on Harvard’s unique approach to Model UN and, for first timers at HMUN, helped formulate an idea of what to expect out of this conference.
Jump to the Opening Ceremonies and the eloquent Secretary-General, Victor J. Kamenker, called attention to the collective rights and responsibilities of all the nations of the world in order to find common ground and better institutional shortcomings. He expressed his wishes that the delegates and faculty advisors alike will use the opportunity presented by HMUN to learn from one another to attain the lofty yet achievable goals for international cooperation. He charged the delegates with a challenge to truly put themselves in the shoes of the diplomats they represent and to strive to achieve compromise by consent. In return for the delegates accepting his challenge, he promised to undertake a challenge himself: he would have unwavering faith that Harvard Model United Nations can and would serve as a conduit to positive change, education, personal growth, dialogue and collective advancement. He ended his speech by expressing his desire that the simulation would engender a lifelong commitment to collaboration and empathy.
Next, the Deputy-General, Rajkumar S. Pammal, gave a spirited introduction to CARE International and an insight to the humanitarian aid projects they conduct. He introduced the Secretary-General of CARE International, Dr. Wolfgang Jamann, and cited his rich experience in development and emergency assistance, spanning over 20 years. He invited Dr. Wolfgang to share his expertise and personal experiences.
Dr. Wolfgang Jamann acted as a voice of civil society at a time of isolationism, building walls and enforcing borders. He expressed his belief that the international audience present at HMUN 2017 would go on to shape the future of the world which is rapidly developing world in a very uncertain direction. He provided the backstory of CARE International which included its calling to provide lifesaving assistance and the expansion of its role to include the building of bridges between peoples who fought and killed each other. He recalled his firsthand experience of what such violence can do in terms of silencing the bright youth of such countries. Dr. Wolfgang expressed his desire to improve the state of the world so that such tragedies don’t go unanswered. He reiterated his firm belief in the SDGs and the benefits of investing in women to achieve that goal. He noted the microfinance loans that care provides for women empowerment which resonates in different spheres of life in the affected countries. He reconfirmed his belief in the potential of development work in the future world and ended his moving speech.
Then, the Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones took over the stage to mark the opening of HMUN 2017 through amazing acapella performances, which got the audience hyped and vying to go. The performers seemed to be enjoying themselves fully on the stage, which enhanced the experience for the audience. The audience was all clapping along to their beautiful renditions.
When the Secretary-General then announced the conference to be officially started, the delegates exited the hall with an astoundingly heavy need to make the most of the next few days of the conference and thereby be one step closer to achieving the goals highlighted throughout the speeches of the Secretariat and the keynote speaker.