By ANDREA MORANTE, The New York Times
Boston, Mass. (New York Times) — The 64th edition of the Harvard Model United Nations (HNMUN) has been officially inaugurated this Thursday evening during the Opening Ceremony. Over 250 different delegations from around the world have to the A&B Grand Ballrooms at the Park Plaza Hotel participate in the inauguration event. During the ceremony, Ambassador Swanee Hunt addressed the young model-diplomats in regards to the current context of international politics.
Delegations from 69 different countries have come all the way to Boston with the purpose of participating in fruitful debate. With the help of 230 Harvard undergraduates volunteering as part of the staff, HNMUN 2018 will be running 27 different committees during the next four days.
Before starting the conference, HNMUN 2018 delegations were motivated by the enunciation of their respective national anthems. The Chinese, Colombian, Peruvian and French delegations stood out among the crowd of conference participants for the chanting of their own national songs in the different balconies of the Ballroom.
During the start of the Opening Ceremony, HNMUN 2018’s Secretary General Sarah S. Anderson gave her perspective as a delegate, bringing forward her memories by the time she started debating at Model United Nations (MUN). Furthermore, Anderson highlighted the role that participating in MUN can be crucial for further understanding the “obligation of duty and responsibility” of global citizens.
After this, she introduced Ambassador Swanee Hunt. “I see the power that we have in this room,” stated Ambassador Swanee Hunt after welcoming her audience. Explaining her past work as Ambassador for the United States of America and as the Founding Director of the school of Women’s and Public Policy Program, Mrs. Swanee Hunt discussed privilege and opportunity that participants of the HNMUN conference have for attending to the academic activity. She also mentioned the growth that the United States of America has achieved in regards to the participation of women in government. However, she mentioned concern for the nation, as it was her be “one of the most dire political circumstances” that would generate an impact in public and global policy.
The Founder of The Miracle Foundation, Tyla Tingle, also addressed the different delegations of HNMUN by mentioning the role of diplomacy and advocacy within the international community. Concerned for local initiatives, Tingle encouraged young leaders to take a proactive role in their community.
The final speaker of the conference, Carolyn Roa, invited delegates and faculty advisors to attend to the “Resolution Project Social Venture.” In his words, the project will aim to bring forward the “a positive impact through entrepreneurship,” and will incite innovative ways of advocacy as well as sustainability.
After the beginning of HNMUN was announced by Secretary General Sarah S. Anderson, delegates moved to their respective committees for the start of the first debate session.