United Nations Simulation Conference, by Henry Schiller

On Monday morning at 10am nine eager delegates (and one terrified blogger) took their seats in a United Nations council chamber, ready to passionately represent the best interests of their countries. Or so the story goes. Not many student societies give you the chance to fight for a stance on something like international patent regulations for pharmaceutical products, which I can now safely say is a shame, because Model United Nations is incredibly fun.

Mike Yeomans organized Monday’s model UN event on behalf of EdMUN (Edinburgh Model United Nations), and it was intended to be an advertisement of sorts for the society. Model UN itself is an idea that should be familiar to most, but probably only have been experienced by a few, which I’ve learned is an absolute shame. 

Monday’s group was small, but each of us fell into our roles with care. I can’t say that I’m sure of my own opinion on universal patent regulations for pharmaceuticals, but I was willing (if not necessarily able) to defend my country’s (Brazil) apparent attitude on the topic. Research required? You bet; but it was clear from the start that the more work you were willing to put into this project, the more you were going to get out. And there was definitely a lot to be had.

In the end, a motion wasn’t passed, but for me this indecision lent some exciting authenticity to the proceedings. No one had been willing to compromise the aims of their particular nation just so we could say that a consensus was reached. The delegates from Spain, Egypt, and Russia were commended for best representing the real-world interests of their nations (congrats guys!). Really, though, there was a room full of people ready, willing, and surprisingly able to defend the best interests of countries that hours earlier they may have known nothing about.

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