A dignified interview with the Under-Secretary General




As the Under-Secretary General, what are you in charge of?

Basically I am in charge of the academics of the conference and of the chairs. Also I am acting as a “supervisor”, especially in case they need more chairs, as is the case of the UNEA this year.

Can you explain how the MILMUN hierarchy works?

First there is the President of MILMUN, Victor Henkel von Donnersmarck, who is elected by the members of the Advisory Board or “AB”. Together with the President, the AB are the ones in charge of planning the conferences and training the rest, organising the MILMUN association and the activities that are being held in Bocconi, and promoting MUNs and United Nations values. They take the key decisions regarding the annual conferences and the activities inside the university.

The Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General are in charge of the academic side of the conference. They choose and define the topics and the committees as well as the themes of the conference. They create the guidelines that connect the different discussions, and they also look at ways to get sponsorship.

Then there are the ExComm, who act like the government. They raise money, take care of the “citizens” — namely delegates — during the application, registration, and payment processes, as well as throughout the conference. They also manage the guest speakers.

How did you find out about the MUN?

When I started university in the law faculty in Rome, where I studied jurisprudence. Once I got there, I knew about WorldMUN 2011, which took place in Singapore that year.

This sound very interesting and challenging at the same time: did you enjoy the experience?

It was actually great but I did not really enjoy the event as a whole. As far as I was concerned, I needed to improve a lot, especially my English level and law knowledge. It is also worth mentioning that such a pressuring global stage like Singapore was quite overwhelming.

But you kept going? How has your experience of MUN been in general?

Life-changing. Because of it I have friends everywhere in the world. I have improved my public speaking skills so that I am less shy in English. There is also the importance of networking and meeting people, so that in the end you realise we are all the same. You learn how to relate to different environments and to the impact of globalization. We might share different cultures, languages, religions, but we all have the same interests and love our countries. We are all very welcoming and the world is very little. I talk more to my foreign friends than the local ones, because of my own inclinations toward the people I meet. You can share experiences from other people’s experiences, which is something that books simply cannot do. I cannot imagine myself without having done all these MUNs.

And its relation to the future of the UN?

MUN can give you the goal of having a higher impact on the real United Nations. The first step is to understand the problems and how they could possibly be solved. Another lesson is to realise how difficult is to actually make decisions and establish changes that can have a real impact on other people’s lives. Everything has a reason, and MUN is an opportunity to get closer to such situations.

If you could choose a committee, which one would you rather choose?

I would choose UNCITRAL because of my academic background, as well as because I like trade and the laws behind it. People become richer by trading.
Thank you Ian for this lovely interview.


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