As some of you already know, during the last four days, I’ve attended the 2018 Bucharest Model NATO Conference. Because I was getting a lot of questions about the event, I decided to write about it here. “The Conference is a simulation of the proceedings of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that provides a unique opportunity for high school and university students to study the role and activities of NATO, as well as the political, military and economic issues it faces.”
The Bucharest Model NATO Conference is already at its 4th edition, however this is my first time attending and I would love to congratulate the team who made this amazing event happen!
So, how did I, as a delegate, prepare for the Conference and how did the past four days unfold?
First of all, each participant is assigned with a country and one of the six committees. I was assigned to represent Belgium and guided by last year’s provisional agenda, I chose the Emerging Security Challenges Committee. In order to represent your country’s interests as accurately as possible, a lot of research and dedication goes into preparing for the Conference, structuring your speeches and coming up with ideas on each topic. This year’s agenda had in store three important topics for our committee to discuss and find effective solutions to:
– European/Global Immigration Crisis
– Threats posed by Climate Change
– Pandemic Outbreaks
The opening ceremony took place at the Palace of Parliament(the official venue), on Thursday evening. The Bucharest Model NATO Team warmly welcomed everyone and, as the Conference was part of NATO’s #WeAreNato campaign, NATO official Jose Maria Lopez-Navarro among others, entertained an opening speech and congratulated all of us for our interest in such activities.
On the first day of discussions, we covered two of the main topics, our aim being to come up with resolutions for each problem our committee faced. Through speeches, debates and unmoderated discussions, each delegate expressed their country’s needs and points of view. The last topic was partly covered on the second day, however a crisis simulation proposed by the Secretariat became the main focus. Delegates could communicate with others from different committees in order to find common ground and solve the crisis as fast as possible.
As serious the talks were and as difficult it was to have a mature approach towards each topic, we had fun too! (My fellow Emerging Security delegates and chairpersons know best)
All of us were invited to a social evening at the end of the second day, where we got to know each other more in an informal environment. Also, during the breaks I enjoyed engaging with everyone there and, even during Conference talks, we let some jokes slip once in a while!
One of the most frequently asked questions was “Why did you attend and what have you achieved through this conference?” This experience had a positive impact on all participants. I acquired important knowledge and a new perspective on matters of international importance, which I wouldn’t have had the opportunity and time to do if it weren’t for Bucharest Model NATO. My co-operation and leadership skills were tested, as communication with others was key and by talking freely in front of my committee, I managed to boost my self-esteem. I believe that these apply to each participant and could also apply to anyone willing to put in effort and take part in such events!
Before I end this article, I want to thank once again the Team behind the event and everyone from my committee for making my first experience at the Bucharest Model NATO a memorable one! I met and had the pleasure to cooperate with wonderful, intelligent and dedicated young people, who are definitely the future of this world!
Looking forward to seeing all of you again next year!
PS: For more details, visit the official site and Facebook page: