Brookes Student discusses Model UN Society Success
Tuesday, 13 June 2017
The Oxford Brookes Model UN Society, formed by student Dalila Da Silva Lopes, was recently invited to attend a speech by the General Secretary of the United Nations António Guterres. In an interview Dalila tells us about the society.
Why did you
start the society?
When I went abroad for my year abroad (Michigan in the US), I joined
the Model Un at that University, going to conferences in Chicago and New York.
It was a really good experience for me as it improved my confidence, allowing
me to speak up in class and share my opinion, something I hadn’t been able to
do before. So I thought, well why hasn’t Brookes got something like this? So I
decided to set one up.
What does a Model UN do?
Usually we meet once a week, and prepare for the conferences
we’re going to. So we assign you a country, then a committee and you have to do
research the foreign policy of the country, it’s position on a particular
topic, and from then on its practising your public speaking and diplomatic
How did you get
invited to meet the General Secretary?
So a big step in starting the club was affiliating it with
the National United Nations Association UK. Due to our affiliation they invite
us to a lot of their events. For
instance, we were invited to a celebration for Ukraine, and here I got to meet
a variety of people including diplomats and representatives in from the
Security Council. Recently they hosted Antonio Guterres (Secretary-General of
the UN). The Vice President of the society and I were invited to attend. He
gave a speech and we were allowed to ask questions after.
How do you think the
experience will help you in the future?
I was always very, very quiet growing up, I never felt
confident speaking out, and even more so in English as it isn’t my first
language. I always found it difficult to point my point across, so in my first
year of university I was quite withdrawn. Doing Model Un really gives you a
boost because you suddenly feel confident and that what you have to say is
important. I’m really glad I was able to bring that opportunity to other people
(Brookes students) for instance at the start of this year we had a lot of
people who would sit there and not speak. By the end of the year they were
confidently making speeches and writing resolutions. As a whole it made me a
much more confident person, especially in regards to public speaking.
How did Brookes
When I was setting up the society, I was actually still in
the US, as there was a deadline to start a new society. Lucy (Ford, Senior
Lecturer in International Relations) helped send around my proposal to other
students, along with a video on what exactly a Model UN is, and I was inundated
with responses. The SU were also helpful in setting up the society, providing
us with finances to help towards attending conferences.
Dalila is just finishing her time at Oxford Brookes, and
after graduation plans to pursue a Masters in Human Rights or Criminal Justice
Find out more about studying
International Relations and Politics, and the societies Brookes has to offer
on our website.