The first Munapest, in 2015, was a challenge, or rather three different challenges in three different areas. To begin with it was a tremendous amount of work for the organizing association, IDSA, which was still taking its baby steps towards stabilization. Hand-in-hand with this, responsibility and pressure was shared across the individual beings organizing the conference. These two caused the shaking knees and voices at around the Opening Ceremony – but it was all worth it for what came after.
Real challenge. The real challenge was for the participants: untangling the far-reaching web of what MUNAPEST had to offer. This year’s topics were assessed quite ambitiously, focusing on Middle-Eastern political effects on the global world. In itself this would be complex enough, but the introduction of Interconnectivity (mainly thanks to Gábor Rácz and WEBMUN), a newly assessed Rules of Procedure (thanks to all of you working on it, it was an extreme team effort) and an amazingly well-developed crisis scenario created a huge mosaic of complicated possibilities.
Fortunately, the participants were amazing both professionally and personally. They were able to tackle this unusual MUN-style impressively, always with a smile. I believe Munapest in its first year reached what every MUN is aiming for: a lively, buzzing atmosphere full of joy and laughter, learning experience and ever-lasting
friendships. After all, this is why we are doing MUNs.
Let me grab the opportunity to thank all the organizers and the whole of IDSA for making MUNAPEST 2015 possible. Additional very special thanks to Bogi Erdős, the Conference Manager of 2015, without her I probably wouldn’t have made it through. And last, but very much not least, to all the succeeding organizers and members of IDSA – you are the ones making MUNAPEST a real legacy!
– András Ádám, Secretary-General of Munapest 2015
Our foundations were the core systems we built the year before: Interconnectivity, a conference-wide Crisis and intense small-committee debates. We had no illusions about resting on our laurels – we had a vision of building on our successes and fixing our mistakes. We needed a central theme that every single committee would be focused on, with the aim of their individual solutions coming together like pieces to a puzzle to solve this greater issue. We strategically incorporated regional bodies next to our usual UN committees to create a more dynamic setting. We reimagined many features of Interconnectivity, from the hierarchy system to delegation meetings, with many little fixes that would help our initial vision become reality.
But perhaps the greatest change was making financial feasibility a factor delegates would have to deal with as part of their decision-making. By introducing the Resource System with country budgets and the Special Financial Committee as their main gatekeeper, we managed to cure a long-time ill of Model UNs: solutions that sound great in a speech, but not even remotely possible in real life due to financial reasons.
The overarching crisis scenario became even more important this year, and the Crisis Team worked for over half a year on creating the story our delegates would experience over just a few short days. It’s great to see that the two Crisis Team members who contributed so much to this year’s success have since become the Secretaries-General of the conferences that followed.
With over 200 participants experiencing the journey we had planned for them, I feel that Munapest 2016 was the realization of our vision for what a Model UN should be. For me personally, it remains the part of my life I am most proud of. This is all thanks to having the perfect team by my side – one which I hope, one day, I will have the chance to recreate.
– Gábor Rácz, Secretary-General of Munapest 2016
With the third installment of our ambitious, annual Model United Nations conference, the organizers faced a unique challenge: although we could greatly rely on and draw from the successes of the previous two years, the pressure was high to deliver the same, great results in terms of professional activities as well as entertainment and social events – or attempt to achieve even more.
Building on the thematic, continental approach from the previous year, we chose the three Americas – South, Central and North – to be the focus of our conference. All committees as well as the overarching Crisis Scenario that connected their work dealt with conflicts, hardships and developmental hindrances that affected certain countries or regions on the American continents. A major goal of the narrative story driving the events and crises occurring during the conference was to foster Pan-American integration.
At the same time, we implemented a huge structural and conceptual reform package to improve the operation of the United Nations – or failing that, at least shake things up a bit and alter the status quo. All I can say is; having a P9 makes things way more complicated but way more entertaining. The political upheavals it released spread over to our amazing and enthusiastic delegates, who were just as much fun in the committee chambers as in the pubs and clubs.
– Tamás Szikora, Secretary-General of Munapest 2017
With the fourth edition of our conference we endeavoured on the path to build upon the existing professionalism and the strong foundation laid before us. We drew strength from mistakes and worked tirelessly in our team to ensure the legacy of Munapest and its core values passed on to us, and in turn, to the next generation. We aimed to deliver on our promises of heated debates, challenging topics and triggering crises.
Continuing the continental focus of the conference set up by our predecessors was without a doubt. Asia, being the largest continent in the world, both by population and by area, faces the most diverse challenges our world has experienced so far. We were not afraid to put the most controversial topics and difficulties of the continent in the forefront of the debate. WE gave a wide range of crises to tackle and overcome providing not just a challenge for our participants but for the organizers as well.
With ten committees including two regional, it is my firm belief that the Munapest we created in 2018 delivered on its promise. The challenging topics brought out the best in all delegates. As I walked along the corridor during the breaks between sessions you could feel the continuous debates and discussions, never dimming and never ending. Munapest 2018 truly continued the spirit of our previous conferences and we know it will continue to do so in 2019.
– Benjámin Baksa, Deputy Secretary-General of Munapest 2018
The fifth instalment of the conference aimed to become the keystone for both the last 5 years and for the future of Munapest. Our approach was, therefore, a rationalisation towards previous concepts, as well as a level-headed development process to build a strong foundation new projects can strive upon. We believe that this was the right way to ensure that the legacy of Munapest and its positive memories for participants and organisers will be upheld.
We believe that the time has come for a new approach for MUN simulations that insures sustainability regarding participants and development. With deliberately keeping our participant numbers generally under 200, we managed to keep a relatively flexible structure that can easily adapt to new ideas and concepts from younger generations to unfold their creativity. We realized that this is the source for renewal from year to year to keep ourselves fresh and captivating. We aimed to satisfy the needs of as many groups as possible from old foxes of MUN to newbies, from the ones being overly professional to those only looking for a good time. We tried to think of you all.
By keeping our numbers rational and our structure mobile, we could implement quite a few serious reforms. From our main narrative, the rise of the multipolar world order (for each participant to keep in mind besides their own respective topics); through new, combined and reimagined chambers (e.g. the NATO-SCO), to some framework concepts that further supported the smooth functioning of the system as a whole (like the Diplomatic Corps). Through these changes, we implied that for participants to accomplish their goals, it is not enough to simulate the UN but they have to broaden their horizon to see the many actors throughout the international community.
Throughout the year, we put an incredible emphasis on not just giving our participants our best, but making sure that they will have a Munapest to visit next year as well. We firmly believe that we have made important steps towards the recognition of the incredible work our Organising Team has put into Munapest 2019, and we hope that all of you will keep a good memory of us with you. Our conference was a result of the hard work of 50 people from August till May and we could not be more thankful for their effort to make our collective dream come true.
– The Secretariat of Munapest 2019
The main narrative being A Divided Planet and sticking to an already reformed chamber structure, with unique methodical additions (ICJ), to some framework concepts that further supported the smooth functioning of the system as a whole (like the Diplomatic Corps) Munapest 2020 can be considered a professional success. As declared before, at an MUN conference with this caliber, it is not enough to simulate the UN. Munapest 2020 planned to reflect on the international community in a special way. A professional success is a remarkable feat, but Munapest 2020 managed to back it up with a record number of applicants, proving that our Social Media Team has lived up to the expectations.
Continuing with the Organising Team, Munapest 2020 has combined experience with enthusiasm, calm leadership with firm motivation. The Veterans of Munapest organising teamed up with young intellectuals to create the perfect balance. We are grateful to all our members, without their contribution we could’ve never gone so far. Despite the eventual fate of the Conference, the stage was set for greatness.
Munapest 2020 was officially cancelled by the Organising Team. The Pandemic of 2020 proved to be a fatal blow to all international conferences, entire sectors and countries have suffered the impact of this global crisis and Munapest 2020 was no exception. Adapting to the challenges of the New Decade, we shall build upon what we have established. Munapest 2021 aims to reinvent the Munapest experience in a changed environment, building on the experiences we obtained during the 2020 organising process.
– Kiss Kornél, President of NDT during Munapest 2020