While topic areas are provided in advance, the world is an unpredictable place. Therefore, several committees will find that urgent issues will interrupt normal debate. A crisis may take several forms and occur at any time, so delegates should constantly be aware of their countries’ policies and interests. Crises enliven committees and broaden the scope of the delegate experience, forcing delegates to confront complex situations as they unfold, minute by minute.
One of the most dynamic elements of the committee experience is the introduction of an expert witness. Expert witnesses make frequent appearances to clarify issues, enliven debate, and enhance the substantive quality of our committees. Past experts have included military officials, refugees, and doctors from international aid organizations. Witnesses make appearances in person, through video link-up, or by conference call.
Presentations and Guest Speakers
Each year, HMUN commits to having committee presentations that broaden the scope of debate and elaborate on key issues. We also invite guest speakers into the committee room to infuse committee dynamics. Past speakers have included Harvard professors, UN officials, and international diplomats. Delegates will have the opportunity to ask these experts questions pertinent to the issues at hand.
In order to expand the delegates’ educational experience, HMUN is committed to providing the necessary resources to allow delegates to obtain needed information before and during the conference. HMUN will provide extensive computing facilities with Internet access to allow delegates to search for past statistics and previous documents to inform the work of the committee. Our expanded website (www.harvardmun.org) will contain an increased number of links to committee-related resources, allowing delegates faster access to pertinent material for debate before and during the conference.
Each year, HMUN begins with the much-anticipated opening ceremonies. Like the conference itself, opening ceremonies seeks to blend entertainment and education. Past opening ceremonies have combined performances by Harvard a cappella groups with keynote addresses by such prominent speakers as Lawrence Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury, Chief Economist of the World Bank and President of Harvard University, and Louise Frechette, former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General. We are currently working to secure an interesting and engaging speaker for 2012 and look forward to starting the conference off on a high note.
Delegates are not the only ones who can expand their intellectual horizons at HMUN 2013. Our popular faculty panels bring diverse and prominent Harvard faculty members and visiting scholars to discuss their current research and experiences with students and faculty advisors. Panels will be held in the Faculty Lounge in the Sheraton and will be spaced throughout the weekend. Usually, speakers give 30 minute presentations and then engage in 30 minutes of discussion with the audience. In addition, there is a reception for faculty advisors with the keynote speaker after Opening Ceremonies on Thursday. A full list of Faculty Advisor events can be found in the Faculty Advisor Handbook, which will be distributed at registration.