Bellevue College student Victor Houssa was the first BC student to win an award at a Northwest Model United Nations conference. Not sure what that is? Model United Nations is a program that offers to college and university students from around the world a chance to address global issues in an environment that simulates an actual United Nations conference.
Houssa won the Distinguished Delegate award at NWMUN 2013. After many congratulations from his fellow Model UN members, Houssa shared his reflections and experiences.
To him, being honored as a distinguished delegate “means that I stand out of the crowd or [among] fellow delegates. It also means to me that with enough passion and desire to excel in what you do there is bound [to be positive results]. I am glad I might have sparked something in the UN class. I definitely didn’t see this coming, as my objective for the conference was to have fun and gain experience, but I guess awards come with having fun…”
As a NWMUN delegate, one must remain in character throughout debate, aligning with their country’s ideals and past. “To prepare for remaining in character, the main thing to know is your country’s stand on the issue being discussed,” Houssa said, and then “find out the country’s desired actions that the country wants the UN to adopt.”
The BC MUN class offers delegates the chance to prepare themselves for the conferences. The students prepare by reading about the background and history of the UN and their countries, and participate in “simulations of the conference.”
Houssa “[believes that] most other delegates did a fantastic job as well,” and that he “didn’t see [his own] award coming.” He heard he received the award because of “[his] speeches that fetched [him] the award,” but said with a smile that he thinks he “still needs to improve [his] speeches.”
His interest in MUN was spurred by his desire to make a difference in this world, while bringing honor and respect to his family and country. He had attended three other MUN conferences prior to this one.
Houssa said that “the only way to reach people that you will never know is through politics … [and he would] love to be a part of something that tried to impact the world positively.”
Houssa mentioned that “international affairs and diplomacy are [his] goal,” and notes that this is a valuable opportunity for him to explore diplomacy and other aspects of political involvement.
During the NWMUN conference, Houssa was on the United Nations Environmental Program representing Mauritania. In preparation for remaining in character throughout debate, he said that “the main thing to know is your country’s stand on the issue being discussed,” and once that is established, “find out the country’s desired actions that the country wants the UN to adopt and run from there.”
“I learnt that the future generation is full of passion in regards to making the world a better place, and to me there is nothing more exciting [than] to be a part of such a great movement. It’s also relevant to point out that the international community is not an easy environment; things could go wrong from one second to another. But, dialogues and negotiation of ideas is what the UN was created for, and I want to promote that ideology in a world that war, death and corruption oozes from everywhere. With the grace of God I hope to accomplish this dream of mine,” he ended with a smile.
Houssa wishes to continue his participation in MUN conferences with the BC delegation and “would like to take this opportunity to thank the college for supporting us and giving us the privilege to participate in these conferences through the funds they invest in us. I am grateful.”