PANAMUN is for Everyone
by Citlacti Carrera-López
About 400 foreign students attend PANMUN every year. These are students who come from either different schools within Panama or different countries around the world. The amount of people who attend PANAMUN prove it to be one of the biggest conferences in Latin America. Due to COVID restrictions the total number of foreign students who were supposed to attend in-person ended up attending online through zoom. This, however, did not hold back any of the debaters from openly speaking as the delegation from their country and participating in the debates, as well as the resolutions.
In order to fully understand the impact that PANAMUN has on people other than those of ISP, we interviewed some foreign delegates on their personal experiences in PANAMUN and what it has done for them. The reasons why students decided to attend PANANMUN this year ranged from wanting to engage themselves more into global politics and improving their writing/debating skills to wanting to participate in the conference for a second year because of how engaging and fun it was in previous years. One delegate commented that “It brings me experiences interacting with new people, as well as seeing how people can work together to compromise and find mutually beneficial solutions to many different issues. It also teaches me to look at things from new perspectives”.
In addition to the experiences they get from the three days of PANAMUN, we made sure to ask what skills or ways these delegates benefit from attending the conference. Delegates from special committees such as IPC have said that they benefit from participating in a fun learning environment, and how this year they are improving their writing skills. As for debaters from normal committees, they have said that they benefited through being able to gain first-hand experience with what it is like being a politician and having to solve issues of global importance. Some delegates even went on to mention the different skills that are improving from attending a conference such as this one. “I think it helps improve public speaking skills, collaboration skills, and caring skills as you have to care about the issues you are fighting for or against. I also get insight in the ways to analyze global politics, brainstorming solutions and cooperative diplomacy skills”.
We ended the interview by asking what their favorite PANAMUN experience was, either from this year or previous years. “My favourite panamun experience was last year when my resolution group was presenting our resolutions and became engaged in a heated debate that everyone in the committee joined in on”. “Listening in on the HCC committee and getting to write about the issue and the measures they are taking to address it”. “This conference so far has been very interactive and the chairs have been awesome”. These responses demonstrate how PANAMUN does not only help us improve our educational skills but also builds relationships and memories which we will carry for the rest of our lives. There are 400 foreign students attending PANAMUN this year and 947 students in total. That is 947 students whose lives change for the better because of PANAMUN.