To all sponsors, delegates, and guests of GSMUN,
On behalf of the Model UN leadership and staff at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, it is my pleasure to invite you to the 23rd iteration of Governor School Model United Nations, more fondly known as GSMUN, which will take place from March 26 to March 27, 2021, virtually. While the decision was difficult to make, we resolved to host GSMUN virtually this year because of the ongoing pandemic that has not shown consistent signs of abating before the date of the conference. Even with considerable improvements in certain states and localities, the lack of uniform improvements throughout the nation forces us to conclude that inviting hundreds of delegates, sponsors, staff, and volunteers to GSMUN in person would be detrimental to our collective safety.
Through many hours of work, my staff and I have explored every aspect of a virtual conference and the limitations it may place on traditional Model UN committee dynamics; but we are happy to inform you that this year’s conference will not fall short of any GSMUN you may have experienced before, or if you are a newcomer, won’t fail to leave you in awe. From the Bharatiya Janata Party to Lyndon B. Johnson’s Cabinet, and from the Harry Potter Ministry of Magic to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, we have assembled an array of committees that will interest every type of delegate. We made it our foremost priority to preserve the academic value and the historic enjoyability of typical GSMUNs from past years even through a computer screen.
When delegates take the roles of prominent figures in history, and at times entire countries, at GSMUN, they leave their personal worlds for a weekend to embrace the conditions of sensitive environments that demand resolution not through chance, but through calculated diplomacy. They learn to understand issues from a variety of perspectives and they better consider the interests as well as concerns of those around them. Delegates experiment with diplomatic strategies and they delve into the inner workings of foreign relations. Through these experiences, we at GSMUN hope to offer a collaborative, open-minded, and boundless conference for those seeking an opportunity to see the world from a different angle. In giving delegates a voice to use as their own in committee, we hope to improve their public speaking skills and negotiating capacity.
Unlike previous GSMUN’s, this iteration will have to endure through extraordinary circumstances, namely the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected us all. Even through a virtual platform, we assure you that high-quality debate will be fostered, and proper hospitality realized while equally balancing the interests of the safety of our delegates and sponsors. We have added a number of resources on our website that will guide newcomers through MUN basics and all delegates through the digital aspects of the conference. From documents detailing paying fees online to virtual committee rules, be sure to check our resources before the date of the conference so that you can experience the best of GSMUN. As always, feel free to contact me and other members of the Secretariat using the respective emails on our website at any time with questions, concerns, or input. We promise you that we will do our best to make virtual GSMUN a success comparable to no other. I hope to see you all this March!
Secretary-General, GSMUN XXIII