So, what exactly is an "Everyday Ambassador"?
Proudly standing as highly as possible on our page are the words "I am an Everyday Ambassador". This slogan is the birth place of all our work in Model United Nations, and continues to be the ultimate vision and core purpose of United Ambassadors. But what does that mean? What exactly is an Everyday Ambassador? And how does that relate to Model United Nations? As simple as the question is, as complex its answer can be.
According to dictionary.com, an Ambassador is: "a diplomatic official of the highest rank sent by a government to represent it", "a diplomatic official serving as permanent head of a country's mission to the United Nations or some other international organization", or "an authorized messenger or representative". The position of delegate is the primary building block of an MUN career. In Model United Nations, we role play as "Ambassadors" all the time, the equivalent of "delegates" in Model UN simulations.
"An Everyday Ambassador is an experienced Model United Nations veteran committed to applying MUN Values and utilizing MUN skills in everyday life"
What are the Building Blocks of an "Everyday Ambassador"?
1. Representative of an identity. An ambassador is the diplomatic representative of a nation. An everyday ambassador is the social representative of an identity. They can be representatives of a particular value, issue, cause or even nationality, depending on the context they are in. They are able to positively project on their identity or issue. In other words: capable of connecting externally, in conjunction with resolving internally.
2. Believer in education, Model UN and the power of youth. An actual ambassador believes in the power of the United Nations and International Organizations in changing the world. An everyday ambassador, firmly and deeply believes in the potential of educational activities like Model United Nations in inspiring youth, and believes in the much more profound impact youth can have on changing the world.
3. Does not want to work at the United Nations. More often than not, you find that students of International Relations join MUN to get one step closer to working at the UN or an International Organization. That is great. But, an everyday ambassador essentially, does not want to work at the United Nations, does not want to work in politics, or be part of political movements. But rather wants to be an everyday social catalyst for positive influence or societal reform. That is a key distinction.
4. Highly skilled & qualified. An "everyday ambassador", ideally, cares about the Best Delegate Award as well! By that, we are referring to a person who is driven, motivated, qualified and cares about exemplifying success, wherever that may be. They do not necessarily have to enjoy the sense of competition, but are capable of excelling in competitive environments, if need be. In Model UN context, the most influential people, most definitely must have been award winning delegates at some point. And as chairs, they are loved chairs. And as organizers, they are good organizers. They are capable of proving tangible success. Not perfection, but recognizable success.
5. Influential: An Ambassador is a trained and extraordinary diplomat who can engage in bilateral negotiations on critical issues and ensure their country's views are taken into account at the United Nations. An everyday ambassador however, is someone who has the very special gift of: influence. This influence could personality related, a skill this person is inherently gifted with. It can also be acquired, through slow build up of respect among colleagues, through the incremental collection of information, experience or knowledge. Influence is not the same thing as authority, and it's what enables leaders to manage without authority.
6. Application in Model United Nations. In Model United Nations, an everyday ambassador would be someone who started a new MUN club or initiative even though it did not previously exit, despite various difficulties and led it to success. A Secretary-General who transformed a Model and left his successors with a legacy to protect. An MUN leader who launched an Arabic, UN4MUN or new language committee within a new or existing Model UN conference structure. A person who can create and maintain a cohesive MUN team, and inspire through MUN. A qualified MUNer who can influence and convince other qualified MUNers.
7. Application in Real Life. After developing countless skills and values through the wonderful experience of Model United Nations, an everyday ambassador would continue to remember their MUN journey, and apply, utilize or spread the skills and values learnt throughout their MUN experience in the work place, in random conversations, in everyday interactions, in everyday life. No microphones, no suits, no podium, no placard. Just, life.. as after all, most do move on after Model United Nations. But that does not mean we cannot be delegates, without the committee room.
That, is an Everyday Ambassador.
What are Model United Nations Values?
MUN can have everyday interactions that build memories throughout generations. Below are some of the values I believe long term and diverse Model UN experiences can develop throughout an MUN career and lifetime.
Diplomacy (skill & value).
Fully understanding opposing points of view and being able to stand up for both, equally, if needed (something learnt in Model UN - skill and value).
Objective fact based analysis. (skill and value).
Respect for and appreciation of diversity.
Global awareness & cross-cultural sensitivity.
Commitment to constructive negotiation.
Ability to undergo meaningful debate.
Challenging stereotypes and social definitions.
Thinking beyond the committee room.
Caring about the award, but also ability to see beyond the placard and the award.
True concern and care for the status, welfare and progress of the Earth we share as human beings.
What are Model United Nations Skills?
Unlike other extra-curricular activities, MUN can develop a diverse array of critical skills that challenge various sides of a persons character and encourages a young person to reach their full potential. Below are some of the essential skills MUN develops.
Organizational & project management skills.
Addressing common misconceptions:
Even though United Ambassadors has existed for quite some time, we have not previously answered the question what is an every day ambassador in such detail, as we wanted to allow room for interpretation. However, we hoped to address some misconceptions that may potentially arise when our slogan is not well explained. Please read the below carefully.
Do we award a title "Everyday Ambassador"? --> NO. Neither we, nor anyone in the world, has the right to tell anyone, you are or are not what is referred to as an "everyday ambassador".
Do we call ourselves "Everyday Ambassadors" --> NO. That is not tolerated at United Ambassadors. Non of our team members (starting with and including the founder) call themselves "everyday ambassadors". We say we strive to be, and would be honored to be associated with the title. We only hope we can live up to the good faith of our supporters and truly hope to do the best job we can, and learn as we progress.
Why is the slogan "I am an everyday ambassador"? Because United Ambassadors promotes the concept. That's why the phrase is placed next to our logo. It means, we aspire to be everyday ambassadors, and everyone is free to define the term differently.
Misconceptions: What an everyday ambassador is not: An everyday ambassador does not enforce his/her views on others, is not a political movement or social protest leader, tries not to be overbearing or pushy, does not push forward a personal agenda when it is not suitable for the time, place or situation or out of context, and does not want to non-constructively change MUN.
The ultimate purpose of the slogan "Everyday Ambassador":
In the world of Model UN, we are standing for an intangible idea that could be regarded as "fluff" amidst a competitive, popular field that revolves around a mental exercise (simulations) and is ordinarily dependent on skills like debate, public speaking, etc.
In Model United Nations, the largest international conferences bring together the most well educated, qualified, aware, and capable young people from the top educational institutions from all around the world. They join in heated environments of debate and discussion on the world's most complex, pressing issues. And as it is an environment of simulation, they also engage in informal conversations, and make friends outside of the committee.
This environment provides unmatched opportunity to practice inter-cultural dialogue and communication. They talk about issues going on in their country and get to both explain, and understand other points of view on the matter. In this context, young people build memories that can truly re-define misconceptions and challenge existing mentalities throughout emerging generations of various societies. It is also how young people gain experience and understanding that can help them enhance their society on a local level after returning.
When this becomes a value, after prolonged MUN experience, it affects the person for the rest of his/her life, creating a true difference between MUNers and non MUNers within the same society - ie: those who have undergone similar experiences vs. those who never got the opportunity.
Can you envision Everyday Ambassadors in real life? These are some random examples intended for clarification. In political conversations, an everyday ambassador would be the person that can equally address all views, and is able to calm down or moderate irrational or heated debate. In schools, an everyday ambassador is the star student who knows how to be kind, a teacher who inspires a classroom, or an inventive little boy, who is now touring the world talking about his clock.. Around the world, everyday ambassadors are those who can peacefully present or represent a value or cause, without losing friends or damaging their own cause. In the workplace, everyday ambassadors are those who willingly select projects that may be more difficult, or equally (or less) profitable, but could add more value to society, colleagues who can succeed without overstepping boundaries or overlooking others, or managers who can lead and inspire a team. At home, you will find some of the most influential everyday ambassadors on earth: parents, who can build generations and instill values and ideals. And last but not least, Model United Nations participants, graduates or trainers, who can create Model UN environments that encourage the concept of #MUN for #Everyday Ambassadors. Although it is not exclusive to Model United Nations, we set it as a slogan, as we believe Model United Nations is the most effective, powerful and trustworthy tool to create tomorrow's leaders and everyday ambassadors.
In the world of Model United Nations, we are sparking the idea of thinking beyond the committee room, and considering how you can employ the skills you are learning through MUN today in productive ways in the future.