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Success story from Colombia - MUN 2016 Assembly UN HQ - PUJMUN, Camila Pachón Santamaria

My name is Camila Pachón Santamaria, I'm a 22 year old Colombian student who currently majors in Communication at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, in Bogotá, Colombia. I was representing PUJMUN 2016 –as the Secretary General– at United Ambassador's MUN 2016 Youth Assembly. In my case, I was assigned for committee B, in which SDGs 5, 10, 11, 16 and 17 were discussed. These were related to matters such as gender equality, sustainable cities and partnerships for the goals.

My experience at the MUN Youth Assembly was very enriching. I had to challenge myself to propose innovative and inclusive ideas that could be applied not only for PUJMUN but also worldwide. I believe that the major highlight of my experience was the learning process –not only academic but also personal– that I encountered while I was at MUN4UN. It was an emotional rollercoaster, because I was able to feel excitement, anger, frustration, joy, nostalgia and pride.

All of these summed up for an experience that I will never forget, especially because I saw my peers enjoying themselves and getting in touch with people from around the world. I realized what we had accomplished and how we had gotten there. I enjoyed discussing gender equality the most. I believe that I was chosen for committee B as a matter of fate, because in the final day I addressed the General Assembly and spoke about how proud I was of being a woman. Also, when we got back home, we implemented some of the aspects from the Final Resolution, some of them that included what we had proposed for committee B.

As I mentioned earlier, I gave a speech at the General Assembly. I felt the need to address all of the people who were there on a very important matter: gender. I consider myself as an advocate of matters such as gender equality and women empowerment, and I had the chance to speak my heart out at that podium. I mentioned certain aspects that I later on recalled at my closing speech as Secretary General, on October 17th. I stated that for me, being a woman was a matter of privilege and joy, and that I felt proud of having been born a woman. I also mentioned how being a female leader and having mostly female staff at my MUN made me realize how powerful women are, and how we’re searching for new paths and opportunities to let our voices be heard. And finally, I called upon all delegates to bear in mind how women are changing the world.

When the first assignment was sent, I responded to the question "Do you think that MUN can change the world?" by stating that I did not believe that MUN could change the world but it could change ourselves. I stand by that answer today stronger than ever. After United Ambassador's MUN 2016 Youth Assembly, I felt like my whole life had changed. I was able to get to know amazing people, challenge myself in unknown fields, share cherishable memories along my friends and make my dreams come true. Before the conference, I had always dreamt about the chance to address the General Assembly on some relevant issue, and I did. It was not just "an important matter", but it was THE most important aspect about my whole experience. I traveled to New York with 10 of my peers, and came back home with 10 best friends. I'm convinced that PUJMUN 2017 will implement most of the clauses and agreements that we agreed on in August, and that they will earn a spot at the MUN Hall of Fame because of their hard work and passion. I believe that I opened a door for them and for other MUNers in Colombia and in the world, and I'm very proud of that.

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