It is my absolute honor to welcome you to the 23rd Virginia International Crisis Simulation, the annual collegiate Model United Nations conference sponsored by the International Relations Organization at the University of Virginia. VICS XXIII offers seventeen crisis committees, ranging from historical to contemporary, and even to fantasy, for you to explore and devise intricate crisis arcs. We are committed to expanding the scope of what a crisis committee can do, especially in our famous ad-hocs, the Secretary General’s Good Offices and the Directors General’s Good Offices, and in our joint crisis committees, Blow, Bullets, and Blood: Medellin vs. Cali Cartels, and the Catalan Secession: Spain vs. Catalonia.
I enjoy Model United Nations because it allows delegates to explore how policy making (and problem solving in general) actually works — policy as the product of decisions that are often made in uncertain conditions. To this end, the members of Secretariat and I have worked closely with the conference staff to guarantee committees are are interactive and innovative. It is my hope that, over the course of the conference, you develop an appreciation for the complexity of the topics you discuss and that you react decisively to the crises we create taking into account the nuance of the issue we raise.
VICS XXIII strives to find the perfect balance between complex and engaging committees and fun and entertaining social events. I strongly believe that Model United Nations should not just be a competition for who can be the “sharkiest,” but should actually simulate real diplomacy, which emphasizes collaboration, patience, and negotiation. Over the weekend of the conference, I encourage you all to take the time to get to know delegates from other schools, and experience for yourself how Model United Nations can bring together students from all backgrounds.
I hope you enjoy your time at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville. I, my Secretariat, and the rest of the International Relations Organization look forward to getting to know you over this weekend. If you should need anything, please do not hesitate to talk to any staffer.
Sara Dalpe Sánchez