LETTER FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
To all members of the WorldMUN family, far and wide,
My friend recently introduced me to an interesting term, the word “fuubutsushi.” Fuubutsushi refers to a thing that evokes feelings of nostalgia and anticipation for a particular season. Though the word is typically employed in the context of natural seasons of the year, I like to think that fuubutsushi applies to another type of season very near and dear to my heart: WorldMUN season.
Fuubutsushi is the snapping of Harvard team photos and their posting on social media and the WorldMUN website in early May as we recruit and consolidate our team for the upcoming year. It’s the deluge of emails and texts from members of the global WorldMUN community inquiring about the next location for the conference that motivate me toward making this iteration of WorldMUN the best yet.
And as I sit writing this outside in the eclipse of the Japanese Imperial Palace, fuubutsushi is everything around me—from the radiant symbolism of sakura (cherry blossom) trees and sublime vistas of the iconic Mt. Fuji to the heartbeat of a bustling megalopolis, reflected in a wide spectrum of voices, dialects, and conversations in every corner—as I look forward to the thousands of delegates we will have the privilege of serving in March 2020. It is hence my great pleasure and honor to announce, on behalf of the entire organizing committee, that the twenty-ninth session of Harvard World Model United Nations will be held in Tokyo, Japan from the 16th to the 20th of March 2020.
Tokyo is simultaneously the world’s largest modern metropolis and home to one of its most ancient and well-preserved cultures. Traversing the city by bullet train, one can appreciate the engineering and logistical marvels that allow nearly 40 million people to smoothly carry out their day-to-day lives. Yet at Tokyo’s physical and metaphorical core is the home of the oldest continuing monarchical line, and teahouses and sumo venues are amongst its most popular tourist attractions. It is a city that marries looming skyscrapers with Shinto shrines, one that juxtaposes the upbeat novelty of Shibuya-kei pop music with the histrionic antiquity of kabuki theater.
WorldMUN has a history of seeking out the previously unexplored and diving to new depths, be it through the content of its committees, its accessibility to delegates and delegations with little to no prior Model UN experience, or its aim to provide not only an excellent substantive experience but also amazing intercultural connections and memories that last a lifetime. With Tokyo as the setting for our return to Asia after a half-decade hiatus and our first conference in Japan, WorldMUN at twenty-nine is no different. Delegates will be able to engage in constructive debate and discussion on a variety of significant issues modern and historical, while enjoying the unique cultural offerings and nightlife that make Tokyo a crossroads of the past, present, and future. Most importantly, delegates will get to meet, share with, and learn from thousands of their contemporaries, in the process developing cross-cultural relationships and awareness that will follow them home upon the end of the conference.
I must bring my address to a close, as the wonderful scent of Chiyoda greenery, the inviting greetings of passersby, and, of course, the abundance of work ahead of conference command my attention. It is my hope that my words herewith convey my boundless enthusiasm for the upcoming year and the conference, and I look forward to seeing you in Tokyo in 2020 for what I hope will be WorldMUN’s greatest chapter yet.