WorldMUN 2018 in Panama City will look and feel a lot different from the first WorldMUN, held in 1992 in Międzyzdroje, Poland. Yes, WorldMUN will have more than six times as many delegates as it did then. Yes, WorldMUN will have an expanded offering of social events, in-conference trips, and keynote speakers relative to its humble origins. And yes, WorldMUN will take place across the globe from where it started.

But perhaps more importantly, the challenge before WorldMUN delegates in 2018 compared to 1992 has drastically changed. In 1992, delegates gathered in Eastern Europe in an era of hope for a new world order. The Cold War had ended, the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain had come down, and the forces of internationalism, globalism, and humanitarianism brought promise for a more prosperous, interconnected world. Many experts observed that we had arrived at the end of history; liberalism had triumphed.

A quarter-century on, the international community has successfully and immensely reduced poverty, hunger, and violence. Trade, communication, and the free exchange of ideas have indeed expanded, allowing endeavors like WorldMUN to thrive as havens for intercultural dialogue.

But we have by no means arrived at the end of history. Over the course of 2016 and 2017, cracks in post-Cold War world order have emerged. Transnational political movements have called into question the benefits of globalization and internationalism, citing the very real failings of the liberal world order.

Thus, at its twenty-seventh session, WorldMUN delegates must reevaluate the pillars and institutions of the contemporary international community, without giving in to the impulses of fear, discrimination, and hatred. Whether it be within the largesse of DISEC, the fast-paced Security Council, or anywhere in between, delegates must apply their knowledge, critical thinking, and diplomatic skills in order to envision a more connected, inclusive, and prosperous world for all people.