15 November, 2023

The Leaders of Tomorrow: BIS Hanoi Hosts the FOBISIA Model United Nations (MUN)

The Leaders of Tomorrow: BIS Hanoi Hosts the FOBISIA Model United Nations (MUN) - The Leaders of Tomorrow BIS Hanoi Hosts the FOBISIA Model United Nations
BIS Hanoi was honoured to welcome more than 150 student delegates from 13 International Schools across Asia for the FOBISIA Model United Nations (MUN) 2023!

How do we protect our seas and marine life? How do we ensure digital privacy in the age of artificial intelligence? How do we safeguard the rights of women in conflict zones? 

These were just some of the big questions tackled by student delegates at the FOBISIA Model United Nations (MUN), which took place at BIS Hanoi from 10th-12th November. 

Our school is a proud member of FOBISIA, a collaborative federation of 96 International Schools. FOBISIA member schools work together to share teaching best-practices and provide students with unique new learning experiences. The FOBISIA MUN was a valuable opportunity for students to learn more about the role of the United Nations, as well as develop skills such as communication and collaboration, at a time when international relations are more important than ever.

What is Model United Nations (MUN)?

MUN is an academic simulation of the real-world United Nations! Students take on the challenge of becoming United Nations delegates, working to find solutions to world issues through intense negotiations and discussions.

MUN introduces students to the principles of the UN and provides an opportunity to deep-dive into the heart of global issues through carefully curated topics. Topics in this year’s FOBISIA MUN were centred around ‘The Future of Asia’.  

A Welcome from the British Ambassador to Vietnam  

FOBISIA MUN 2023 | BIS Hanoi

On Friday afternoon, our student delegates gathered in the theatre for the official Opening Ceremony. We were privileged to welcome His Excellency Mr. Iain Frew, His Majesty's British Ambassador to Vietnam, as the keynote speaker.  

Mr Frew inspired the delegates by sharing his experiences from the five international postings he has held as a diplomat. Referencing his time representing the UK in both Russia and the EU, Mr Frew reflected on the positive outcomes achieved by diplomacy, as well as those times when a resolution could not be found. Mr Frew described diplomacy as “an art, rather than a science,” emphasising how successful diplomacy creates solutions where the framework for an agreement does not yet exist. He encouraged delegates to demonstrate the key values of good diplomacy during their own MUN debates, including:  

  • Empathy 
  • Vision 
  • Creativity  
  • Positivity  
  • Expertise  
  • BIS Hanoi’s own values of Integrity and Respect 
Three Days of Debate and Discussion Begins!  

After an introductory session on Friday, the student delegates returned to campus on Saturday morning, ready for the real debating to begin!  

The MUN was split into 12 different committees, each made up of delegates from different international schools, which tackled a diverse range of topics.

The Asia Pacific Council debated the issue of child marriage in developing countries, the Security Council debated the conflict in Yemen and Nuclear Disarmament, while the World Health Organization worked to create a framework for dealing with future pandemics.  

Each individual student was responsible for articulating the perspective of the country they were representing. The resulting speeches were in equal parts passionate, informed, skillfully articulated - and often humorous too!  

After a total of four, ninety-minute debating sessions, the student delegates, committee chairs and administrators sat down to enjoy a well-deserved Gala Dinner in the auditorium in the evening. 

New Experiences, New Perspectives and Lasting Friendships 

On Sunday morning, the FOBISIA MUN was back in full swing with two further debating sessions.  

The atmosphere on the final day was positive and relaxed. When the final session came to a close, members of each committee enjoyed sitting down for lunch together, taking photographs and taking part in the MUN tradition of signing one another’s placards.

The Closing Ceremony and awards took place in the auditorium, where delegates had the opportunity to to hear from keynote speaker Mr Yuji Shinohara, Governance Analyst at the United Nations Development Programme.  

Mr Shinohara gave an honest and engaging speech about the challenges of the UN and the importance of taking action to make positive change. Before the conference was officially closed by the MUN Secretary General, BIS Hanoi MUN Director Ms Nia Cooper congratulated the participants on their exceptional intellect, diplomatic finesse and commitment to the continent of Asia.  

After the event, Ms Cooper also reflected on what the students had achieved:  

We were immensely privileged to host this conference for 13 schools from across the continent.  Today's students are the future custodians of our planet so it's vital that they understand the importance of their actions in shaping society. Through debating topics as diverse as the war in Yemen and the accessibility of menstrual products, delegates gained a global awareness that will enable them to continue to enact positive change, as well as developing the personal skills to make a success of their future endeavours, such as the ability to diplomatically address differing viewpoints. This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our student organising team, the Secretariat. Thuc Anh, Tuong Van, Kanta, Thanh Mai and Jisung worked tirelessly in the weeks and months leading up to the conference, and their vision and drive were key to making this event a success.”  

A huge congratulations to all the delegates, chairs, administrators and volunteers who took part in three inspiring days of debate, discussion and collaboration. It has been a pleasure to welcome you all to BIS Hanoi!