We have all seen the United Nations representatives on TV in the diplomatic attires, discussing crucial issues that could change the world and yet it has never crossed our minds that we could ever have the opportunity to do just that. With the MUN - Model United Nations programme at BSB this is no longer just a dream.
On Friday the 13th of November, fourteen delegates from BSB arrived at the Hangzhou International School for the annual MUN conference after a three-hour long plane ride. The two president chairs, Jenny Hwang and Sunny Hwang attended the officers meeting to prepare to lead their committees. The rest of the MUNers faced the challenge of restraining from using personal pronouns such as “I” or “You” but using third person such as “this delegate” or “we” along with voicing their opinions depending on the country they represented.
The principal of Westlake gave a welcome speech to mark the start of the three-day-long MUN conference. The delegates, dressed in their best professional attires, parted ways to their assigned committees, spreading from the General Assembly, ECOSOC, European Union, Environmental Commission, Security and Human Rights Council. At each MUN, the first day is the most important when the delegates get to know their allies, engage in discussions and merge their resolutions together. Prior to the conference, the delegates had worked hard on researching their country’s views to produce a solution to the recent world issues faced in the different committees.
Using that material, all delegates had to work with light-speed to create a feasible and practical resolution and submit this to the approval panel by 7.30pm. After all the resolutions were done, the BSB delegates came back to the hotel to rest but not forgetting to plan their speeches for the following day. Stephanie in year 12 shared her first experience of being involved in such event was amazing and fun, “at first you didn’t quite know how to speak or act but after a while, you learn from other people and things just fired off.”
The delegates rose early on the second day and moved straight to a nine-hour head on debate regarding their appointed controversial topics, varied from protecting cultural sites in war zones to combating illegal poaching in Sub-Saharan Africa. The main submitters of the resolutions made their speeches and others could either provide their support to the given solution, modifying the clauses or even oppose them. During debate time, the room was buzzing with delegates writing speeches, amendments and notes to communicate with other people, no one stopped. Each delegate is encouraged to approach the podium to give their opinion in a diplomatic manner and think on their feet when a point of information was addressed to them. “Once you understand fully the topic, you will feel confident enough to respond to any question on the matter” stated Sabrina, the delegate of Singapore in the Human Rights Council who gave the most speeches on the podium and won the dubious honour of being ‘the delegate who is most likely to cause WWIII’. Two debates were held on Saturday, which were followed by a fun debate with open topic such as “Skittles or M&Ms” which everyone greatly appreciated after a long day of serious-debating and diplomatic-speaking.
Sunday came to wrap up the conference debates, and to vote on the resolutions offered and BSB delegates owned an overwhelming number of passed resolutions. Jane, the delegate of Cuba in General Assembly thought that “it was a beneficial opportunity to consider which resolution would be suitable, practical and possible to pass.” Then we left for the flight back to Beijing, tired but everyone came back with a smile on their face.
With the enormous amount of work each delegate must put into in order to construct such outstanding resolutions each and every BSB MUNer expressed their experience with “fun”, “definitely worthwhile”, “we make a lot of friends” and “although we argued so much as delegates, it was an experience worth having as a student.” As for the president chair of the Human Rights Council, Sunny revealed that her first chairing experience was worrisome but the feeling soon disappeared. “Best MUN ever” as she has simply stated.
Update from: Year 11 Emma Le