Updates from: Leonardo Bellillo, Year 12 IB Student
Beijing 2016 / 10th of March. The time has finally come, our team of 21 well prepared delegates are anxiously waiting for the Bus that will bring them to the Beijing Model United Nations (BEIMUN) conference.
Attending such a prestigious event required a lot of preparation from all students that participated. For about two full months, our group had been working hard to create their position papers and resolutions. This process required tons of research and a lot of effort and time. Ultimately, my resolution on trade unions and their workers rights would be presented to the Second General Assembly of the Model United Nations, in front of about 50 delegates from different countries and Nations. Furthermore, I was preparing myself for the all other topics, which were red sea piracy, Widespread epidemics in LEDCs and the jurisdiction of the UN peacekeepers.
As BEIMUN was only going to be my second MUN conference, I was nervously working away, to perfect my resolution on the rights and freedoms of Trade union workers in Myanmar. To accurately present my given country, I read through pages and pages of interesting government records from the country of Myanmar. The whole process of MUN research is different to any other kind of research i had done over my past few years in school. To represent a country means more than just knowing your country’s position on a matter. You have to really put yourself into the role of a true representative of that nation and then try to create a resolution which fixes the problem at hand, with all possibilities that the country has to offer. The way of learning and the way of representing a country in a model united nations manner is unique and something that everybody should experience a least once in their school life. For my topic - Establishment and rights of trade unions and their workers - I created a detailed resolution which tries to resolve this serious problem in a mature and unique way. I wanted to a achieve freedom in workplaces to education from young age on.
MUN conference outline:
First day: Lobbying and merging - Right at the beginning of the day, we were treated to a speech from a US embassy diplomat before the opening ceremony. Shortly after, the annual Beijing Model United Nation conference was declared officially opened, by the the general secretary. In a matter of minutes, the General Assemblies were set up and I found myself nervously sitting behind my country’s placecard only moments later. After the chair had introduced all delegates to the topics, with a specially made video, we sorted ourselves into smaller separate groups, according to the topic we chose to write a resolution on. As my team was one of the smallest, consisting only of six delegations, we believed that we would be finished with our shared main resolution in no time. As it turned out, the Topic of labour / trade unions was more complex than we could have ever guessed. However, at the end of the day, we got our resolution perfected and approved by the Approval Panel. In other word we were ready to fight for our resolution and discuss all topics in the coming days.
Second day: First Debates - At precisely 9am on Friday the 11th of March, all delegates of the Beijing Model United Nations conference were sitting in their seats ready to start discussion and debate. The first topic to be debated was the prevention of widespread epidemics. Discussion became very heated, as the first resolution had some major flaws. However, thanks to the active support of all delegates, enough amendments were submitted to fix most of the issues and the resolution was passed as a whole. Also the second issue of the jurisdiction of UN peacekeepers needed many amendments to get passed, but we still managed to pass this much debated resolution. After lunch, the topic of Piracy in the red sea was presented to the GA2. We were all taken by surprise when an acting student stormed the room, pretending to be a red sea pirate. During his act, he challenged the whole committee with the crisis of why his character chose to become a pirate due to economic issues and political turmoil. Towards the end of the day, our committee had come up with a supreme resolution, which tackled the issue of piracy in a very unique and effective way. Instead of using violence and military force, to resolve the issue, our resolution focused to resolve the core of the whole problem at hand. Our resolution revolved around offering better future opportunities to all residence which otherwise might fall to piracy. Furthermore, we focused on education as a measure to inform and protect younger citizens to be drawn to piracy. After this very successful day, I was more than ready to keep on with the fruitful debating and pass my teams resolution.
Third day: Continued debating and final debate - The last day had come; and with it, my opportunity to present my teams resolution had come. I was completely on edge, when our main submitter read her speech and yielded the floor to me. Giving a speech was much easier at school with people you know, compared to about 50 pairs of eyes staring at you while you read out your speech. Nonetheless, my emotional speech about the freedom of workers, really got through to nearly all delegates. The few who were critical in their POIs, were not successful in putting down our resolution, as it passed nearly unchanged, with a majority voting for it. To finish the day off, the three general assemblies were merged into one, and all crisis topics were discussed and signed of by the secretary general.
In summary, I can only say that this year‘s BEIMUN has been an absolute pleasure to attend. The topics were interesting and the preparation process was just as much. The best part for me however, was the connections and friendships I made over this amazing weekend. I got to meet people from all across the globe, who all traveled to Beijing with the same goal. To learn how to make an impact in our future world. This motive of model united nations should be very important to every student, as we are the new future of the world and we will be the ones who get a chance to make a significant change to people’s live who are not as privileged as we are.
When asked about my thoughts on this years BEIMUN conference, I can easily answer on behalf of the whole team from the Britisch School of Beijing: “We had an absolute blast this weekend and we can all only recommend and encourage you to try out the amazing opportunity of joining a MUN conference”. With these words to finish; we hope to see many more people participate next year.
The Beijing Model United Nations (BEIMUN) XXIII was held from 10th - 12th March, 2016. Each year, our BSB students take part in the BEIMUN and this year, 21 students attended the conference. Please click the link below to see the Delegation/Forum that the students took part in.