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Global Perspectives at SHAMUN XVII

16 March 2016

NAIS Pudong was invited to attend the 17th Annual SHAMUN conference, taking place at the Shanghai American School, Puxi Campus. Many of the MUN delegates from our school were very enthusiastic about signing up and developing their debating skills under parliamentary procedure, as one would in an actual UN conference.

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We were each assigned to a committee, as well as a country to represent and speak on behalf of. I represented Vietnam in the Human Rights Council, and researched its interests before attending the conference with regards to the topics that would be discussed, including the protection of female refugees in the Mediterranean region, minimizing the existence of corruption, establishing safety regulations for urban workers in South Asia, and protecting the victims of human trafficking.

After a warm welcoming message from the SHAMUN secretariat at the opening ceremony on the first day, we split up into our respective committees to proceed with roll call and the lobbying of resolutions. In the Human Rights Council, we divided ourselves into four groups; each set out to create a resolution for one of the four topics that requires addressing. The process ran smoothly and, by the end of lunchtime, we were set for debate.

Debating is undoubtedly the most exciting aspect of the day. Not only do delegates have the opportunity to justify their stance towards the resolution, they are also able to challenge existing clauses by submitting amendments and rebutting the submitters in the form of Point of Information (POIs). The chairs are present to conduct the parliamentary procedures of the debate; however, ultimately it is the delegates' rigorous participation that constructed a tense yet exciting atmosphere that remained for the second day.

The second day was composed of many hours of debate time, as well as the occasional breaks in between for the delegates to socialise and convey their personal stance towards the resolutions in an informal manner. Over the course of the two days, we engaged in four fruitful and constructive debates, and even though the resolutions may not have all passed, each delegate developed useful debating techniques that they can bring with them to their next conference.

I personally feel that SHAMUN was a memorable and valuable experience towards not only my MUN journey, but helped me develop skills that are applicable to academics on the whole. I have improved in terms of refining my arguments in a more concise manner, as well as utilising rapid analytical skills, as this was required throughout the debates. Above all, this SHAMUN conference clarified the imminent issues many nations are facing at the moment, and encouraged all delegates to not only consider the implications of these issues but also to suggest measures to tackle them, and in the process become more globally-engaged individuals.

On that note, I look forward to attending the BISSMUN conference on the 17th April, hosted by BISS Puxi.

By Ashley Fung 12A