On Saturday, 13th June, the STA Model UN secretariat hosted the very first virtual St Andrews International Bangkok School Model United Nations (Virtual STAMUN). 27 schools and 34 independent delegates united to discuss, debate and resolve some of the world’s most pressing issues related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 - Peace, justice and strong institutions.
With over 60 delegates participating, the school can feel very proud of the successful completion of the conference. Hats off to Sayantika, the Secretary-General, and the Parliamentarians Aarav, Emily, Hansika and Maya, for leading this student-led event! You have shown dynamism, hardworking nature, commitment, passion and leadership qualities. The organization was smooth and efficient throughout and much has been debated in this very productive conference. It was a splendid event, both in terms of intellectual quality and social gratification and we look forward to hosting the 7th STAMUN next year.
Year 11 student Sayantika reflects about the very first Virtual STAMUN conference:
Transferring our STAMUN event to a fully online conference was definitely a challenging but rewarding experience. We were faced with the difficulties of not being able to carry out proper parliamentary procedures like they would be done face-to-face. However, this allowed us to be very creative in adapting to the virtual environment. We used platforms such as Google Meets and Padlet to recreate the social experience of an in-person conference. The STAMUN Secretariat team, along with our advisor Ms Marina, spent Term 3 organizing this new style of MUN, seeing that our IGCSE exams had just been cancelled.
After hearing that all conferences had been postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was very disheartened; Virtual STAMUN provided an opportunity like no other. Our virtual platform lets us connect with delegates from around the world through technology, which we couldn’t have done otherwise. STAMUN for me was a gratifying experience, especially watching the delegates enjoy the unique style of debate we had worked so hard for. Both delegates and chairs showed incredible passion for the important issues they were discussing. It left me feeling inspired and connected with others during this time of isolation. I truly hope we were able to recreate the MUN experience which is so loved and offered a worthwhile and productive event for all participants. A big thank you to everyone who gave us this opportunity, and we hope to be seeing everyone in next year’s conference!
- Sayantika Chatterjee Year 11 (Secretary-General of Virtual STAMUN)