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27 BIS HCMC Students Attend Seoul Model United Nations (SEOMUN) 2017

17 November 2017

The 20th annual SEOMUN (Seoul Model United Nations) conference took place between the 9th and the 12th of November 2017. Twenty seven students from BIS HCMC travelled to Seoul for 3 days of competitive debate and discussion on some of the world’s most pressing issues ranging from global warming to religious extremism.

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The theme this year - “Global Populism and National Identity” - provoked much debate in the opening ceremony, with the guest speaker Mr. Donovan Storey (Deputy Director of the Global Green Growth Initiative) noting insightfully that the drive of global development is action at the local scale.

Global Populism can be observed through the rise of populist parties causing greater political isolation and an increased sense of nationalism. This idea has recently seen a surge in manifestation around the globe; ranging from Brexit, Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen to Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. With this theme in mind during debates, many varying perspectives were brought to the table.

Throughout the conference, we, the delegates, immersed ourselves in the positions of their allocated countries, delved into the issues at hand and then proposed resolutions to seek collaborative and effective measures to help pave way to a better future.

Attending SEOMUN not only allowed us to think critically and  gain deeper understanding of the multifaceted issues in our world; but it also gave us the opportunity to explore Seoul and engage with Korean culture.

The day prior  to the conference we visited Gyeongbokgung palace, the main royal palace, and were fortunate enough to see the fascinating traditional "changing of the guard" ceremony. Afterwards, we enjoyed the bustling shopping and eating street of Insadong which were swarmed with immersing scents of local cuisine and delicacies.

The following evening we travelled to Myeongdong, which alongside numerous cosmetics and clothes, offered one of the most diverse and delicious street foods.

On our final night, BIS Alumni Shane Kang and Seung Ho Oh (former MUN president) arranged a local Korean barbeque dinner to wrap off our authentic Korean experience. Steve Ko (former Deputy Head boy) and Jisoo Chung (former MUN president), both BIS alumni of 2017, came along as well and it was a fantastic evening to catch up.

Overall, SEOMUN was a thought-provoking and enthralling conference as a whole and has left us hungry for more.

Victoria Fethke (Year 12) - Delegate of India (ECOSOC)