It has always been my dream to share my knowledge and my passion of Model United Nations (MUN) to other students. On August 2018, I was very privileged for the opportunity to bring MUN to the second cohort of the Liger Leadership Academy.
Three of Liger MUN warriors and me had one hour and 30 minutes every week to facilitate the students. First, we planned out the structure of the class. Explaining about the protocols and process and assigning each of them with a country, we organized a mock MUN session, debating the topic of “should smartphones be used in classroom.” Although the topic was not from the UN and not a major problem in the world, the students were able to follow the protocols and the process, yielding a successful debate.
After grasping how MUN worked, the students challenged themselves to take part in an official MUN—hoping to expand their MUN experience— at iCan International School in Phnom Penh. I was responsible to guide four students, who were the delegates of Bangladesh, Iraq, Urganda, and United Kingdom in Junior General Assembly 1 (JGA1).
There were two urgent topics that were being discussed upon in JGA1: eradicating modern forms of slavery and feeding the growing billions. Discussing about slavery with students who were 10-12 years old was very challenging for me due to the sensitivity of the topic. I was quite uncomfortable at first when familiarizing them with the topic; however, after I told them that this discussion will require their maturity and openness, they were able to understand more about the complexity of the topic.
Before those four delegates went to that iCanMUN, they were required to research, write an opening speech, and complete a draft resolution paper. I shared many techniques to research those two topics as well as helped to edit their opening speeches and resolution papers.
Walking with confidence and nervousness as it was their first official MUN, the students were ready to debate and collaborate. I was so honored to be able to watch how their knowledge and experiences unfolded in their committee. I hope that I will be able to share my passion in the future not just with younger people but with everyone else.
On the 17th and 18th of March, I attended my second MUN conference at Saigon, Vietnam. I was so excited to participate in this event and it was my first time to travel abroad. I decided to be the representative of Sweden in the General Assembly, which was very challenging due to strict rules and protocols that I was very unfamiliar with. However, before I got to experience the life on a new land, I had to prepare and research about my four topics such as: combatting food insecurity in urban areas, measuring to implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, sustainable tourism and sustainable development in South-East Asia, and the question of preventing offshore tax evasion. Personally, I found the topics about Addis Ababa Action Agenda and offshore tax evasion as the toughest topics to understand because I had zero background information about them. As I entered my committee, I was very intimidated by other delegate English and age because most them are 17 or 18 years old. However, as soon as I started to convey my one-minute opening speech, I gained back my strength to continue and fight back my intense feelings. After approximately 40 delegates gave their opening speeches, the chairs (the one who monitor the whole committee) told us to broke up into teams to craft a resolution(s) for every topic. My team resolution was concentrated on the topic of combatting food insecurity in urban areas. For the whole conference, I asked several questions to other delegates during the debating session and I went up to speak once to convince other delegates to vote in favor of my team resolution. Even though that I did not speak a lot, I felt like it went very successful because what I can accomplish during my first time in a general assembly was enough to show me that I can do it next time and I got to learn a lot about those problems, especially the offshore tax evasion.
This is my first year that I join Model United Nations at International School in Phnom Penh (ISPP). The objective of this conference is to come up with durable solutions to solve the global issues that we are facing now. Since, this is my first time, I participate in Junior Assembly. There are three topics that need to be discussed in this Assembly: The question of protecting animal rights, The question of dams in Southeast Asia, and The question of equality in access to education. I am the representative of United Kingdom, so I need to gather a lot of information about UK’s position on these three topics. Specifically, on the question of protecting animal rights because UK is very strong in this topic.
There are four main things that I need to get it done before I step in ISPP. First, I need to do a lot of research. Second, I have to write an 1-minute opening speech. Third, after gathering the information, I need to write a draft resolution for at least one topic. Finally, along the way I need to learn the language (vocabulary) that they use during the meeting. At last, I have to organize everything and put them in one folder because sometimes, using computer is prohibited. So, just print out what I need and put them together.
At there, each representative of each country called “delegate”. In my assembly, there are 14 delegates and two chairs. The chairs are the one who make sure that everything is going well and ensure that every delegate at least speak once in the entire meeting. On the first night, after listening to all the 1-minute opening speeches, we have to find our allies to come together and write one (or more) resolution. So, my country allies are US, Uruguay, and Switzerland. We all write a resolution on the protecting animal rights topic. After that, the chairs will select one topic to debate on whether your country support it or not. Next, they will project our resolutions on the board. The main submitter has to go up and read the solutions that they write. Then, all the delegates debate again. Finally, all of us have to vote on that resolution whether it will pass or not. So, I am the main submitter for my resolution and it passes!
For me, it is the most memorable event ever in my life. For Junior Assembly, the chairs make it a bit easier than the General Assembly because most of us are new to this event. So, they make it more of like experiential learning. Therefore, I have learned a lot from this event. I meet with new students from different schools and have time to work with them. So, next year I will definitely join this amazing event again and it will be not Junior Assembly but General Assembly because I will be too old to join the Junior Assembly by then.