Article by Jin Sun Park
Photo by Mild Chawalitanon (from bestdelegate.com)
Everyone has heard of Model United Nations (MUN) but few actually know what it is really about.
In a few words, MUN is where students get to dress and speak fancy as they represent a certain member nation. Linguistic flair, an astute fashion sense, and a real desire to debate and resolve world issues are just some of the skills that come in handy.
November is a fairly busy month for ISM’s delegates with IASAS MUN at Jakarta having happened last week from November 13 to 15 and THIMUN in Singapore this week from November 17 to 22. So now would be the perfect time to find out what MUN truly is–behind all the fancy clothes.
Participants can either take on the role of “chairs” or “delegates.” Chairs are tasked with moderating debate by timing speeches, calling on delegates for speeches and points of information and selecting resolutions to be debated. Delegates on the other hand shoulder slightly larger responsibilities. Sophomore Kyle Kim, a THIMUN delegate, explains, “Delegates must prepare at least a 2-page resolution along with a policy statement for one of three issues beforehand, as well as research on the other two topics as this facilitates versatility and engagement when participating in the conference.” Senior Shin Won Kim, an IASAS MUN delegate adds, “getting to know your country and their policies is the most important part of preparation because once you’re in MUN you need to be that country.”
Once the draft resolutions are submitted to the respective committee chairs, they are presented by the main submitter, who must then be ready to defend the resolution and its intentions during points of clarification and information. Using feedback from this session, committees are then able to make amendments to their resolutions. At the end of the session, delegates then vote on whether they want each resolution to be passed or not.
MUN is “non-competitive” but no delegate denies the tension, and competitive spirit felt throughout the debate that motivates them to perform to the best of their abilities. Kyle admits, “I do feel a small sense of competition, especially in MUN Locals regarding how intelligent and effective we can be when proposing a resolution”. Furthermore, MUN is far from a walk in the park as Shin Won emphasizes, “MUN really helps you think on your feet. You never really know what questions will be thrown at you and you always have to stay alert and prepared to rebut whatever another country has to say”.
Evidently, MUN cultivates in individuals critical thinking and an awareness of global issues. Instead of just passively accepting the happenings of the world, MUN gives students the power to find potential solutions. The future looks bright as our MUN delegates today may very well become the leaders of tomorrow.