Model United Nations is a replica version of the United Nations, but instead of real-life delegates solving real-world problems, students are invited to simulate current events and role-play what occurs at an actual summit. Students represent different countries while mimicking their political ideology and taking up their perspective in an attempt to solve the global issues we currently face. Topics such as global warming, nuclear non-proliferation, women's rights and the current COVID-19 crisis are all topics discussed and debated at MUN conferences.
Two Shrewsbury students, Remika (Remie) Sirikulthada and Nicha (Nemmy) Liveerakorn, have been involved with MUN conferences for over two years. The following is their perspective on why the MUN is essential to them and how it has shaped their worldview.
Remie (Year 12):
Attending a MUN conference allows students to branch out with a network of people, practice public speaking, and develop their teamwork skills. All these factors, I believe, have played a significant role in contributing to my love for MUN.
On Sunday, October the 11th, I was lucky enough to chair the European Union Committee at the most recent MUN at ISB. Out of 12 conferences I've been a part of since starting my MUN journey in Year 9, this has easily become my favourite. The people I met from the other schools and the conversations we had together were the highlight of my day. Nothing beats walking away from an event knowing that you made friends with talented people who are just as passionate in creating change and are also striving for a better youth-led future.
This year I was also given the privilege of leading the Model United Nations club within Shrewsbury, along with two other students. Together, we've established weekly sessions that provide the students with education on the skills needed to thrive in a MUN conference. I am looking forward to seeing how the club develops at our school and can't wait for more students to join. I can tell we are already making an impact as we have Year 7's enquiring about taking part. It is fabulous that there is an urge from students so young to be interested in global politics and having their voice heard.
Nemmy (Year 12):
At first, I joined MUN because it seemed like a fun way to learn more about History. I soon realised that I got to meet new friends with the same interests, improve my leadership skills and develop my public speaking skills. Furthermore, participating in multiple MUN conferences helped me strengthen my analytical skills; it challenges me to do things like draft a resolution in precisely the same way as politicians at the UN do it.
My first MUN experience was back in 2018. I made one speech and co-submitted a resolution, which was acceptable, considering it was my first time. Overall, it was an unforgettable experience, disregarding the fact that I didn't know much about the rules of procedures. The most recent MUN Conference was my sixth.
In a time when expressing your political views in a public forum is challenging, MUN is a great opportunity that allows me to participate in discussions about the problems within today's society. In this era of globalisation, MUN has become one of the most crucial extra-curricular activities that can expand your understanding of current affairs. I believe that political activism for young people is critical as it provides teenagers and young adults with a sense of inclusion, purpose, and identity at a crucial time in their lives. I wholly recommend going to a MUN conference if you have an interest in international affairs.