For the past year, I have been working continuously on the MUN club. As a leader, it was my responsibility to teach others the skills of MUN and eventually train them for our own conference: MISMUN. So, what is MUN? It stands for Model United Nations, where for a couple of days a week teenagers get to step into the shoes of world leaders and make decisions as one. It includes rules and procedures, stances, diplomatic relations and all the other fun stuff that UN delegates get to do. The aim is to become more aware of the world we live in, to understand deeply the problems we face as a global community and, more importantly, how we can solve them. As a school community that focuses on international-mindedness and making global citizens, the skills we can learn in MUN can be invaluable.
We began to plan out the 2021 conference in late December of 2020. By this time, two things were clear to us: one, that the conference would have to be held online and two, we would need to modify our conference to make it appealing to younger students. At this point, I had been leading the club for a few months and we knew that enthusiasm would come from the lower grades first. Both of these ideas were, to me, quite foreign. We began with the basics: what platform to use, what topics to debate, and how to train the delegates for it. Slowly, we began to build a conference, finding minute details to fix which only got more complicated as time went on. One of the major changes we had to make was to cancel the Security Council and replace it with a Fictional Council based on Harry Potter. We knew that this would be interesting for younger grades and therefore pull in more numbers, however, SC was usually the core of MUN. This confused some of the more experienced MUN members, however, we wanted to focus on making it a beneficial and enjoyable experience for the new ones to generate interest in the conference. This showcased the crucial moments of decision making on our part. Perhaps, it also serves as a reflection of choosing what is better for the community than the traditional path—an important aspect the United Nations should consider.
This experience overall really taught me the importance of such an event, and the thought that goes behind organizing one as well. It also opened my eyes to many aspects of MUN that I had not considered. While MUN itself can be an enriching experience, organizing this conference made me appreciate its design and purpose more. I know the few months that I spent doing so will provide a base for any other similar endeavor I want to undertake.
by Aahana (DP2)