Model United Nations (MUN)

Model United Nations (MUN) is an after school club for high school students interested in diplomacy and addressing the global challenges of the 21st century. Throughout the first half of the year, students learn about the structure of the United Nations, their different programs and consider the strengths and limitations of the organization. Students participated in debates and mini-simulations to learn about the background of the UN.
 
The ultimate goal of MUN is to prepare to participate in a United Nations simulation that takes place in the Hague each year. At this conference, 3,200 students from all over the world join together to debate and form solutions for some of the world’s biggest challenges-- from climate change to human rights for migrants. Each school represents a different country delegation. This year, AOSR represented the delegation from Honduras. Students prepared by researching the geopolitical and socio economic characteristics of Honduras as well as Honduras’ key allies. Each student specialized in a specific commission such as an environmental or human rights commission and created solutions to global issues, using Honduras’ perspective as a guiding framework to all resolutions that they drafted.
 
Once at the conference, students split into their respective commissions to collaborate with students from different delegations. Together they drafted and debated resolutions to propose solutions to a multitude of global issues. Throughout this experience, AOSR students formed new friendships with students from all over the world, engaged in United Nations parliamentary procedures, and expanded their worldview as they considered the perspectives from various country delegations.
 
 

Student Reflections from the 2019 MUN Conference

Matilde's Reflection

I really enjoyed the Model UN Conference as it was a unique experience and was put out of my comfort zone. It was really interesting to have debates in such a diplomatic manner, as I have never done anything like it. It felt very professional, and made it feel less and less like a simulation. I'm happy I got to do the opening speech in my committee since it put me out of my comfort zone and forced me to do something I would have never done by myself. I've learnt a lot about the topics discussed within my committee and have acquired a very pragmatic and practical approach to global issues, as my committee was the financial one, therefore it was a very different approach to the more pathos based one I use in school.

Jacob's Reflection

MUN has been a great experience for me. it has showed me the different method they use in Europe compared to Africa. I have learned a lot about the procedures used within the conference and how to write resolutions. The first day of the conference was just us writing resolutions and was a bit slow. but when we started to debate, it became more lively. throughout the conference I have met and many many friends from all over the world. debating with these people was a fun experience. I also got to see how many different people felt about issues such as AI and work opportunities for youth. I learned the most from other people during this conference. since my committee was only students and no adults, it was easier to relate to people. it also meant that the debate was not boring and consisted of serious topics mixed with some jokes. I will remember all the people that I have met here and hope to stay in touch with them in the future. I do not think that my thinking changed that much since I have done MUN before but I did learn much more about the parliamentary procedure used.

Camilla's Reflection

This week at the Model United Nations Conference has been an unbelievable experience that I will always remember. It has been a week of meeting new people from across the globe, opportunity, intellectual and personal growth. The first day at the conference, we entered a room where we didn't know anybody, however, by the end of the week, we have now become close friends. It was extremely engaging and interesting to work in small groups whereby we discussed humanitarian matters, in which we had discussions and were sometimes in agreement with the matter and sometimes in disagreement. Exchanging views regarding our delegations viewpoint on a particular matter resulted in numerous discussions and I learned intelligent solutions that people in my committee came up with, of which I did not think about prior. Hearing other groups resolutions in debates was fascinating and caused me to think of these worldwide issues in a different way and how we can contribute to making our world a better place. Being in a room full of international individuals, who were bright and contributed to discussions whenever they had the opportunity, was highly motivating. I feel so lucky to have this memorable experience that I will always remember and look back on, which was both fun and exciting, as well as intellectually challenging.

Henna's Reflection

The Model United Nations conference was a genuinely enlightening and enjoyable experience for me and I am very grateful to have attended. I did not expect to be confronted with such eloquent and passionate individuals about the state of the world today, especially at our age, but it was a pleasant surprise. Being the first conference I have attended, I somewhat shadowed those around me and looked to them for any advice or tips in the debate, at times having them explain the particular terminology being used by the chair or fellow delegates. By the last two days, I felt comfortable enough to listen independently, and made it my goal to participate in the debate at least once, which I did. This was extremely fulfilling and the environment and energy of the whole week made me even more fond of the world of diplomacy than I once was. Furthermore, it's nice to have copies of the various resolutions we discussed, which seeked to tackle genuine world problems, allowing me to always look back on them and reap inspiration from the like minded people I had the privilege of engaging with.

Giorgia's Reflection

My week at MUN has been incredible so far. Being part of a committee, meeting new people, discussing topics that are currently being debated in the real United Nations, and writing resolutions made me understand how many passionate people there are that are engaged in global issues and concerns. It has been inspiring to see how many other students are so involved in this. I saw the different perspectives of other students from other countries, representing different countries. Everyone in my resolution group had different ideas, different ways of thinking and solving problems, and it was marvellous to see all of us, connecting together, putting all of our ideas together with the sole purpose of solving an unmanageable problem that unfortunately is part of our world today. I am planning to give a speech tomorrow since my group's resolution will be debated, and it will be an extraordinary opportunity for me to step into the role of a global leader, and learn from listening and counter arguing other students, dealing with disagreements, and learning how to think about points and information on the spot in seconds. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Something I will remember forever and always bring with me, also because I want to practice international law in the future, so an eye-opening and compelling adventure such as this, I will keep with me forever. I will always remember the determination of everyone. Everyone in that room. All those faces, all that passion in their eyes. In my eyes. All the laughs we had when someone got too much in the role of the country, all those moments of confusion when none of us understood what was going on. All the moments when we were on track and electric. The energy in the room was so powerful, dynamic, it gave you life. One has to be there to understand what MUN really is about.

Kartik's Reflection

This week was really interesting and fun . One of my 'a-ha' moments was as soon I landed here when I saw teslas as taxis, which showed me that the Per-capita GDP of Netherlands is pretty high. Although it was really cold,wet and snowy but this place is really unique because the attention and development the government here gives to its citizens is amazing, seeing the beautiful residential areas , trying unique cuisines most of the days, etc. All these factors contributed to having a very nice and happy experience. Apart from the city, I also learned a lot of things from this conference- Meaning how it functions , How every delicate has any opportunity to put his/her idea or thought in front of 150 delicate, learning different terms which really boosted my vocabulary and I would not have learn these terms if I was studying them in English class because till the time you don't know how and where its used , you don't understand it properly. Eventually, by observing and experiencing how it functions , it encouraged me to put my fourth my amendment and two points of information on the second last day of the conference. It's all about getting used to those lights and gazes of the people watching you, and overcoming that stage fear that you never had a chance to shake off in front of an audience consisting 150 people. First , before coming to this meeting I did not really understand why does the UN host this conference every year and why do 3200 children come in it every year from different parts of the world but after attending this conference , I got to know the reason to attend it because this is the one of the places where people are sitting for the whole day to listen to one -another's idea for finding solutions to the major problems. UN wanted us to experience what it really feels like to represent a large group of people and give solutions on how to fix their problems. Unfortunately, Next year I am not sure about whether I will be able to attend it again or not due to my Senior year which will consist of heavy workload but I will surely motivate my brother to come on this trip next year , representing some other country and having different/same 'A-HA' moments and experiences that I really had.

Isabella's Reflection

This week during THIMUN I learned a lot, had lots of fun, and was also very tired. During my commission there were over 100 delegates and it was considered one of the biggest commissions. All of the delegates in my commission were very passionate about MUN and you could clearly see that they knew their stuff and were very educated in the different topics. Some a- ha moments that I had during this week was I learned how many time people make points to the chair and I learned how to use specific terminology related to the topic being discussed to bring out my ideas and to intimidate other delegates. I will remember all of the new people that I have met and how special it was to be apart of this caliber of an MUN conference. I will take away the fact that I have more confidence now in speaking in front of big commissions and I will take away all of the new friends I have met and all the memories I have made. My thinking changed throughout this conference because in the beginning I was nervous to speak up and talk about my ideas in the fear of being shut down or getting made fun of. Now i've realized that everyone appreciates the points that delegates make and that it is ok to speak up. Overall I loved this experience and can't wait to do it again.

Allan's Reflection

The week that I have spent in The Hague is something that I will remember forever, I found myself participating in a unique experience where I had the possibility to know people from every angle of the world. The conference made me understand how hard it is to make a decision when it comes up to global issue as everyone has to respect each others' necessity, opinion and point of view.

Marilyn's Reflection

During our week in THIMUN, I realized that, although it was a relatively short time, I had learned more than I had thought I would have. From meeting new people and understanding more about the world, as a whole, there's really nothing I would take away. I feel like although it was a challenging experience, there was not a dull moment. I was able to furthermore understand more perspectives on different topics and comprehend as well as write difficult texts and resolutions. While I was able to meet new people (as well as unexpectedly reunite with older friends), I learned more about their experiences and understand more about their cultures, even outside of the MUN topics. And, in regards to the actual conference within MUN, over time I became more confident with talking, debating, creating speeches, and vote for different things that I would have never done without having this experience. With researching and writing as well as listening to other peoples' resolutions, it makes me empowered to do my part and my duty to create a better world. This experience as a whole makes me think that my voice matters and was capable of creating a change.

Francesco's Reflection

This is my second conference in The Hague, this year I feel much more comfortable, as I already knew most motions, and how the conference worked. Last year it was the 50th anniversary of the THIMUN so they had really big opening and closing ceremonies. I really enjoyed this year's THIMUN, I had the chance to talk much more this time, as I was much more confident, mostly POIs, this year I also did the opening speech as the GA4 delegate of Honduras and also the Ambassador. My committee discussed Special Political and Decolonization, I focused on the Question of Gibraltar and co-submitted a resolution, with Bahrain main submitters and other 37 countries including Honduras, our resolution passed with 66 votes for, 48 against and 30 abstentions. I think MUN is one of the best, if not the best extra-curricular activity that AOSR offers, excluding Varsity sports. There is lots of research and work that has to be done by each student to prepare for a THIMUN conference, but it is very worth it. Each year it gets better for me. Unfortunately this is my last MUN conference as I'm currently a senior. I would like to suggest to each students that is interested in Politics / International Affairs to join the MUN Club.