Written by Global Schools Project Officer, Santha Nair Chandran
Model United Nations (MUN) is an educational simulation of the United Nations. Students participating in MUN take on the role of delegates representing their assigned UN country. Together, delegates from all over the world engage and investigate current international issues and work towards a possible solution. MUN aims to transform participants into future world leaders, developing their critical thinking, communication, and research skills. Each delegate is assigned to a committee with a different debate topic and may exercise different rules of procedure. Well-trained Dais members are assigned to each committee, regulating the flow of debate to ensure quality discussions from all participants (Method, Model United Nations).
The MUNOX 2022 at Manila Xiamen International School in China was truly exceptional. The topic of discussion varied around the Sustainable Development Goals and in relation to specific international organizations. The specific organizations have provided solutions in the form of official documents and reports, and the delegates are required to digest terms and provide valuable feedback as well as pose questions about the current situation around them. The topics were as such:
a. The Political Crisis of the Houthi Insurgency in Yemen by UNSC
b. Libyan Human Rights Crisis by UNHCR
c. Political Interior and Security Risk in Afghanistan by SPECPOL
d. Human Rights and Cultural Heritage of Involuntarily Displaced Persons in the Middle East by SOCHUM
e. Reducing Global Carbon Emissions Through Alternate Transportation Fuels by UNEP
f. Framework for Malaria Elimination by WHO
g. Children’s Education and Poverty in the Middle East by UNICEF
Global Schools Program representatives were invited as panelists to share thoughts and ideas plus ask questions to understand the issues and solutions, and further suggest possible actionable ways to combat these issues. Addressing new issues which are tough to be solved in reality was a great way to allow young people to be part of future decision-making processes.
The presentation of these solutions took place virtually on December 10th, 2022, via zoom and it continued for 3 hours where students discussed amazing reformations and transformative, actionable solutions that could initiate awareness at schools. The session was initiated by one of the GSP mentors Jerome and led by Mitchel Africa, a Science and Design Educator and Global School Advocate for this year 2022.
Based on my own experience in education, I never had such opportunities at school, and it was an honor to be one of the panelists together with other amazing members of GSP. I had to read up on the issues to stay on par next to the young delegates of the MUNOX 2022.
MUN allows students to take part in and be aware of the current reality around the world. It provides leadership opportunities for the students, as someday in the future, they could be the person providing amazing solutions at the United Nations. Congrats to all of the participating students at Manila Xiamen International School in China and congrats to Advocate Mitchel Africa for their exceptional work organizing the conference.