By HoJai Yoon, Concordia International School Shanghai
Close your eyes, and slowly count how many MUN conferences you have been to. How many can you count? How far have you roamed the world for MUN?
The history of Model United Nations dates back to the 1920s. Today, with its growing popularity, there are an estimated 400 MUN conferences held worldwide. As the development of transportation and communication makes the modern world a global village without boundaries, various MUN conferences around the globe attract an ever-growing number of participants.
Among various renowned and respected conferences, THIMUN firmly stands as a gateway for high school students to enter the broader spectrum of MUN conferences. Since its establishment in 1981, THIMUN has continually broadened its boundaries from the Hague to Singapore, and now even to Qatar. Janie Jang from Concordia International School, the delegate of the Republic of Korea in the Special Conference on Crime and Punishment at 2011 THIMUN-Qatar, applauds this conference, because “it offers various committees that I could not experience before in Singapore.” Besides THIMUN, a great number of larger conferences allow students to experience a greater diversity of cultures and opinions. Iris Kong from Nagoya International School, the delegate of Singapore in General Assembly 5, comments that she enjoyed BEIMUN because of “its leniency in allowing follow-ups that help each delegate discuss issues in depth.”
However, quantity does not always equal quality. Smaller conferences around the world can offer students with more chances to directly involve themselves in the debating process and communicate more deeply with delegates. Justina Huang from Shanghai American School-Puxi, delegate of Lebanon in the Security Council, says, “SHAMUN, a conference annually held at my school, offers a variety of committee options despite its small size. Furthermore, it is very concentrated in that it allows students to directly involve themselves in both debates and the administration of MUN itself.”
Each MUN conference around the world has its unique style. In order to assist MUN-ers with information regarding the diverse conferences options, a splendid website, www.bestdelegate.com, provides maps for MUN all over the world. The website provides visitors with not only lists of MUN conferences, but also with national and international rankings of MUN teams, strategies to win MUN debates, and recently updated information regarding MUN conferences.
Therefore, delegates must remember that there are various MUN options, because each conference give participants new learning experiences. Regardless of its size, each conference provides a valuable experience for participants to promote global awareness and meet with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. With a little guidance from www.bestdelegate.com, participants will be able to expand their scope of MUN experiences.