The Hague International Model United Nations 2020

担当 Wayne Watson

The 2020 THIMUN Conference has finished and, after experiencing how this year has gone, both the preparation and the conference, it seems clear that we will have to look at next year as a year in which we will try refocus and rebuild.

As I've written before, the amount of work that goes into preparing for the THIMUN conference is considerable, or at least, it should be. The KLAS students who are on the THIMUN delegation officially start MUN activity in the summer during Term 1, and each student has to become intimately familiar with information about the UN, their country or UN organisation – Monaco, this year, a country that offered a lot of unique opportunities – the theme of the conference, which this year was "Securing and Advancing Democracy: Every Voice Matters!,” their assigned world issues, and how these issues affect and are affected by the country that they represent and the rest of the world. They have to do research, give presentations, and write policy statements on various issues as they relate to their country; the specific world issues each student researches depends on the committee that they choose. Moreover, they have to be ready to use all of this information in English once they get to The Hague. This is a massive job, and every year, all the students agree that no matter how well prepared they are, it doesn’t seem like it is enough.

Although there are many exciting and interesting opportunities over the week of the conference, it is, at its heart, a challenging academic exercise, but this year, unfortunately, not even one student of our delegation did all of the preparation work that they should have done. Nevertheless, I hope they gained some valuable things from the experience.

For the conference itself, the THIMUN delegation departed KLAS on January 25. We flew to Amsterdam and then took a bus to our hotel in Scheveningen in The Hague. That evening, we had dinner together, the only activity we did with the whole delegation. On January 26, we registered for the conference, spent some time getting acquainted with the conference venue, the World Forum Convention Centre, and then had some time to either explore The Hague or do some last-minute preparation for the conference in study hall.

From Monday to Friday, the delegation participated in full work days from about 09:00 to 17:00, with the exception of Wednesday afternoon, which was a free afternoon. They also had normal two-hour study halls at night in order to prepare for the following days. They faced the challenges of lobbying, merging resolutions, giving opening speeches, and debating in the conference centre among over 3000 students from over 300 schools in nearly 100 countries around the world. It was a challenging experience. One of our student delegates, our Ambassador, had the brightest glimmer of success during the conference when she became the main submitter of a resolution in her committee. She wasn't able to persuade her committee to pass it, but she made a valiant attempt. Unfortunately, the delegation did not go out for dinner as a group on the final Friday evening in The Hague as we have most years.

On February 1, we topped off the week by spending the day in Amsterdam for some fun and shopping, which was an enjoyable way to spend our time until our flight back to KLAS, the cap to a full week. I hope the members of the delegation made friends, learned things, and improved themselves, and I hope that they found MUN to have been worth the effort and time that they put into it.

However, this year, like last year, the effort and preparation of the delegates were two points that KLAS can improve upon for next year. On Monday, the lobbying day, it quickly became clear that some of our students were only weakly prepared. Although one of our delegates was able to become either a main submitter this year, the amount of participation achieved by the delegates was on average, some of the weakest ever.

The reason why I am taking the time to explain all this is not simply to be negative, though. Rather, it is to remind the parents and students that THIMUN is not an activity and conference for anybody – it is an activity that prepares students to go to the largest, most prestigious, and most competitive MUN conference in the world, a conference for the best of the best. As a result, this year’s conference highlighted the challenges that face students who choose to do MUN. In order to even have a chance to participate in the main business of the conference, debate, students must be able to follow the ideas of the debate. In order to follow the ideas of the debate, they must be able to understand the language of the debate, English. In order to understand the language of the debate, English, students must develop sufficient English listening skills, and in order to develop sufficient listening skills, students must use their English language skills as much as possible. The truly committed students do so not merely when they have to do so in classes and preparation exercises, but more importantly when they don’t have to in their free time as well. This indicator of effort is, in my experience, one of the most accurate predictors of success in a venue like THIMUN. Students who are interested in applying for next year’s team must keep this in mind – I will be looking for students who are active, outgoing leaders in using their English skills, who use them not merely when they have to do so, of course, but in their free time as well. It is therefore important to remember that, when choosing delegates, quality is far more important than quantity. I stated this last year, and I will be implementing some new guidelines to reinforce this for next year.

In short, there seems to be very little point in removing a student from a week of classes in KLAS in order to sit in a conference for a week, unspeaking, and so when choosing students for next year’s delegation, the level of quality against which they will be judged will be the students who, in past years, did put in the effort and time in preparation for the THIMUN conference that allowed them to speak in debate.

Considering all of the above, I strongly encourage any KLAS student who is willing to make it their most serious commitment to consider applying to join the THIMUN Team. They must be aware that it is highly challenging, however. Applicants must have excellent motivation, English skills, grades, and discipline records in order even to be considered. If they meet these standards, THIMUN is a great opportunity for KLAS students to challenge themselves.









 一言で言えば、発言せずに1週間の会議にただ座っているだけでは、1週間KLASの授業から離れている意味がありません。来年参加する生徒を選ぶときに判断されるのは、模擬国連の会議で発言できるように、これまでに努力と時間を注いできた生徒でしょう。 上記を全て考慮して、真剣に物事に取り組む意志のある生徒に、模擬国連への参加申込をすることを強く勧めます。しかしながら、模擬国連に参加するには、厳しい選考があることを心に留めておいてください。参加を希望する生徒は、審査の対象になるためにしっかりした動機、英語力、優秀な成績そして良好な生活態度が求められます。これらの基準を満たせば、模擬国連は自分自身に挑戦する絶好の機会となることでしょう。

■ 同じ世界で初めて見えた景色


 やる気と根気と元気があれば何でも可能なのだと。ハーグ模擬国連一年目の冬、私はそう思って余裕な顔でオランダへ向かいました。そこで待っていたのは、とてつもなく激しい売り込み 、意見交換、そして周りの人の行動の早い事早い事。私は今までこんなに自分の英語力に自信を持っていたのに、呆気にとられて座ることしかできませんでした。そこで思い知ったのは、やる気と根気と元気、だけではなく、しっかりとした準備が必要だったということです。