The Hague International Model United Nations 2021

担当 Wayne Watson

Unsurprisingly, the 2021 THIMUN Conference was, like everything else in this year of COVID-19, different, as this year's conference occurred online. It was an amazing and great thing that it was held at all, though, and for that we are grateful.

In the past, I have noted how much work should go into preparing for the THIMUN conference. This year, the students had to prepare less than ever before. This was for two reasons. First, because of the changes to how the conference worked, the delegates had to prepare fewer topics for debate. Second, because of the disruptions to the regular KLAS school year due to COVID-19, the team was less able to work together than teams in previous years. However, as a result of this second factor, while the preparation for this year's delegates was less, it was by no means easier. On the contrary, since this year's delegates had to do more of the preparatory work on their own, without the support and structure of doing it here at KLAS with their teammates, and without knowing specifically how the THIMUN Online 2021 Conference would proceed, their preparation was probably more challenging than ever before.

As in previous years, each student had to become intimately familiar with information about the UN, their country – Madagascar, this year – the theme of the conference, which this year was "Moving Forward", their assigned world issues, and how these issues affected and were affected by the country that they represented and the rest of the world. They make to prepare research reports and write policy statements on various issues as they related to their country; the specific world issues each student researched depended on the commission or committee that they chose. Moreover, they have to be ready to use all of this information in English during the week of the THIMUN Online 2021 Conference. As to whether or not each student was well-enough prepared, you would have to ask each of them. Still, they faced the challenge, and, I hope, gained some valuable things from the experience.

As for the conference itself, it was held during the afternoons from Monday, January 25 to Friday, January 29, from either 12:30 or 13:00 until 17:30 or 18:00. The participating students were excused from classes and ski activities those afternoons. The students set up in pairs at workstations that we set up in the Assembly Hall and dove into the conference. They faced the challenges of lobbying, merging resolutions, giving policy statement speeches, and debating in the conference. Normally, at the conference in The Hague, over 3000 students from over 300 schools in nearly 100 countries around the world participate; this year, it was about half of that. It was an experience both challenging and, surprisingly, revealing. Although an online conference cannot possibly be as productive as an in-person conference, this one yielded some interesting opportunities and discoveries.

Looking forward to next year, the effort and preparation of the delegates were two points that KLAS can improve upon for next year, regardless of the format that the conference takes. None of our delegates was able to become either a main submitter or a co-submitter this year. Finally, of the KLAS delegates who attended the conference this year, only one of them spoke in debate, and that delegate only after the excellent chair did not give them a choice, which was somewhat disappointing.

As always, it is important to stress upon all 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, more than ever, 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.

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.




例年のように、生徒たちは、国連や代表を務める国(今年はマダガスカル)について、また、今年のテーマである ”Moving Forward” において、担当する課題と代表国が互いにどのように影響を与えているかを詳しく学び、マダガスカルに関する諸問題について、調査報告書や方針声明を作成しました。方針声明は、それぞれの生徒が自分の選んだ委員会のリサーチに基づくものです。さらに、オンライン模擬国連の週には、これらの情報を英語で使いこなせるように準備をしなければなりません。十分な準備ができていたかどうかは、それぞれの生徒に聞いてみる必要がありますが、彼らは挑戦し、この経験から貴重なものを得たのではないでしょうか。


どのような形式の会議であっても、努力と準備は、来年に向けてKLAS が改善できる課題です。今年は、KLASの生徒から議案の主提案者や副提案者は選ばれませんでした。1名がディベートで発言しましたが、議長はその生徒を選ばなかったので、少々残念ではありました。



Stimulated Conference


5日間に及ぶMUN Weekはたくさんの刺激を得られるとともに、自分自身の課題も認識させられました。昨年から世界中で猛威を振るっているCOVID-19の影響により、今年のMUNはオランダでの対面会議ではなく、Zoomを使うオンラインミーティングとなりました。