The Hague International Model United Nations 2023

担当 Wayne Watson

After two years of the THIMUN conference being online, the 2023 THIMUN (The Hague International Model United Nations) Conference was in-person once again. While it was stimulating to be back at the World Forum Conference Centre in The Hague, it was also challenging, as everybody had to adapt to the new format of the conference, a hybrid of how the conference used to be before COVID-19 and how the conference was during COVID-19. Now that the conference has finished, it is illuminating to look back at how it went.

To begin with, the amount of work that goes into preparing for the THIMUN conference is considerable. 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 – India, this year – the theme of the conference, which this year was “The Future of Borders,” 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 reports on three issues as they relate to their country; the specific world issues each student researches depend 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 every year, and all the students agree that no matter how well-prepared they are, it doesn ’t seem like it is enough, and this year was no different. This year, while some of the students made a good effort with all of the preparation work that they should have done, some, unfortunately, did not, particularly the homework the students were required to do over the winter break. In The Hague, they all faced the challenge of the conference, some better than others, and, I hope, gained some valuable things from the experience.

For the conference itself, the THIMUN delegation departed KLAS on Saturday, January 21. We flew to Amsterdam and then took our transfer bus to our hotel, Carlton Beach, in Scheveningen in The Hague. We took a short walking tour to orient ourselves to the area before we checked in. On Sunday, January 28, we had a day for sightseeing, which included the city of Rotterdam and various museums in The Hague, and we finished the day doing some last-minute preparation for the conference in study hall.

On Monday, January 29, we registered for the conference, spent some time getting acquainted with the conference venue, the World Forum Conference Centre, and then the conference began. From Monday to Thursday, the delegation participated in full work days from about 09:00 to 17:00, long days and hard work. 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 thousands of students from hundreds of schools from nearly one hundred countries around the world. It was a difficult experience for even the best-prepared students, and a more difficult one for the less-prepared ones. Nevertheless, despite what was undeniably a slow beginning on the first day of the conference, the students refused to give up and kept trying hard all the way until the end of the conference.

On Friday, January 27, we topped off the week by transferring to a hotel near Schiphol Airport and then spending the day in Amsterdam. Admirably, the students spent their morning doing the tour of the Anne Frank House, a tour that cannot in any way be described as fun, but that is undeniably worthwhile, and still very relevant to current world affairs. After that sobering morning, we had time for some more lighthearted sightseeing and some shopping, which was an enjoyable way to spend our time during our final day in The Netherlands. The next morning, Saturday, January 28, we had a leisurely morning until our flight back to KLAS. It all added up to a stimulating week. I am sure the members of the delegation learned a lot not only about the world but also themselves, and I hope that MUN will always be a treasured part of their memories of KLAS.

On the other hand, this 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. Unfortunately, none of our delegates was able to become either a main submitter or a co-submitter this year. Several students simply had not put in the effort and time necessary to enable them to hold their own in this highly competitive conference.

As the week continued, a dishearteningly low number of our KLAS delegates were able to speak. Now, undeniably, simply getting a chance to speak during the conference is a challenging task in and of itself – even when a delegate raises their placard to speak at every opportunity, there is no guarantee that the chair of the debate will choose them but, of course, if a delegate is weakly prepared and therefore never or rarely raises their placard, their chances become almost non-existent. Sadly, of the KLAS delegates who attended the conference this year, not all of them spoke in debate, which was somewhat disappointing.

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.

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.


2年にわたるオンライン開催を経て、今年の模擬国連は対面開催が再開されました。オランダ・ハーグのワールド・フォーラム・コンベンション・センターに戻ったことは刺激的でしたが、COVID-19以前の会議とCOVID-19の会議が混在した新しい形式の会議に誰もが適応しなければならなかったので、チャレンジングでもありました。 会議が終わった今、振り返ってみると、示唆に富んでいます。


さて、実際に模擬国連に参加するため、 1月21日(土)に学校を出発し、ジュネーブからアムステルダムまで飛行機で移動しました。空港からはバスでハーグにあるホテルに向かい、ホテルにチェックインする前に、ホテル周辺を散策しました。1月22日(日)の日中は、観光にあて、ロッテルダム市内やハーグの美術館を訪れ、夜はスタディホールで会議の直前準備を行いました。