From January 29 to February 3, 2017, Grade 11 Model United Nations (MUN) students went on a trip to The Hague, the Netherlands, to take part in The Hague International Model United Nations conference (THIMUN). Throughout the week we took part in lobbying, debating, and voting on resolutions. The students, now delegates, were given the chance to debate various topics and resolutions discussed by the real UN. ISP's delegates were urged to speak from the perspective of our assigned country, Mauritania, to speak with our allies and, above all, have fun while doing it.
We spent the first day of the conference lobbying alongside our fellow delegates in our committees, as well as discussing and writing resolutions on set topics. One of the topics in the human rights sub-commission 2, for example, was access to safe, affordable and essential medicine. Delegates were required to work with others to come up with resolutions that proposed a way of solving the given problem.
After spending the Monday and Tuesday mornings lobbying, all while meeting new friends from as far as Singapore to as close as The Hague, the delegates of all member states and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) finally gathered to discuss the first resolutions. These were the product of all our hard labour. During these heated discussions, kept under control by the experienced chairs, our ISP delegates articulated Mauritania's stance on the proposed resolution and answered difficult questions. Four days of critical but productive debate yielded valuable solutions in the form of passed resolutions calling for action in real world issues, such as ethics in tourism, nuclear fission as a viable alternative energy source, and the recognition of the disputed territory of Kosovo. These issues all came under the overarching theme "borders in a globalised world". The ISP delegates developed their critical thinking and presentation skills while taking a global perspective on issues that required open-mindedness towards all nations, no matter their size, race or culture.
After several long days of intense debate, the delegates of Mauritania transformed back into their student forms as they explored The Hague. Despite getting lost in the intricacies of the city in the cold evening air, we enjoyed the experiences nonetheless, from discovering the great Dutch artists in museums and sampling local cuisine to merely taking in and appreciating our surroundings on a leisurely walk.
By the end of the conference we had settled into our roles as delegates so well that leaving the conference centre for the last time felt strange, and almost abrupt to say goodbye to the incredible experience we had enjoyed. As for adjusting back to our lives at ISP, we will continue to remember and draw on the wisdom and understanding that we gained from The Hague International Model United Nations conference 2017.
Student Council Secretary