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NIST MSMUN 11th May 2019

By taking part in the Middle School Model United Nations Conference hosted by NIST International School, our students have gained invaluable public-speaking experience and research skills. It was a truly rewarding and enriching conference, full of personal victories for each of our seven participants. Below is a selection of highlights from the weekend.

Upon arrival in Bangkok on Friday lunchtime, students were keen to finish off their conference preparations and finalise their speeches and resolutions. We had a working lunch at U-Sukhumvit Hotel, which really put students in the mood for the conference the following day.

For the remainder of Friday, we enjoyed some relaxation before the intensity of the MUN conference on Saturday. We visited LazGam, a laser game provider in Holiday Inn, Sukhumvit, and had great fun channeling our inner-commando. It was an excellent way to release any nerves and tension, also providing students with an excellent excuse to gang up on their teacher. Friday evening was spent in Terminal 21 for dinner and downtime.

The NIST MSMUN Conference

HHIS delegates before the opening ceremony

The format of an MUN conference is good for building the confidence of the participants as the day goes on. Following the opening ceremony, students are guided to their particular conference rooms and, after a roll-call, are invited to give their opening speeches, which outline their country's stance and objectives for the debates to come. This speech is fully prepared in advance and provides students with the chance to banish their public-speaking nerves before more impromptu addresses. Students then take part in an unmoderated caucus (lobbying session):

The unmoderated caucus is the time when students are allowed to mingle with other delegates and speak informally to one another about the topics.

The aim is for delegates with similar views to find one another, form alliances and work together.

This is the time when students can get to know one another and it makes the formal debates to follow much less daunting.

Debating is in the parliamentary style. In essence, this is 'speech-style' debate interspersed with points and motions. Students will stand at the front and deliver speeches about resolutions they have created in collaboration with other delegates. These speeches can be either for or against the resolution and their aim is to encourage other delegates to vote in a particular way. Following the speeches, delegates are open to points of clarification and inquiry (if they choose to be). Here, other delegates may ask questions of the speech-giver, pertaining to their speech or resolution. Questioners are entitled to follow-up the answer provided by the delegate at the podium.

Our seven delegates all in action

Each resolution is subject to voting at the end of debates.

Unlike standard debating, you don't succeed at MUN just through forceful argument and the ability to confront and counter your opponent. The entire simulation is about collaboration, listening and compromise. The most successful delegates will of course be able to deliver a strong speech at the podium and defend their position convincingly. However, they must also show teamwork, compassion and awareness of local, national and global perspectives throughout the day.

The HHIS delegation did a remarkable job at their first ever conference. Each student had their own personal goals: delivering the opening speech, standing to make a point of inquiry, making a resolution or giving a for/against speech. Every student fulfilled those individual goals and gained so much more in the process. All students should be extremely proud of what they achieved on Saturday 11th May.

Most Improved Delegate

A special mention should go to Leah (Y8), who was recognised as Most Improved Delegate for her performance as the delegate of Finland in the Human Rights Council. Well done Leah!

David Coulson

Secondary Humanities Coordinator

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