SIS Model United Nations (MUN) attended THIMUN Hague for the first time since 2012, from Jan. 23–30. Though THIMUN was previously cancelled due to concerns regarding the extensive time students spent abroad, SIS students were allowed to participate this year, as they now spend no more than a full week at Hague. After spending a weekend visiting various historical sites and museums such as the Anne Frank House and the Escher Museum, the MUN team conferenced from Jan. 26 – Jan. 30.
“At THIMUN there is a lot of diversity,” said Jeffrey Park (10), whose resolution passed on Jan. 29. “You get to make friendships with other delegates who come from various backgrounds, which is a lot of fun. The quality of the debate is also a lot higher. You don’t find this kind of diversity and quality of debate at other conferences.”
The procedure of THIMUN Hague debates forms the basis for the procedures of conferences SIS MUN members regularly attend, such as Seoul Model United Nations (SEOMUN) and Beijing Model United Nations (BEIMUN). However, as one of the largest and most culturally diverse MUN conferences in the world, THIMUN offers a more competitive atmosphere.
“At large conferences, SIS students feel that they are not the most interesting people in the room, and therefore do not speak as much,” said Courtney Caldwell, MUN adviser. “That was sort of what happened at Harvard Model United Nations (HMUN) last year. It was important that students show some personality in order to stand out, since THIMUN was a full international conference with people from all over the world.”
Despite such challenges, several MUN members, including Jeffrey, Claire Kim (10), Michael Kim (11) and Daniel Choi (11) main-submitted and got their resolutions passed in their committees. Daniel managed to get his resolution passed in the General Assembly Plenary Session. No awards were distributed at THIMUN, in contrary to SEOMUN, which hands out Best Delegate awards.
“Our committee debated on 14 resolutions overall,” Dustin Yoon (12) said. “Seven passed and seven failed, which is impressive, considering the time constraints and number of amendments that were proposed for each resolution. Getting Claire’s resolution to pass was particularly memorable. Her resolution was very sound, and she made an excellent opening speech. Overall, SIS did extremely well, especially the freshmen and sophomores.”