This year, 17 Halcyon students participated in the Model United Nations at the International School of the Hague in the Netherlands, otherwise known as MUNISH 2018. Five of our students were on the Board of Directors, chairing the Committees. Well done to Evy, Beckett, Ellery, Sam and Sabrina for their hard work.
Over 1200 students participated from 39 schools across the globe including schools from Zambia, Qatar and Palestine in the three-day conference debating and collaborating as committees to bring resolutions to current global issues. The conference, much like the smaller Halcyon-based version which will occur later in the year, is entirely student-run. From administration to marketing, to technical assistance; the students of The International School of the Hague run the whole event.
As stated in the MUNISH mission statement, MUNISH is “A conference run by youth, for today’s youth, to benefit the youth of tomorrow”. The theme for this year’s MUNISH conference was: ‘Rising to the challenges of exponential change’, which promotes and supports action and problem solving on a global scale.
Our delegates represented Bolivia, South Africa and North Korea in their respective committees. Prior to the event, they conducted research into the positions of their countries on the assigned topics to prepare for the debate. There were also a number of workshops that delegates could involve themselves in; Public Speaking and Non-Government Organisations in the United Nations to name a few.
The students of the International School of the Hague delivered some fantastically inspiring speeches to our students during the Opening and Closing ceremonies, emphasising some of the passions that our young people are fighting for. Their future thinking and critical views were in contrast to the ISH Principal and special guest speaker from the United Nations who focused only on the past and how far society has come.
“We, the youth, are not simply the change that we wish for but the change that we need!” said Efstathios, President of the General Assembly (a student). “The state of global affairs is overwhelming and disheartening. We cannot just hope for a better world but we will make a better world.”
“Use this opportunity to let your voice and your opinions be heard. Your capacity to make a difference is only limited by your own thinking. It only takes one person to make a change.” said the Secretary General (a student).
This conference is a fantastic opportunity for those young people, who are heavily politically engaged but currently are not of age to vote, to have a voice in politics and international relations. Our students learned that each of them can make a change. Through enquiry, open-mindedness and self-confidence, they will become the leaders of tomorrow.
“I thought that the idea of traveling internationally for an MUN conference would be quite an effort for something that not a lot of people know about. I was proven wrong, it was completely the opposite! When we arrived, the sheer mass of people crowding into the opening ceremony was overwhelming. The organization that goes into such an event is amazing, and is certainly something we want to repeat in our own Halcyon MUN conference.” Boet, Halcyon Student, Grade 10.
We thoroughly encourage more students to participate in our Halcyon conference and in next year’s trip to the Hague!
Committees and Issues Discussed
General Assembly 1 – International Security and Disarmament
- Implementing measures to prevent state-sponsored terrorism
- Developing effective actions towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons
- The question of national sovereignty and asymmetric warfare
General Assembly 3 – Social, Humanitarian and Cultural
- Protecting individual rights to privacy in the digital age
- Establishing measures to ensure the integration of refugees into society
- The question of Genetically Modified Foods (GMF)
General Assembly 4 – Special Political and Decolonisation
- Addressing the global rise of populism
- The geopolitical situation within the Arctic Circle
- The situation in Venezuela
- Measures to counter cyber security attacks and establishing cybersecurity strategies in the digital age
- Countering disinformation and misinformation in light of the changing face of modern media platforms
- Measures to mitigate the impact of increasing national protectionism
- Measures to regulate the use of e-currencies such as Bitcoin
- Regulating the development of artificial intelligence in autonomous vehicles
- Tackling the opioid epidemic
- The situation in Syria
- Addressing foreign manipulation of domestic political institutions
Economic and Social Council
- Eliminating illicit crops used in the production of narcotics
- Strengthening coordination of efforts to combat human trafficking
- Combating international tax avoidance and evasion
- Measures to combat plastic pollution
- Limiting the negative effects of fracking on the environment
- Implementing measures to protect endangered species
Human Rights Council
- Combatting the growth of modern slavery
- Measures to provide equal access to the internet
- Protecting individual privacy while maintaining national security
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
- Measures to counter cybercrime
- The question of fraudulent medicines
- Implementing prison reforms to improve the treatment of inmates
- Determining sovereign rights over the dispute of the South China Sea
- Measures to eradicate the production, stockpiling and use of all forms of chemical weapons in Syria
- Combating the growing threat of cyber warfare
Group of Twenty (International Financial Systems/Stability)
- The question of cryptocurrencies
- Reducing International Trade Barriers
- Measures to reduce the impact of Brexit
Advisory Panel on the Question of Bangladeshi-Myanmarese Region
- The question of the Bangladeshi-Myanmarese Region