On the Friday, February 22, Secretaries General Kyoka Kosugi and Richard Zhuang declared the 3rd annual Dulwich International Model United Nations (DIMUN) open. DIMUN is the one and only middle school Model United Nations conference in Beijing, and is uniquely the only annual MUN conference of its kind that is 100% percent student-initiated in all of Asia. The conference involved the collective collaboration of more than 180 students and teachers. Whether one’s role is to act as the delegate of Brazil in the Environment Commission, the Chair of the General Assembly, a Secretary General or a Director, each person took on the role dutifully and with pleasure.
In the conference, I acted as a chair – the role that took responsibility for all delegates and worked as an authority figure to the middle school students. The role of the chair involved the enforcement of MUN rules and enhancing political and constructive thinking and debate. From my perspective, the conference was very successful: quiet delegates began taking on speaking roles; delegates with good ideas came forward and presented them; resolutions were passed with amendments.
The conference gave middle school students a taste of the complexities of issues confronting the UN. The conference involved international students from across Asia – students from such schools as Dulwich College Seoul, the International School of Beijing (ISB), the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB), Concordia Shanghai, the International School of Tianjin, Tianjin International School, and Dulwich College Beijing (DCB), who all came to participate in 3 days of intense debate. The rules and practices of the UN applied to every single committee and debate, such as the use of the third person, the use of placards and many others.
It is moments like these when people at DCB and all international schools are reminded of the value of our education in an International environment and the value of meeting people who have the potential to be future world leaders. We may have just met a future diplomat, ambassador or leader of a nation. The conference helped students improve confidence and debate skills, and introduced diplomacy, inducing passion and solidifying worldly knowledge.
As the three days passed, the atmosphere of the conference became more and more constructive, supportive and collaborative. When February 24th came around, all students left the conference feeling accomplisched. MUN plays a significant role in many schools, especially in international schools, as it allows students to broaden their knowledge in many current issues, learn confidence and debate skills in an environment outside of lessons, and expose participants to students from different schools in different cities and countries. The constructive purpose of MUN reflects the rare opportunities offered by international schools and illustrates the successful ways in which students can learn and grow within the world community.
Michelle Jong is a 16-year-old Year 12 student at Dulwich College Beijing and has been attending Dulwich since Year 4. From China and the US, she has been living in Beijing her entire life. Her favorite subjects are English, History and Economics.
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Photos courtesy of Dulwich College Beijing