Written by Ayasha Medina of Inkling for UWCSEA MUN.
It’s a sunny Friday, October 11th 2019, and over 420 delegates from 13 schools are gathered in the plaza of UWCSEA East Campus for the MUN conference that will be held for 3 days until October 13th. Being a fairly prestigious school organization, MUN, or Model United Nations, it is a very big deal to everyone participating. In the next three days, the students will be simulating the United Nations, talking about various real-life issues that are happening all around the world.
The Opening Ceremony was held in the Auditorium, started with videos of UWC alumni talking about their experiences with MUN. It was followed by MUN director, Mrs. Judith Blake, giving her welcoming speech, acknowledging Mulberry School from London and UWC Thailand on their first trip to UWCSEA’s MUN conference.
Aayesha Fazal, a UWCSEA alum, is the keynote speaker for the afternoon. Currently in her second year of working with refugees in Malaysia, she shared her opinion on injustice going on in the world and her reactions to it. Growing up as a Muslim in a secondary international school, she described her diverse experiences with the Myanmar refugees up until today.
“As delegates, you all have priorities and interests that you need to represent. The question is how do you speak for others, how do you speak for the stories of the people you’ve never known, of what is true, what is important to you, and what you believe is important to them.”
Aayesha ended her speech by wishing the delegates the best for the weekend, expressing powerful sentiments. She stated that there will always be a choice that delegates can make that aligns with their values, and that their empathy will always be more important than someone else’s expectations.
The ceremony was followed by a musical performance by UWCSEA’s musical ensemble, Bersama. They performed a couple of songs, including “Kita Bersatu”, a student-composed song for UWC Day earlier this September. This was successful in raising the energy of the audience in the auditorium, with the delegates and officers clapping and enjoying the performance.
Mr. Nick Alchin, UWCSEA East's High School Principal, addressed the delegates and officers, reminding us about having big, clear goals that also serve a greater purpose. He also recited the UWC mission in his speech, hoping that, after this conference, the delegates can be people who can unite peoples, nations, and cultures, for peace and sustainable future.
UWCSEA MUN's Secretary General, Isabella Duncan gave welcomed the delegates, reminding them that even if the conference is a simulation, the issues being debated are real. She encouraged the delegates to try to put themselves in the shoes of the people who are actually affected by these issues, echoing Aayesha's message.
“Throughout this weekend, make sure that you’re taking the time to look at beyond the numbers and the speeches and the POIs, and consider the real-life effects of the solutions you debate,” she stated.
The ceremony proceeded by introducing the chairs of each committee, and Isabella ended the opening ceremony by officially opening the conference. Here’s to a colorful 3 days!
Inkling is UWCSEA East's Literary Magazine. It is a student-led publication that aims to showcase the diversity and creativity of our school through its output.
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