A torch to carry forward

Written by Shriya Srinivasan

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A hoard of 500 students swarm into the amphitheatre, sitting tightly together, like rows upon rows of dominoes. Sitting no less than a centimetre from a complete stranger, most pay no attention to the calming breeze and instead began frantically writing their opening speeches. Some sit alone with their schools, some discuss the upcoming topics with their co-delegates whilst others run from the jam-packed human traffic. The administration staff stand backstage, welcoming the guest speakers to the oldest Model United Nations Conference Hong Kong has ever held. The loud chatter and conversations slowly fade out as introductions begin.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 32nd Hong Kong Model United Nations, a torch to carry forward!” A cheer rings out throughout the Science Park Amphitheatre, celebrating the opening ceremony of the event.

Throughout the three days, committees start discussing their chosen topics. The fate of the world lies in our podiums, they say. These range from the United Nations war against tobacco to religious conflict in Europe. As countries rise to state how they would approach certain issues, others begin religiously taking notes, whispering among themselves. The chairs declare an unmoderated caucus, synonymous with polite arguing and forming blocks with allies. Often, there are some unfortunate countries ejected from resolutions, caught in the crossfire.

The fate of the world lies in our podiums, they say

“Chairing LEGCO at HKMUN 2019 was an amazing experience, I thoroughly enjoyed guiding delegates in solving issues local to HK and developing my understanding of how local politics works. All in all, I had a great experience and can't wait for next year!” Taylor Chung, a Year 11 and leader of the Model UN club at Renaissance, says.

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Harsha Madhu, a Year 9 student and future Secretary General of the next Renaissance Model United Nations conference who attended HKMUN 2019 as a delegate responded, “HKMUN was an insightful experience which enabled me to further develop my Model UN skills, as I was essentially collaborating with many far more experienced delegates to find solutions for issues that plague the world today.”

Model United Nations may seem like a daunting and frankly, rather boring experience, but the truth is it can reward you with an unforgettable experience and important speaking skills for a lifetime. Whether bigoted or not, the lasting stress of furiously maintaining your country’s stance can develop into a lifelong skill of being an international learner with multiple global perspectives. Yet most of all, the laughter that echoes from satirical speakers and ridiculous get-ups and the chance to interact with people from different communities is what nearly everyone cherishes about Model United Nations.