On the 21st of November, a group of 17 Harrow Hong Kong students headed to Singapore to attend The Hague International Model United Nations Conference (THIMUN) hosted at the Hwa Chong Institute. Hamza Apabhai (Y12, Peel) has written an account of the annual event.
The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Sustainable Urbanisation’ and the topics ranged from correcting social inequality, through solving the disputes over the South China Sea, to the ever-increasing threat from terrorist groups. Each student was assigned a country and placed into a committee, where delegates addressed a range of historical and current issues. All delegates were well prepared for the largest and toughest conference in the Asia-Pacific region, and had researched their country’s stance on the key issues beforehand, while arming themselves with operative clauses in draft resolutions and opening speeches, which outlined their country’s aims at the conference.
Delegates from Harrow Hong Kong were assigned the countries of South Africa, Uruguay, and Bhutan; and their committees included the Security Council, ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council), HRC (Human Rights Council), and the General Assembly. The first day involved lobbying, during which delegates met, combined resolutions, and discussed aims as well as current crises. Once resolutions were submitted to the chairs, we were all set for the following few days, which involved debate on the clauses and amendments. In each committee, there were over 100 delegates from many other schools, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region. The conference required vigorous debating skills, powerful oratory, and sensitive interpersonal skills. The evenings also involved large amounts of preparation for the next day. By the last day, delegates were familiar and comfortable with one another, and debate threw up some humorous ‘attacks’ on certain delegates by others. At the end of the conference, all of us realised the difficulty faced by the real United Nations’ members, especially when attempting to gain a majority during voting procedures and pass resolutions. However, many connections and friends were made at the conference, and it was a truly enjoyable experience for all.