I remember my very first Model United Nations (UN) conference experience vividly, and to sum it up in a word, it was this: terrifying. You would expect more from a 16-year-old boy (even if it was his first conference), but at the end of the conference, I made but a grand total of four speeches (including two opening speeches). Like most other conferences in Singapore at the time, it suffered from many problems which intimidated first-time delegates like myself: participation was limited to the same few schools, guidance for first-time delegates was limited or even non-existent, and most importantly the council environment was simply intimidating. Even then, it was clear to me that these were problems we had to address.
The United Nations Association of Singapore Model UN (UNASMUN) Preparatory Conference is part of the solution, and has been since 2011. Recognising the academic and co-curricular benefits of simulation conferences such as Model UN, the Preparatory Conference was designed for first-time participants, partnerships were established with a wider range of institutions, and – even more recently – a training programme including centralised sessions and sessions in schools. Through these endeavours the intent has been to reach out to new students, and to empower the more experienced delegates with the skills and knowledge to go even further.
In this vein, registration for or application to UNASMUN is now open:
– Register as a participant. Registration is open to secondary schools and the institutes of higher learning in Singapore, so find out more and download the registration forms. Don’t worry if you have never participated in a simulation conference before. Not only are segments of UNASMUN dedicated to training and development, our student officers for the first-time committees are also specially selected to provide a nurturing and less-intimidating environment.
– Apply as a student officer. Applications have been open since June 4, 2016, and will close on July 10, 2016. Read more about the roles and responsibilities, and download the application form if you are interested.
Having been with UNASMUN since 2013, I have seen the conference grow in exciting new directions, catering for students with different levels of experience, right up to our crisis committees – which would stretch even the most seasoned Model UN delegate to his or her limited – introduced in 2014. Our focus, nevertheless, has and always will be on first-time delegates, and particularly on schools who have never sent any students to a Model UN conference. We can promise first-time delegates that your UNASMUN experience will be a fulfilling one indeed.
UNASMUN itself will always be a work-in-progress, and while we look back with great pride we look ahead with even greater excitement. After every conference and every training session we are anxious to gather feedback – especially the negatives – to better ourselves, because our vision is to introduce Model UN or simulation conferences in every school in Singapore, working closely with the relevant stakeholders and supporting them. To do that, we must never stop learning.
So join us at UNASMUN 2016! Whether you are a first-time or experienced delegate, we promise you a meaningful (and fun!) four-days from December 13 to 16, 2016, at the Singapore Institute of Management.