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BIS Hanoi hosts FOBISIA Model United Nations

Wednesday, 22/11/2023 | 11:06:57 [GMT +7] A  A

BIS Hanoi welcomed more than 150 student delegates from 13 international schools across Asia for the FOBISIA Model United Nations (MUN) 2023 during Nov. 10–12.

Student delegates gather at BIS Hanoi for MUN 2023. Photo courtesy of BIS

"How do we protect our seas and marine life?", "How do we ensure digital privacy in the age of artificial intelligence?", and "How do we safeguard the rights of women in conflict zones?" are the big questions tackled by student delegates at the FOBISIA MUN 2023.

BIS Hanoi is a member of FOBISIA, a collaborative federation of 96 international schools. FOBISIA member schools work together to share best teaching practices and provide students with new, unique learning experiences.

The FOBISIA MUN was an opportunity for students to learn more about the role of the United Nations as well as develop skills such as communication and collaboration at a time when international relations are more important than ever.

MUN is an academic simulation of the real-world United Nations. Students take on the challenge of becoming United Nations delegates, working to find solutions to world issues through intense negotiations and discussions.

It introduces students to the principles of the UN and provides an opportunity for them to deep-dive into the heart of global issues through carefully curated topics. This year's topics were centered around ‘The Future of Asia’.

His Excellency Iain Frew, British Ambassador to Vietnam, delivers a speech at the FOBISIA MUN opening ceremony. Photo courtesy of BIS Hanoi

On Nov. 10, the student delegates gathered in the theater for the official opening ceremony. They were privileged to welcome His Excellency Iain Frew, British Ambassador to Vietnam, as the keynote speaker.

Frew inspired the delegates by sharing his experiences from the five international postings he has held as a diplomat.

Referencing his time representing the U.K. in both Russia and the EU, he reflected on the positive outcomes achieved by diplomacy as well as those times when a resolution could not be reached.

Frew described diplomacy as "an art rather than a science," emphasizing how successful diplomacy creates solutions where the framework for an agreement does not yet exist.

He encouraged delegates to demonstrate the key values of good diplomacy during their own MUN debates, including empathy, vision, creativity, positivity, expertise, and BIS Hanoi’s own values of integrity and respect.

After an introductory session, the student delegates returned to campus the next morning, ready for the real debating to begin.

The MUN was split into 12 different committees, each made up of delegates from different international schools, which tackled a diverse range of topics.

The Asia-Pacific Council debated the issue of child marriage in developing countries; the Security Council debated the conflict in Yemen and nuclear disarmament; and the World Health Organization worked to create a framework for dealing with future pandemics.

Each individual student was responsible for articulating the perspective of the country they were representing. The resulting speeches were in equal parts passionate, informed, skillfully articulated, and often humorous.

After a total of four 90-minute debating sessions, the student delegates, committee chairs, and administrators sat down to enjoy a well-deserved gala dinner in the auditorium in the evening.

On the morning of Nov. 12, the FOBISIA MUN was back in full swing with two further debating sessions. The atmosphere on the final day was positive and relaxed.

When the final session came to a close, members of each committee enjoyed sitting down for lunch together, taking photographs, and taking part in the MUN tradition of signing each another’s placards.

Yuji Shinohara, a governance analyst at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), at the closing ceremony of FOBISIA MUN 2023. Photo courtesy of BIS Hanoi

The closing and awards ceremony took place in the auditorium, where delegates had the opportunity to hear from keynote speaker Yuji Shinohara, a governance analyst at the United Nations Development Programme.

He gave an honest and engaging speech about the challenges of the UN and the importance of taking action to make positive change.

Before the conference was officially closed by the MUN Secretary General, BIS Hanoi MUN Director Nia Cooper congratulated the participants on their exceptional intellect, diplomatic finesse, and commitment to the continent of Asia.as officially closed by the MUN Secretary General, BIS Hanoi MUN Director Ms Nia Cooper congratulated the participants on their exceptional intellect, diplomatic finesse and commitment to the continent of Asia.

FOBISIA MUN 2023 is organized by BIS Hanoi students and Nia Cooper, Head of Enrichment. Photo courtesy of BIS Hanoi

After the event, Nia also reflected on what the students had achieved. "We were immensely privileged to host this conference for 13 schools from across the continent. Today's students are the future custodians of our planet, so it's vital that they understand the importance of their actions in shaping society."

According to Nia, through diverse debating topics ranging from the war in Yemen to the accessibility of menstrual products, delegates gained a global awareness that will enable them to continue to enact positive change as well as develop the personal skills to make a success of their future endeavors, such as the ability to diplomatically address differing viewpoints.

"This would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of our student organizing team, the Secretariat. Thuc Anh, Tuong Van, Kanta, Thanh Mai, and Jisung worked tirelessly in the weeks and months leading up to the conference, and their vision and drive were key to making this event a success," she added.

Source: VnExpress