VSA Hosted Junior Model United Nations (MUN) for 4th Consecutive Year
Secondary students debate real world issues related to the movement of peoples between nations - immigration, refugees, economic migration and exploitation.
Victoria Shanghai Academy (VSA) hosted its 4th annual two-day Hong Kong Junior MUN Conference in its school campus on 19-20 November, 2016. The Conference, themed “Building Bridges”, aimed to give students a voice as global citizens and help them develop an appreciation of the power of collaboration as policy makers react to an ever shrinking world.
About 300 students, aged between 11-17, from 15 schools in Hong Kong participated in this intriguing event, making it the biggest school-based MUN event in Hong Kong this year. MUN students had the opportunity to debate real world issues including ending the Syrian Civil War and the challenges arising from the rise of religious extremism. The General Assembly was divided into ten separate committees, tasked to develop resolutions for a range of topics, including preventing the rise of violent religious extremism worldwide, and confronting international human trafficking.
The MUN club at VSA consisting of 40 students helped plan, deliver and run the Conference.
Mr. Nicholas Binge, VSA MUN Club teacher-in-charge believes that the Conference provided a wonderful opportunity for students to participate in a live simulation of United Nations (UN) and be directly involved in the running of international politics and international law. “It promotes open-mindedness, critical and instant thinking among students who are knowledgeable about world affairs and about the most pressing issues that our countries and world face. Students have to debate, make speeches, alliances and write resolutions in order to try to solve world real problems,” Mr. Binge remarked.
The guest speaker Mr. Matt Friedman, former Regional Project Manager of the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), is an international human trafficking expert with more than 25 years of experience as an activist, programme designer and evaluator. Mr. Friedman set the context for the event by addressing delegates on the gravity of human trafficking, and encouraging them to be part of the changing force to eradicate “modern-day slavery”.
Secretary General of the Conference, Ian Lee of Y12 from VSA, considered MUN a great learning opportunity and gateway for students to become global citizens. “In an increasingly globalised world, the ability to empathise with people of different views and cultures becomes a crucial skill. As the Secretary General, I truly recognise how MUN encourages students to think with perspectives and empathy.”
VSA student Milton Suen of Y12, who was the Assistant Secretary General and Head of Press Corp, added, “MUN allows participants to experience the UN conferences and lobbying process in miniature. By enforcing the use of parliamentary language during the Conference, it also enhances participants' precision of language.”
Following the success of MUN this month, six Year 11 students from the VSA MUN club will attend the “Students’ League of Nations” this December, which will be hosted inside the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva.