“IASAS Model United Nations’ mission is to bring people of various backgrounds together in order to help come up with diplomatic solutions, promote peace and develop a strong understanding of what it means to work with those who have different perspectives.”
– Co-Secretaries General of IASAS MUN 2016
On Tuesday, 8 November, NIST students embarked on a trip to attend the prestigious IASAS Model United Nations (MUN) Conference, hosted by Taipei American School (TAS). The NIST MUN delegation, comprised of 10 exceptionally experienced students from Years 12 and 13, represented a wide range of countries such as Malaysia and the Republic of Macedonia during the three-day conference.
With the conference theme of “Empowering the Youth”, the first day of debate started with Dr. Sharon Hennessy, the TAS Head of School, calling all students to “step up and solve the complex issues that are going to be debated at this year’s conference”. Followed by a powerful and enlightening cultural performance by one of Taiwan’s indigenous youth dance groups, the event began with a vibrant and energetic atmosphere among the students, representing 19 distinguished schools from all around Asia,
The conference held several nuances that made the event distinctive, the most notable of these being the involvement of Taiwanese culture in our delegates’ debate. Throughout the conference, the ingenious dance group from Taiwanese tribal group, Amese, held Q&A sessions with our international school students, where our delegates were introduced to the perspectives of the unique culture of the Amese people and the struggles they face in a globalizing world. The real-world connections derived from these sessions added a depth to our discourse, and further enriched the level and relevance of debate.
The NIST MUN team also played key leadership roles throughout the conference, with three of our very own facilitating and driving committee rooms towards fruitful debate. Mihir Patel, Class of 2017, took on an integral management position as the President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), presiding over a room of 12 advocates and judges throughout the course of the conference. Furthermore, two students from the Class of 2018, Alessandro Prugel and Varun Subramaniam, also respectively spearheaded the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperative (APEC) and the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC) as Deputy Chairs of Committee.
Overall, IASAS 2016 was arguably one of the most successful conferences that NIST has recently attended. Our delegates passionately debated every issue that came their way, and their efforts culminated in the recognition of excellence by the conference leadership team. At this high-level conference, two of our delegates, Claire Gerrand (Special Political Committee- SPECPOL) and Kengo Shigeta (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperative – APEC), received the distinguished Best Delegate award, an honor only achieved by nine of the 222 student attendees at this year’s IASAS MUN. A special thank you to our wonderful advisors, Mrs. Robin Wilensky and Mr. Paul Pickering, for their support and guidance in making this trip a successful and memorable one. The students of the NIST delegation came to a consensus that, without a doubt, this conference has been an extraordinary and impactful experience to us all.
– Kengo Shigeta (Class of 2017)