On Saturday, March 7th, amateur and veteran MUNers alike gathered at our familiar PAC to await the brilliant start of the highly anticipated 2nd annual SKYMUN 2015.
SKYMUN, which stands for South Korean Youth Model United Nations, is organized every year talented students at Yongsan International School of Seoul, Seoul Foreign School, and Korea International School, while other international school students partake in the conference as participatory delegates, chairs, or mentors.
This year’s SKYMUN theme was “All Our Relations,” with topics including:
- “Further improvement on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to entice its international implementation and spread to all member-states,”
- “Aiming to achieve the first Millennium Development Goal: reducing child mortality,”
- “Measures to protect human rights during peaceful protests, combat unfair criminalization, as well as police brutality.”
Although a generally broad theme, it was nevertheless very prevalent to even the real United Nations and foreign affairs that are being conducted present day. If anything, this broad choice helped the delegates and student officer team remember what MUN is really all about.
The opening ceremony took place early in the morning, with Olivia Kim (‘16) and Jamie Koo (YISS, ‘16) making speeches as part of the Executive Team, and our very own JaeHyun Park (‘15) as the keynote speaker. JaeHyun, as vibrant as ever, spoke passionately about the beauties of MUN, and how we, as delegates and global citizens, must work hard to protect ourselves and our peers from the ever ominous MUNritis, a symptom where:
- “If an advisor asks you, ‘Why did you join MUN?’ You say, with a smile, “to become a global citizen!”
- You fulfill “the three clause requirement by writing three awareness-raising clauses” (if you don’t get this one, ask a friend who might do MUN)
- You are “dozing off at this very moment, dreading me [JaeHyun] to stop talking.”
With the words of wisdom of the former KMUN-Secretary General in mind, the delegates split off into their respective committees, where they worked hard during lobby sessions to combine the best possible resolution for their specific issue. Each student participated thoroughly during the debate time as well, perhaps with underlying hopes to earn the hallowed ‘Best Delegate’ title of their committee.
Behind the scenes, however, there was the executive team, the mentors, and the student officers, making rapid-fire exchanges with one another to hurriedly get committee crises in order, assuring all the resolutions were printed and snacks were delivered on time.
Just ask Olivia Kim (‘16) about the chaotic scene:
“Running, running, running, a bit of printing, and some more running.”
Sounds about right.
Crises are a special event some MUN conferences decide to incorporate into their already-fun conferences. Usually done by a selected, all-fantastic student officers/actors, a scenario is decided (for example, in the Human Rights Council, the head of INTERPOL was taken hostage by a powerful Mexican drug cartel who demanded a huge ransom for the safe return of the head), and delegates are urged to develop, under a very strict, minimal time limit, an elaborate, efficient, feasible resolution to help deal with the crises. (HRC made a one-clause resolution, which passed and succeeded.)
But before all of us knew it, the conference was over. With much excitement, the delegates began to fill up the seats one by one, as the presidents of the committees shuffled up to the stage to sit behind the executive team. The Closing Ceremony was graced with the speeches of all the presidents, Clara Yoon (‘16), Min Byung Chae (who ended his speech by saying a refreshing “Hasta luego!”) and John Park (‘15), who reflected his time as a member of the Executive Team last year, and as a Mentor of a committee this year.
But Clara Yoon (‘16), had a few more words to say to summarize her sentiments for a conference that she explains has come to hold a special place in her heart.
“SKYMUN has reminded me that MUN is not about winning awards and main submitting, but to be the pinnacle of diplomacy in a room that could often [not] care less about cooperation blinded by ones’ goals.”
What more could one want out of an MUN conference, really?
Overall, it might’ve been hectic, but even as a veteran MUNer myself, I could see and feel the genuine excitement and passion many of the attending delegates felt during the course of this one day. Valuable lessons, priceless memories, and UN worthy resolutions were passed, and it is sights like this that give one hope for the future to come.
And it’s safe to say, each and every single person who attended SKYMUN defeated MUNritis for good.
Want more? Check out the SKYMUN photo gallery here!
– Faith Choi (’16)