On Saturday 11 November, Bede's MUN team headed to Royal Grammar School in Guildford for their MUN conference. Read Hau Tak's account of the day below:
The Bede’s Model United Nations(MUN) team was blessed with good Saturday weather as we travelled to the MUN conference at Royal Grammar School in Guildford, arriving with a mixture of both nervousness and excitement. Indeed, though we did not know it at the start, the fierceness and passion exhibited in the day’s debates would rival the brightness of the sun. As soon as we were led to our respective committees around the RGS campus, all team members immediately threw themselves wholeheartedly into the MUN processes.
In Security Council B, my friend Prithvi - representing China - was able to make a strong start by making good use of the lobbying time to befriend fellow delegates, figure out her potential allies and opponents, and collect signatures for her proposed clause on the illegal arms trade. As the delegate from the DPRK (North Korea), I was able to assist her in this regard while also making connections with other delegates, including reliable allies (e.g. the delegate from Russia) and unlikely friends (e.g. the delegates from Botswana and Egypt!). Elsewhere, both younger and older delegates also got in on the action, with Pippa delivering the DPRK’s policy statement in the Environment committee and Ollie raising good points of information as the Chinese delegate in Security Council A. Ollie’s participation in that committee was mirrored by Francis, who sparked fierce debate with his proposals and ideas as the DPRK delegate, and created a lively atmosphere.
As the day went on, we were able to make progress in some committees while holding our ground in other areas. Both Prithvi and I came very close to passing clauses in Security Council B for our respective issues - her clause on the illegal arms trade was narrowly defeated in individual voting; my clause on cybersecurity was passed on its own merits by a large majority, but ended up in a resolution that was ultimately defeated as a whole. In the meantime, Francis fielded an incredibly difficult 7 points of information made in response to a single speech of his, winning the respect of both the committee chairs (who would later give him an award for this!); a hilarious moment was also created another delegate accused him of being “too liberal” as North Korea and called on him to be replaced! His troubles did not end there either, with him facing multiple expulsion attempts throughout the day, though what cannot be denied is that he certainly was able to stir up just the right amount of exciting drama and debate - crucial ingredients for any MUN conference.
The climax of the day came when delegates gathered to attend the General Assembly, which was precluded by a crisis briefing informing all of us that a Chinese vessel had entered allegedly Malaysian waters supposedly in order to retrieve a “weather satellite”. This left our MUN team in a difficult situation but also focused the spotlight on us! With advice from our teacher advisors Ms Webster and Mr McIntosh, the DPRK delegation in the RGS Great Hall General Assembly - comprising myself, Noor and Fred - was able to jump right into lobbying other countries to support China. Prithvi began preparing talking points to use to defend her delegation against this hostile situation, while I prepared a resolution in support of China and Noor went around the room trying to convince delegates to sign and support it.
Our teammates in the Auditorium General Assembly were also involved in a flurry of activity, with Zoe, Amelia and Ollie challenging a hostile resolution against China as the Chinese delegates, and Francis making a point of order to show the DPRK’s support for China. Back in the Great Hall, I took charge of the effort to defend China by raising the DPRK placard at every possible moment to try to speak. I utilised every speaking opportunity I was given to defend Chinese actions with strong and insistent rhetoric, even as the situation escalated and more intelligence briefings revealed that the “weather satellite” was in fact a damaged Chinese aircraft carrier (thus significantly undermining our initial talking points)! Prithvi also threw herself into defending her delegation’s position by making multiple well-worded speeches and responding to hostile comments made by opponents. Although our DPRK resolution to support China was ultimately defeated, we were still proud to be able to secure multiple signatures from supportive delegations thanks to the tireless argumentation done by Noor and myself in the lobbying round.
Our efforts throughout the day were not in vain, however, despite some of the defeats we suffered in terms of passing clauses/resolutions and defending our positions in the GA. The conference ended with the Bede’s MUN team receiving an impressive five awards in total - Prithvi and I received Highly Commended Delegate awards for our work in Security Council B, Francis received a Special Mention award for his efforts in Security Council A, Amelia received a Highly Commended Delegate award for her work as the Chinese delegate in the Environmental committee, and the Chinese delegation in the Auditorium General Assembly (Zoe, Amelia, Ollie) received the Highly Commended Delegation award for their work there. This marked the end of a remarkably successful MUN conference yielding many awards for our team members, but more importantly, a day of great fun for us as we gained valuable debating, negotiating and public speaking experience! We would like to thank Ms Webster and Mr McIntosh for their efforts to support us in the lead up to and throughout the entire conference, and we are certainly looking forward to more experiences like this in the future.