United Nations building and world flags

UN explored opportunities

The start of February marked the annual 2-day session of the Model UN in SIS, always one of the highlights of our academic year.

Sofie Hållberg of 12th Grade presided over this year’s events having been elected Secretary General by her peers. In this role, she enthused and guided the younger students involved in the mini UN on Friday, and made sure the Saturday MUN conference ran to schedule, as students debated themes related to LGBTQ rights in Africa and the global Opioid problems amongst other topics.

Sofie has been a keen participant in Model UN since she was in the 6th Grade. She confesses she wasn’t really interested in politics to begin with, but her interest has deepened greatly through her involvement in the programme. She might not pursue a diplomatic career – she feels she has a more entrepreneurial spirit – but it’s not out of the question. 

Sofie explained what she gets out of the Programme and what she enjoyed about this year’s SISMUN.

In SISMUN, students get the opportunity to experience something new whether it be in a leadership position – as a board member or chair, or as a debating position – a delegate. 

MUN is a chance to develop the personal skills that you seek as well as spread awareness on global issues and how they are tackled in the actual UN. The MUN enrichment group are exposed to the procedure, jargon, improving research efficiency, formal writing, and debating practice. SISMUN gives them a comfortable environment to put their skills to use in a fun and enriching conference. As they have the opportunity to travel abroad and interact with students from all over the world in a conference setting, this is their chance to practise their skills before challenging themselves abroad. 

This conference also gives non-MUN students the opportunity to explore what MUN entails and learn about real-world issues in detail. The DP MUN group focuses on the organisational aspects of the conference as SISMUN is almost entirely student-led. With elected board members leading, and students trained to be chairs for the conference, the DP group comes together to figure out how a conference is planned. This year’s conference was a great success. Everyone stepped into their professional roles for the day and we were able to deliver an experience that everyone can learn from and take with them. 

As Secretary-General this year, I learned what it meant to take on a coordinator role and deal with minor complications that are to be expected to holistically create a smooth-running conference. Hopefully, what perhaps didn’t go as planned this year can be used to help make next year’s conference even better. Positive feedback and energy came from the conference with the most recurring comment from those with no prior MUN experience being “surprisingly fun”. 

The second day of the conference, with only the enrichment MUN students, was an even more active debate where all the experienced students were able to challenge each other. It is such a blessing to see how much passion these students have for the topics, the procedure, and MUN as a whole. I am truly honoured to have been Secretary-General for such an amazing conference. After around 6 years of doing MUN, I genuinely believe and strongly encourage people to participate in this unique group as it opens up opportunities to grow, explore, and learn in ways that you can take with you for the rest of your life. 

SISMUN 2023 was a learning experience, a proud accomplishment, and a fun time for everyone.

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