The Model United Nations (MUN) is a student led simulation of the United Nations where students learn about diplomacy, world issues, international relations, and the United Nations. At an MUN conference, students, known as delegates, work as the representative of a country and must solve an issue with other delegates from around the world. MUN teaches delegates skills like research, public speaking, debating, critical thinking, and teamwork.
From the 28th till the 30th of September 2023, the JVMUN (Jules Verne MUN) club as well as the BFI students of Grade 11 (1ere) and Grade 12 (Terminale) participated in the JoMUN (Johannesburg MUN) conference at the American International School of Johannesburg. The theme of this conference was “From the margins to the center: forging pathways towards solidarity in a polarized world”, a theme that has enabled the students to think of ways to combat polarization, a prominent issue nowadays. All the issues debated in each committee had an end goal of resolving this problem. Topics in each committee ranged from “Preventing the colonization of outer space” to “Safeguarding the rights of migrant workers”. On the last day, all delegates were taken to the theatre and were grouped by countries. We then started the General Assembly, a committee in which we debated clauses created by the countries present, so any delegate was urged to submit a clause. During the closing ceremony on the last day of the conference, awards were given to delegates in each committee. The Lycée Jules Verne is proud to have had two students of Terminale BFI, Rienk Kuipers and Beladé Kodasso, receive Honorable Mentions.
This was a wonderful experience which has improved the involved student’s confidence and speaking skills. It has also enabled the students to learn more about the country they are representing, build alliances, learn how to express their ideas diplomatically and how to view situations from different points of view. The conference has also taught the students how to adapt and think quickly on their feet. Whilst the conference has been long, approximately 7 hours of debate a day for 3 days straight, and demanding a lot of thinking, it has proven beneficial to all the delegates who came out more comfortable speaking in public and expressing their ideas. Furthermore, this conference was an opportunity seized by the students to expand their social circle and become friends with people coming from different countries.
All in all, the Secretary General, the Deputy Secretary General and the two amazing teachers, Madame Gumbo and Madame Silber, that have spent the month of September preparing the students for the conference, are all very proud of the students, old and new, that have put the effort, research and time to making this conference a great one.
Andriana Nathaniel Evy-Ralph Kalunga
Secretary General Deputy Secretary General