by Shagorika Kar, 10i and Jeff Troyer
For more than two decades, the Rotary Club Makati Jose P. Rizal has organized this conference for middle and high school kids interested in MUN and working out solutions to various world concerns. Model United Nations Assembly is the Philippines' largest Model United Nations conference. The meeting in 2020 had to be suspended due to the pandemic. This year, it reopened online over the course of two days on January 29th and 30th as the "1st Virtual Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA)." This was the 22nd such MUNA conference, one of the Philippines' largest Model United Nations conferences. This time, the majority of the delegates participating came from both public and international schools in the Philippines due to the hugely successful VMUNA Academy held online last November.
Organized to be conducted virtually, the program guaranteed that delegates from all backgrounds could participate. Not only did the event go off without a hitch, but the staff was cooperative and understanding. Every conference provides the opportunity to educate delegates on something new about the world and themselves. To learn how to participate, talk, interact with others, analyse, organize, communicate, understand, and research effectively, as well as a variety of other skills that MUN can offer. VMUNA was an immensely challenging project. It assisted many new delegates in being aware of their work. Delegates had to learn to assess the consistency of their words and actions and recognize that someone else's alignment may not be as linear as they imagine. A good argument will inevitably prompt them to reflect that their arguments might be imperfect and that others may have more effective approaches to circumstances. However, as several chairs noted during their speeches at VMUNA, "development is tremendously gratifying."
This event was especially gratifying as, for the first time, students from our sister school LFM participated alongside us. One of our goals has not just been to promote the MUN Club at GESM, but also to provide a platform for more students to participate in Model UN. To this end, it was so gratifying to see this aim achieved! In the end, this effort allowed more students to learn about numerous worldwide concerns and actions affecting us today.
In addition to three first-timers from LFM, GESM was represented by Rasesh Barot (Gr.12) who, coming off of a gruelling but rewarding Yale MUN the weekend prior, took the leadership reigns once again by co-chairing a committee. Also contributing for us were Shagorika Kar (Gr. 10) who helped the Makati Rotary Club to organize the event along with John Lueck “Benson” (Grade 9) who performed admirably in his role as a committee delegate.
This event wraps up our conference schedule until next school year as so many students soon face the rigorous DAF, IGCSE and IBDP exams. We wish to thank, or were a part of in any way, the four conferences we were involved in this school year. You all made this school year so enriching and successful. We welcome new students to get involved next school year. Our first event is always Manila MUN “LOCALS” that provides a great platform to make meaningful relationships with international students from schools all over the Philippines while learning about the issues that affect our fast-changing world.