SIMUN 2017

by Francisco

Last week a team of 29 delegates and 1 committee president attended the Singapore Model United Nations conference (SIMUN 2017). After months of research and writing resolutions on topics such as the situation in Yemen, women's rights or cyber-terrorism, our students spent three days debating using formal UN language and protocol in order to pass their resolutions. Our delegates were congratulated by the presidents of the committees for their team spirit, diplomacy and the support they extended to others during the proceedings. They were 'main submitters' for 10 of the 36 resolutions debated this year and were awarded 10 out of the 19 prizes presented to exceptional delegates during the closing ceremony, including the Best Delegation award.  This is an amazing feat as there were over 400 delegates at SIMUN this year.  Congratulations to all !

The SIMUN trip organized by the French International School of Hong Kong was quite the exciting experience for a first timer in Model United Nations conferences. Although it was already hard enough work to even get selected for the opportunity to travel to Singapore, it was nothing compared to the real conferences. After a calm plane trip we finally arrive in Singapore for our first day of leisure. Mrs Briey was very strict with rules, since I had already had her as a teacher before I knew there was no room for messing around with what she said, especially with time limits, had to learn that one the hard way. We arrived at the YMCA at around 6 o’ clock which led to a quick unpacking in the rooms and then leaving for dinner straightaway. Or that’s what you would think however Mr Whitehurst and Mrs Briey “strongly” recommended that we stay in the hotel for an hour or so and work on all of our resolutions, which we “gladly” accepted and thereafter did.

After a good night’s sleep in order to prepare for the next day the first day of debating began.  It was a really hot day; this was only worsened by the long time we spent standing under the sun waiting for us to get into our actual committees. After a long opening ceremony, we finally go into our committee rooms. The Chairs introduced themselves and the lobbying sessions started. Most of the delegates were my age or younger, not many were over seventeen. Since we had been forced by Mr Whitehurst to prepare good resolutions, after he rejected more than half of what we had written, it was easy to become main submitter. The first day was by far the easier one. Managing to become main submitter, I gladly continued to discuss about the resolution of our group before the day ended in a calm matter and we got back to the hotel. This is when the bond of all the students from FIS really starts to be created. The first thing all of us did was dive straight into the pool after a long sweaty day discussing resolutions and later on going to have dinner.

 The second day was when the real debating started to take place, and that was the beginning of the action, it was intense debating the whole day and the subjects important and relevant to the problems countries face nowadays. In my committee, I quickly realised only those that really participated where the ones who enjoyed the debating while the rest fell behind really quickly and lost interest in the subjects at hand. If there was one way to earn something about the experience as a whole it was participating as much as one could. Back the hotel it was back to the pool again and dinner afterwards and after spending some more time socialising in between the people at the hotel it was back to bed and to sleep.

Day three of the journey was definitely the most difficult, finally debating the final resolutions and trying to get the most out of it in order to win the strongly relinquished prizes at the closing ceremony. This was definitely the best day of them all as we could see that the only people who were participating where those engaged in the debates and willing to fight in order to assert their countries’ position and point. Finally with the debating finally finished, it was time for the closing ceremony where FIS won nine out of the eighteen prizes, surprising everyone else in the auditorium, all that hard work finally payed off. It was time for our celebratory night, as we all left out to have dinner and enjoy our last day in Singapore and most of all relax after all the debating.

Final day at Singapore, we take the bus back to the airport, and it was back to Hong Kong. The journey was definitely one of the most rewarding in my life. Making new friends in Singapore which I hope to see next year, reinforcing already existing bonds with the schoolmates from Hong Kong and also the experience of talking and trying to convince a whole crowd that your point of view is the correct one was definitely no easy job, but it rewarded the speaker immensely.