Peace and justice are important values for all of us here at ASH and we are so lucky to be located so close to The Hague, the international city of peace and justice. Recently, some of our ASH students participated in MUNISH, the Model United Nations of The International School of The Hague conference, and were able to put these values into action.
In its 29th year, MUNISH’s mission states that it is “a conference run by youth, for today's youth, to benefit the youth of tomorrow”. Over 1200 students from around the world participate in the weekend event every year and the focus is on providing these students with the opportunity to engage in debates and discussions on global issues. This conference is affiliated with The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN), which takes place in January. It is therefore aligned with the same educational aims of THIMUN and follows the same by-laws and procedural rules, making this conference a great chance for student delegates to gain more experience before attending THIMUN.
Future diplomats and world leaders could very well be formed at MUNISH, and ASH had a strong delegation attending. We spoke with Student Officer Fede E. about this year’s conference and the overall theme ‘Fostering Development: The Complexities of an Interconnected World’.
How many years have you attended MUNISH and what encouraged you or led to your involvement with this co-curricular activity?
This was my third year attending MUNISH and my 10th conference overall. My first year at MUNISH I was the delegate of the United Kingdom in the Environmental Committee, while my second and third year I took on leadership positions of President of the Disarmament Committee and President of the Special Conference, respectively. My initial interest in Model United Nations (MUN) was sparked by my sister's words of encouragement. My sisters were both heavily involved in MUN and encouraged me to do the same as they knew I had a knack for public speaking.
The theme of this year's conference was "Fostering Development: The Complexities of an Interconnected World", what does this mean to you and why do you think it was chosen?
This year’s theme is one that is more relevant than ever with today’s urgent global challenges. This theme stresses the need for growth, action, and unity on an international level. Developed by the United Nations, and encompassing all 17 Sustainable Development goals, this theme addresses a range of issues, emphasizing the importance of transforming in our global community. This theme highlights this is a critical juncture in our world history. Today, both our national models and the way we produce in our societies need to be imaginatively transformed. Now, more than ever, our world is connected in all aspects. As we continue to improve access to technology and knowledge, we continue to develop the ability to foster greater understanding and sustainable growth in our interconnected world.
Can you tell us about some of the issues and committees represented at this year's conference and why they are important?
As I was the President of the Special Conference, I was responsible for two separate committees. Within both, pertinent topics were discussed in today's society. In Special Conference 1, we discussed the implications of the global rise of populism, the weaponization of Artificial Intelligence and combating misinformation and disinformation. In Special Conference 2, we discussed topics pertaining to Big Data, gender equality in regards to the gender pay gap as well as combating climate change denial.
What was the highlight of MUNISH for you this year?
The highlight of my MUNISH conference this year was the SPC Plenary session. As I was able to lead both committees, to see both come together to solve the issues discussed in both committees was the most amazing feeling as I was able to lead the debate.
What would you say to your fellow ASH students who might be considering getting involved in MUNISH in future years?
MUNISH, more specifically MUN, is the most amazing and best extra-curricular activity. It provides students with the platform to work on their public speaking, detailed writing, and debating skills while also providing a better understanding of the world around you.