Every summer, over a thousand high school students from more than thirty countries all over the world gather in Beijing. While there are crowds of tourists who flock at famous landmarks like Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City, these students are not here to do sightseeing. They come to attend WE Model United Nations Expo, one of the largest international MUN conferences today, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary. For a grueling four days, delegates bring their ideas and passion to debate and draft solutions addressing a variety of different topics, ranging from human trafficking in Libya to the International Law of the Sea and Denuclearization, in simulations of committees such as the UN Office of Drugs and Crime and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In order to make the most of this opportunity, the teachers at CYPA’s Beijing office brought four students to observe WEMUN last Friday, as pictured above. We sat in on two committees, the first one hosted by Ivy League MUN, the European Union. The topic at hand was the European Refugee Crisis. The other was run by BeanMUN, Boston University’s conference, and their delegates were trying to find solutions to Intended Nationally Determined Contributions in the Paris Climate Change Summit of 2015.
When asked what they thought of this experience, one of the students responded, “Model UN is a good way to practice our speaking skills and to socialize. It is a good way to make new friends. When we are discussing these big problems, maybe we cannot really solve them but by discussing them we can practice our logical reasoning, writing, and listening to other people.” What a great takeaway that truly captures the essence of Model UN!