Our UNIS MUN delegations were expertly led & prepared by Ambassadors Thanh An Nguyen (Russian Federation), Duc Anh Nguyen (Somalia) & Traves Lee (Fiji) but we soon realized that clearly more research was needed (what was the capital of Somalia again? Who is the CURRENT UN Secretary General?) so we spread out waiting for our delayed flight to depart to do a little more background on the countries we are expected to faithfully represent.
We visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Memorial after we arrived.
At the Tuol Sleng Genocide Memorial we met & had the chance to speak with Bou Meng, an artist, & Chum Mey, a mechanic. They are two of only 179 known survivors of S-21 when it was liberated by the Vietnam. Their stories were also inspiring as we began to prepare our opening statements & consider our resolutions before the start of the conference. Bou Meng was quoted directly; many of us made connections to the genocides in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda & of the Rohingya; others considered ways in which we could strengthen existing UN capcities & laws like the Genocide & Refugee Conventions.
For many of us, ISPP Day 3 kept Bou Meng & Chum Mey’s call to action & civility as a central focus.
We began with what is perhaps the most valuable elements of MUN: Lobbying, Merging & Approval.
It is through the lobbying that we can reach out to other delegations, testing our own mastery of our country’s positions, international, legal & institutional frameworks as well as our ability to empathise, sympathise &, truth be told, manipulate & mislead.
While not much was ultimately past, the final day of ISPP brought out the best of our delegates in GA Plenary & Security Council.
We did engage in meaningful debate on the struggle between the right to privacy & the need for security; the future of Isreali-Palestinian relations; a lasting & universal convention recognising & protecting the rights of LGBTQ+; a strengthening of child protection & misery allievation; an amicable & sustainable solution to the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Our delegates were active & that activity received both recognition & commendation (as well as a less-than-perfectly-timed-in-committee-nap). More importantly, we learned & are motivated to reinvest these experiences in February’s UNIS MUN international conference & beyond.
Thanh An Nguyen