The 22nd iteration of SEOMUN was hosted by Seoul Foreign School from November 8th to 10th, 2019, with 614 students participating from 30 schools. SEOMUN is the largest MUN conference in Korea and is hosted on a rotational basis between SFS, SIS, and KIS. The theme for SEOMUN XXII, ‘The Future We Want’, was inspired by the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development Goals and the entire conference was dedicated to sustainability. For example, we had lunch cooked with ingredients produced through sustainable agriculture, note pads made from recycled paper, and metal straws.
This year, SEOMUN overlapped with Discovery Week, which is a week-long trip for high schoolers to either a local or overseas location to provide service, experience different cultures, and bond with other grade levels. Instead of exploring new destinations, the high school MUN team and admin staff helped prepare for the conference. It was a rough week for everyone because we had to take off all the posters in the classrooms, cover the walls with fabric, make over 600 lanyards and goodie bags, and make sure that all schools got the right number and sizes of t-shirts.
[Admin staff and the MUN team preparing for the conference.
I was honored to be given the chance to serve as the Deputy Assistant President for the General Assembly Third Committee: SOCHUM in SEOMUN XXII. The Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee focuses on issues related to human rights by encouraging the international community to cooperate and provide fundamental freedom for all. For three days, delegates debated on three agendas that greatly impact the world today: implementing and enforcing sustainable economic practices to restore air quality in the Asian region, devising means to provide education for youth in conflict zones in Sudan, and combating racial profiling by the police.
|[Our committee in session on the last day of SEOMUN. Photo credit: Rayoung (Madeline) Lee]|
The role of the chairs in MUN conferences is not just to call on delegations for speeches, but to lead and facilitate the debate and serve as a role model for delegates. In order to take on this role, the selected chairs go through processes such as the ROP (Rules of Procedures) test where we are required to memorize 23 pages worth of content related to formatting resolutions and handling different emergency situations that may occur during a debate. We also take tallies of attendance, speeches, amendments, and POIs to make sure that all delegates get an equal chance to represent their country. MUN can be nerve-racking for novice delegates as it requires you to speak on behalf of a country that you are not familiar with on complex global issues. This is where the chairs come in and encourage everyone to make speeches and ask questions irrespective of the content because the debate only becomes enjoyable when you come out of your comfort zone and actively participate.
|[A group picture of General Assembly III. Photo Credit: Jun Kim]|
Once a delegate, I’ve always looked up to the student officers as my role models. Their charisma sitting in the very front of the committee never failed to impress me. My taking on that role was definitely something meaningful in my MUN career. An average of eight hours of debate per day is not something everyone can do unless you are not passionate about it. Looking at the young delegates debate on critical issues, it once more reminded me that the world is one step closer to creating a future, we all hope for.
Rayoung (Madeline) Lee
Junior (Grade 11)
Seoul Foreign School
Rayoung (Madeline) Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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