by Bleron Nelaj, United World College Maastricht
February 19, 2019
The World Forum
For the whole stay in The Hague, the routine of the conference did not change much. Students would wake up early in the morning, get themselves ready and make their way to the “World Forum”, one of the World’s most famous convention centers where even the United Nations assembles to discuss pressing global challenges. The forum was situated among other famous buildings such as the “Yugoslav Tribunal”, “The Organization for the Proliferation of Chemical Weapons” and yes, even administrative offices of the “International Baccalaureate”.
The World Forum in The Hague, Netherlands
How It Works
From nine in the morning to five in the afternoon, delegates took part in the procedures of lobbying, debate and voting on their resolutions. The resolutions are documents outlining the issues at hand, their possible solutions and the framework necessary for implementing the measures proposed. Much like the resolutions of the United Nations, they are related to specific topics which are discussed in specialized commissions. For example, issues of collective security would be discussed in the Security Council, whilst issues on the violation of Human Rights would be discussed by the Human Rights’ Council.
These commissions are made up of a board, delegates and administrators. The board supervises the commissions and makes sure the THIMUN procedure on the conduct of delegates are respected, whilst the delegates act as representatives of states and NGOs. Administrators take care of arranging seating, passing notes between delegates and counting the votes.
UWCM had one of the most important delegations of the whole conference, representing the Russian Federation. Sixteen students from UWC were protecting the interests of the largest country on Earth, which is also a major player in the United Nations. The delegation had to be thoroughly prepared for the conference, due to the inevitable attacks that would come upon Russia in discussions about topics such as the conflict in Syria, nuclear disarmament and even corruption in sports. For this reason, UWCM’s delegates constantly took part in the debate, defending Russia’s interests whilst acting as if they were actual delegates to the United Nations.
This experience full of pressure was nevertheless quite enjoyable for the delegation, which is understandable. As UWC students, talking about global issues is something that the delegates do on a daily basis, which allowed for them to manoeuvre with ease between the complex global topics that they had to deal with. Additionally, being the “villain” of MUN (this is an unfortunate simplification of global politics in MUN) was also something which entertained the delegates a lot during lobbying and debate.
THIMUN and UWC
The THIMUN 2019 experience was definitely something to remember, especially when considering that it was the first time that UWCM represented the Russian Federation in a conference of this scale. What’s more, the feedback given by conference organizers and teachers points to the possibility that the last delegation was one of the best the school has ever sent to THIMUN. When asked to talk about the conference, one student described it as: “Intellectually stimulating and an excellent opportunity for self-reflection and networking”.
This description fits perfectly into what THIMUN really is. Beyond its scale, importance and even the severe pretentiousness of some of its delegates, THIMUN really boils down to something very similar to UWC. It is a place where youth from all over the world come together to discuss global issues and come up with ideas to try and solve them, all under the framework of a conference organized and lead by students. Apart from these two, many other similarities could be found between UWC and international conferences such as THIMUN.
This year's delegation.
The Flying Dutchman team consists of UWC students aiming to reflect the news relevant to the people engaged with the UWC movement.