On Friday 26 April 25 students left Hong Kong bound for the Taipei American School Model United Nations TASMUN 2019 conference, held at the Taipei American School. This was the first time AIS has been to TASMUN and we were all eager to see what it would be like as we have heard a lot of good reports. Any concerns we had we quickly dashed, and TASMUN was an enjoyable experience.
One of the unique things about TASMUN was its emphasis on the United Nations Sustainable Goals and seeing how local communities could make a difference at their local level. The conference this year had a special involvement with the MUN Impact initiative. Using the knowledge learnt from the amusing rap of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, we had to each create our own programs focusing on one of the goals. These programs aim to make a difference around people’s local areas and help delegates gain a hands-on experience in solving these issues. Many initiatives have been thought of between the committees, such as; eliminating the issue of cage homes by first tackling the issue of joblessness in Hong Kong or by organising monthly beach clean-ups.
One of the highlights of TASMUN was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. We were so fortunate to hear from Ji Seong-ho who is a North Korean defector and freedom activist. Mr Ji grew up in North Korea and he told us about his experiences living in North Korea and his decision to flee Korea which resulted in him falling off a train resulting in his left hand and foot being crushed. This resulted in portions of his limbs being amputated forcing him to move around on crutches. To hear Mr Ji talk about life in North Korea and his tireless efforts to help North Korean refugees reach freedom shows what MUN is all about.
On a personal level, between staying at an awesomely retro hotel with a first-class ball pit and spending countless hours on debates that were both constructive and entertaining, it was hard to find a downside of the conference. Although awards were not part of this conference, every delegate knew they had something to be proud of.
Overall, this conference has produced fruitful debate, an unforgettable adventure and a chance for real improvement in many countries and cities, across the globe. On behalf of all the students, we’d like to thank Mr. Flak and Mrs. Chilarou for making this trip possible.
Elke Chaplin (8E) and Tom Camo (8J)