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TAISM hosts Model United Nations conference

January 27, 2014

The American International School of Muscat (TAISM) recently hosted its sixth annual Model United Nations (MUN) conference. Sixty-five students from local schools assembled at TAISM for the event. Participating schools included The British School of Muscat, The Sri Lankan School, The Indian School Al-Ghubra, Al-Sahwa School, The American British Academy, and TAISM. Four months ago, all student delegates were assigned countries for which they would serve as UN “ambassadors” at the TAISM conference. After studying the contemporary history and political structure of their assigned countries, the students focused on the three main issues selected for the conference. These included: measures to protect global fish stocks; measures leading to the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons; and measures to control international child labour.




The TAISM conference began with a thoughtful speech by Dr Robert Baldwin, a marine biologist and one of the world’s leading experts in whales, dolphins and turtles of the Indian Ocean.

He encouraged the students to respond actively and energetically to the current crisis by eating only “sustainably–harvested” fish, eliminating their consumption of shrimp and large predatory fish like tuna, and by writing to their governments and demanding the expansion of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Upon completion of the opening ceremonies, the students worked in groups to draft resolutions pertaining to the three main issues. Under the leadership of the two Chairs, Niya Abdulkadir and Makram Ashkar, both TAISM seniors, the delegates adhered to strict parliamentary procedure as they spent the next two days debating and voting on resolutions and amendments pertaining to the issues. Although all the student delegates demonstrated impressive degrees of skill in public speaking, diplomacy, debating, and conflict resolution, two students were recognised for their exceptional performances. Aarvind Menon from the Indian School Al-Ghubra, representing Iran, earned the “Distinguished Delegate” award, while TAISM’s Nora Vissers, representing Mexico, earned the award for “Outstanding Delegate.”with a thoughtful speech by Dr Robert Baldwin, a marine biologist and one of the world’s leading experts in whales, dolphins and turtles of the Indian Ocean. Addressing the issue of the depletion of global fish stocks, Dr Baldwin stated that the main causes of this decline were: overfishing (which has reduced the population of most food species by approximately 80 per cent in the last twenty years); “by-catch waste” which results in the discarding of 27 million tonnes of edible fish every year; and the devastating effects of certain fishing techniques like bottom-trawling. Added to these problems is the environmental impact of all forms of water pollution which poses an increasing threat to all marine life.

The conference was a challenging and rewarding experience for the students involved, and many are looking forward to participating in the event again next year. In the meantime, TAISM MUN students will also participate in Georgetown University’s MUN conference in Doha in February, and in the Beijing International MUN Conference in March.

Monday 27th, January 2014 Oman Observer


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