TAISM Hosts Model United Nations Conference

Sunday, January 28, 2018

On January 19-20, TAISM welcomed delegations from five area schools to the 9th annual TAISM Model United Nations Conference. US Ambassador to Oman, Marc Sievers, opened the Conference with a speech endorsing the use of multilateral negotiations and diplomacy.  Students then entered into negotiations of their own, crafting resolutions in small groups, amending operational clauses, and debating with fellow delegates in a UN General Assembly setting.

The topics for the Conference included efforts to end the use of children in armed conflicts and efforts to limit the impact of cyber-terrorism. Masterfully presiding over the procedures for the General Assembly were senior co-Chairs Juan Quintana and Natalie Baltimore. The nearly 100 students in attendance at the Conference enjoyed the opportunity to research, debate, collaborate, and build relationships with their fellow delegates.

From an educator’s perspective, however, the beauty of the Conference was not in the ascetics - the professionally dressed delegates or country flags around the room or blue tablecloths and country placards. It also was not necessarily in the powerfully delivered speeches that delegates gave or the lengthy resolutions they drafted. Rather, the beauty came through in recognizing the process. In watching our students speak on behalf of a resolution they drafted or an amendment they supported, what became evident was the work the student had done in the days, weeks, and even months leading up to the Conference. Students had researched the issues - child soldiers and cyber-terrorism. They had researched their designated country’s position on the issues. They had crafted practice operative clauses to use during caucus sessions. They had practiced and honed their debating skills in countless after school MUN meetings. They had learned and internalized the rules of procedure. They weren’t professional merely because they had put on a suit, but because they had put in the time, effort, and focus necessary to rise to that level.

Jason Webster, TAISM MUN Adviser & Social Studies Teacher