Tamagawa Academy hosted a Model United Nations session (MUN), with 133 students from 14 schools throughout Japan, which were mainly SGHs, taking part.
It was the first time for Tamagawa Academy to hold such a large-scale MUN. Therefore, from last September, students made careful preparations: asking schools about participation, building the agenda, collecting and distributing information, writing materials, and checking rules. Then, on the day they took the initiative in conducting the conference and other operations.
Each participating school was assigned to be one of 31 countries’ ambassadors and to express its own opinion. Then, they negotiated with each other, prepared and submitted drafts, and brought the issues to a vote. The theme of the conference was “nuclear disarmament.”
The well-prepared receptionists waited for the arrival of the schools, which come from the Kanto or Kansai regions and as far afield as Fukuoka prefecture.
The participants entered the hall and immediately started to prepare themselves for the conference. The host team steadily advanced the final preparations toward the opening, and there was an air of anticipation as it approached.
The ambassadors read posters on which the countries’ policies were stated, and tried to imagine how the most effective ways to negotiate.
At 9:30, the opening ceremony started. The host members were introduced and they announced the rules. Then, the participants were divided into two groups, and each group started the conference in different halls.
The conferences progressed smoothly. The chairperson delivered the opening address; the countries made speeches in turn and then the discussions and negotiations took place.
Half of participants had little or no experience with a MUN conference; therefore, the supervisors directed the conference while explaining how it should progress. They gave considered the best way for the participants to obtain a clear understanding of the expectations for the conference. As a result of their efforts, the participants were able to actively exchange their opinions and the students felt more and more motivated.
During the conference, the countries’ speeches and public statements were delivered in English, and individual discussions and negotiations known as “unmoderated caucuses”, were held in Japanese.
Even during the lunch break, many participants continued to negotiate all over the hall. The attendant teachers exchanged information while having lunch together.
At the time, the first issue of “The MUN Paper,” which reported the actions of the MUN from the morning, was published; the second one, which reported the action taken during the afternoon and the overview, was published at the closing ceremony.
In the afternoon a cooperative structure developed between countries that were in the same position while they gave speeches and held discussions. Then, they started to prepare their own draft resolutions (DR) hoping for the conclusive adoption which was the final stage of the conference.
At the end of the conference, after the countries that submitted their drafts made a speech, all the countries cast their votes and adopted a resolution. Then, both groups assembled in the same hall again, and gave the details of their conferences to each other.
At the closing ceremony, prize winners were selected from each group, and they celebrated their achievements with one another. After a day of debate the students developed friendships and were a feeling of unity. After the ceremony they enjoyed talking to each other about their experiences.
From beginning to end, all the participants were very active in the conference, and were spontaneously moving to ask for others’ opinions. Also, they could understand the purpose of the conference, and, above all, enjoyed finding out what to do in their own. The teachers were impressed by the students’ attitudes.
The participants remarked one after another, “Everyone was dedicated and actively took part in the conference. It made it more enjoyable than we had expected.” “I’m going to keep trying to improve myself for the next time.” The host students also had a good chance to learn a lot through the MUN. They gained self-confidence looking forward to future MUNs, and their experiences became important assets to advance the MUNs of Tamagawa Academy.