- This Article recap has been provided by Rohan Sinha, jrO-MUN Secretary General.
Allow me an introduction. My mother is Chinese, my father is Indian, and I was born in Los Angeles, USA. I am dark skinned, I look almost entirely Indian but I speak no Hindi or Bengali. Instead, I am fluent in Mandarin. When I walk into a restaurant, a waiter often asks me in less-than-fluent English “You… Need… English menu?”, or when I jump into a taxi and the driver is gregarious (which is not uncommon), he shows off his English by asking where I come from, or how I am enjoying Taiwan. Sometimes I play along by speaking English with my normal American accent, and then right before we part I strike up a short conversation in Mandarin, leaving them at a loss for words yet smiling mysteriously. In Taipei, I am not Taiwanese because I don’t look Chinese whatsoever. In Calcutta, I don’t speak the vernacular, nor have I ever lived there in my life. For me, it is not that simple to identify myself with a specific cultural group. Nevertheless, I have a unique perspective on life that not everybody has, and I appreciate that. I appreciate my birth as a global citizen.
This leads me to the fascinating, global realm of Model United Nations. I first started MUN in seventh grade, when I joined a middle school conference called MS TAIMUN, hosted by Taipei American School (TAS). I fell in love. Since writing my first-name, last-name, and email on the sign-up sheet in seventh grade, MUN has been a primary source of comfort in my life. MUN allows me to interact with people from all over the world, to engage in role-playing, and to resolve conflicts; MUN privileges me with its incredible diversity, mixed perspectives, and virtuous purpose; MUN is somewhere I am comfortable. In my honest opinion, MUN is the experience that most captures our rapidly globalizing world.
When I am not actively preventing Iran’s nuclear proliferation, or resolving the refugee crisis in Syria, I am a tennis player, a volunteer at an orphanage, and a hopeful social entrepreneur. I also take pleasure in reading and philosophy.
I was introduced to O-MUN in November of 2012. Soon after I familiarized myself with it, I started recognizing its potential. O-MUN allows for a very fulfilling experience equivalent to that of a traditional MUN conference, except without the visual aspect. However, processes from lobbying to the gesture of applause are included, so that delegates experience a very comprehensive simulation of the UN. O-MUN also serves as a medium through which the MUN community can be connected all over the world. Delegates, moderators, directors, and guest speakers from five or six countries scattered in as many continents could be interacting in O-MUN conferences on a regular basis. I see O-MUN growing to stage where it becomes a universally known innovation throughout the entire MUN community, so that in any conference one may say “Yes! In fact, I have participated in one conference in Beijing, one in Jakarta, two in Manila and five O-MUN conferences.” I believe the same applies for middle school delegates. The MUN program is growing at an ever more rapid pace worldwide, and every year more and more middle school students are being introduced to MUN. By virtue of O-MUN’s efficient, organized and mobile nature, middle school delegates are able to experience and learn more about MUN, faster. I hope that gradually, middle schools all over the world will be allowed to take part jrO-MUN.
jrO-MUN offers the opportunity for MUN to be available to middle school students worldwide, at a free or greatly reduced price. It blurs national borders in that students from Taiwan to Zimbabwe to the UK to the US to China are all participating in one conference, working together to find solutions to problems that face our world.
It is truly my honor to be Secretary General of jrO-MUN, and I look forward to expanding the program with all of you. Please do not hesitate to ask me questions or for help!
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