Over 3,500 high school students from approximately 200 schools gathered at the World Forum in The Hague, Netherlands to attend one of the largest Model UN conferences in the world, The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) Conference. This year, THIMUN Hague took place from January 29 to February 3 with the theme, “Borders in a Globalized World.”
On the first day of the conference, delegates started off on the right note with lobbying for the entirety of the day. This followed with the Opening Ceremony with speeches from Mr. Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of the Municipality of the Hague, Ms. Fran Laughlin, Co-Chair of the THIMUN Foundation, Mr. Wil van Gemert, Deputy Director of Operations of EUROPOL, and the Secretary-General of the conference, Mariana Plaza Cardenas. Secretary-General Mariana Plaza Cardenas spoke to us about the preparation process for THIMUN Hague XLIX and stated that “Preparation for THIMUN required extensive work because all seven members of the Secretariat were located in different parts of the world. We used Skype as a medium to communicate easily with one another in preparing for the conference, ensuring the conference was moving forward with the many new changes. We worked to implement inMutual, a new social media platform for MUN, and prioritized having a clearer focus on lobbying.”
The complete video for the THIMUN 2017 Opening Ceremony can be found here.
Delegates proceeded with the lobbying process on Tuesday with the opening of the Approval Panel. This allowed them to revise and finalize resolutions to be debated upon for the rest of the week. After committee session was done for the day, THIMUN offered a special documentary evening that showcased Hassan Akkad’s experience as a refugee from Syria.
By Wednesday, all committees were in session. The committees of THIMUN consist of the six main committees in the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Disarmament Commission (DC), the Environment Commission (EC), the Human Rights Commission (HRC), the Special Conference on Borders in a Globalized World (SPCBGW), the Advisory Panel, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Resolutions that were revised by Student Officers, the Approval Panel, and even the Secretariat were ready to be debated on Wednesday. Delegates were extremely invested in submitting amendments and making appropriate changes in order to ensure that resolutions were of top quality before being voted upon.
In collaboration with the THIMUN Board of Directors, the Executive Team works in ensuring and overlooking all committees. On his experience, Patrick Sheppard, President of the General Assembly (PGA), states that “as PGA, I felt it was super busy behind the scenes making everything run smoothly but communication among the Secretariat, Student Officers, and Admin Staff was excellent so we encountered no huge hiccups. I felt very proud as it is something we worked towards as a team and we really pulled together to make it work. Everyone went beyond what was asked of them.”
Jane Chea, a delegate of the International Monetary Fund in the Economic and Social Council, comments that her first THIMUN Hague experience was “both overwhelming but intriguing. Personally, the conference took the traditional part of the debate but added a whole other layer of being out of Malaysia and with people of so many nationalities. It was an amazing to be able to attend a conference of such a large scale.”
The last day of the THIMUN Hague XLIX wrapped up with delegates completing debate on the resolutions. At the end of the conference, we saw an elaborate Closing Ceremony which consisted of Presidential Reports from all Presidents of respective committees, speeches from all members of the Secretariat, and representatives of the THIMUN Board.