Students from tertiary and secondary schools had the opportunity to break new ground with ideas to change the world as they gathered for the annual Taylor’s College Model United Nations (TAYMUN) conference. The three-day conference witnessed the participation of over 465 students from various tertiary and secondary institutions of education around the Klang Valley.
Some of the participating tertiary institutions included Brickfields Asia College (BAC), Asia-Pacific University (APU), University Malaya, Sunway College, Nottingham University and Monash University. Students from private and international secondary schools such as Tenby International School, Fairview International School and Sri KDU International School, ELC International School, Nexus International School, SMK Subang Utama, and SMK Bandar Utama 4 also saw participation in the conference.
TAYMUN, as is commonly known, is held annually since its inception in 2010 and run entirely by Taylor’s College students. Through TAYMUN, participants are able to exercise diplomatic skills observant to the current issues affecting communities around the world. The organising committee for the 2016 edition was made up of 12 main secretariats, headed by Hiranyavaha Balu, Secretary General for TAYMUN 2016 and comprised students from the Cambridge A-Levels, South Australian Matriculation and Canadian Pre-University programmes.
During the opening ceremony, Hiranyavaha said, “At first, we were posed with great challenges throughout the planning process. However, with the unwavering support and diligence of our organising team, everything has fallen into place. This is an exciting time for us. We are glad to be a part of something global through TAYMUN where we emulate a United Nations conference. With the theme ‘New Frontiers’, we do hope to explore and find solutions to problems through constructive debate and exchange of ideas. It will be a tremendous learning experience for us, and we look forward to the next three days.”
Hiranyavaha also said that the presence of students from other universities, colleges and secondary schools heightened the challenge between students to think critically and develop unique, workable ways forward on the various topics of discussion. “I believe that discussing these global issues will drive all participants to be proactive about what affects communities around us as well as think of solutions for humanity at large,” he said.
Some of the topics that were debated and discussed over the three days were human rights, global finance and economics, disarmament and international security, atomic energy, crimes against humanity, refugee crises and conflicts in the Middle East. Participants had a chance to be involved in a variety of activities and simulation of how the main bodies of the United Nations function through the various committee sessions.
President of Taylor’s College, Mr. Craig Sherrin, said, “It is great to see these talented young individuals being passionate in addressing the current issues affecting our world. As future leaders and decision makers, it is crucial for students to gain an understanding of the political climate and international development that will cultivate teamwork, collaborations and communication skills. Taylor’s College continually strives to inspire students through leadership skills, learning skills and life skills which will equip them on any frontier.”
Apart from discussions on current issues and solutions, TAYMUN aims to foster the building of intellectual rapport among students whilst instilling leadership and communications skills among participating delegates. It also aims to provide a platform for students transitioning between secondary to tertiary education to collaboratively solve international issues and reach a mutual understanding, while providing exposure and connection to the Model United Nations (MUN) community in the country and all over the world.
TAYMUN 2016 concluded on 27 November with the participants taking home an incredible educational experience and getting a feel of how a Model United Nations conference convened. Hiranyavaha said, “It was a great platform for us, the youth, to present our thoughts and ideas into actionable solutions and contribute towards bringing about change, and making the world a better place. Our hope for all participants, present and future, is that through TAYMUN, participants will challenge and improve themselves not only as a team, but also on a personal level. Model United Nations is not just about representing your country or region, but also standing up for the betterment of your community at large, “ concluded Hiranyavaha.