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Spring/Summer 2021 Seishin Model UN Report|Thomas Fast准教授





Spring/Summer 2021 Seishin Model UN Report

During the last weekend in June, twenty-one of our students participated in the Japan University English Model United Nations (JUEMUN). They attended the 3 day all English online conference with approximately 130 other delegates from 13 different countries and 12 different universities. The event was hosted by Kyoto University of Foreign Studies and the topic was “Appropriate and Resilient Development for Environmental Sustainability.” This was Seishin’s first year to have students serving as members of the JUEMUN Secretariat (i.e. leaders): Maya Fujii, Under Secretary General (USG) for Room 2, Mami Kumeii (Room 1 Chair), Maho Kawaii (Room 3 Chair), and Miho Kaizaki (Room 2 Assistant Chair) (pictured above with Professor Fast). The Agenda for the Conference was:

Meeting 1: Appropriate Infrastructure Innovation and Industry for Sustainable Development (SDG 9)
Committee A: Increase access and use of communication technologies for sustainable development
Committee B: Develop sustainable and resilient infrastructure
Committee C: Strengthen small scale enterprises in developing countries
Committee D: Facilitate financial support to least developed countries and small island states

Meeting 2: Responsible Consumption and Production for a Sustainable Economy (SDG 12)
Committee A: Reasonable consumption and production of clean energy
Committee B: Reduction of food waste
Committee C: Reduction of industrial waste
Committee D: Supporting economic opportunities and job creation by promoting local culture and products through sustainable tourism

Meeting 3: Urgent Action to Combat Climate Change and its Impacts (SDG 13)
Committee A: Strengthening resilience to climate related natural disasters
Committee B: Integrating climate change measures into policies and planning
Committee C: Building knowledge and capacity to address climate change
Committee D: Managing climate action programmes for least developed countries and small island states

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the conference was held online for the second year in a row, however we were able to send our 4 NDSU leaders to Kyoto to work face-to-face with other members of the Secretariat from Kobe and Kyoto Universities of Foreign Studies. For them, it was a particularly powerful event to spend time with their counterparts after many months of remote preparation.

Three nights in a row, the leaders in Kyoto worked past midnight together in the hotel lobby, editing working papers and preparing for the next day of the conference. It was tough but very rewarding for them and they became quick friends.

The conference had a major impact on our other students as well. Below are several of their comments:
Yes, especially the viewpoint of communication style. I was able to experience a discussion in which it was important to be willing to speak. I think I'm not afraid to speak for myself even during the university's class.

Of course, I was able to see what happened in the world, how governors have addressed the issues, how each country has tried to solve them. What is more, I was able to see how we could combat climate change on the local levels. It is difficult for me to change the whole world, but I can change my life. I believe successful activity for our earth comes from every human action (one by one).

My last JUEMUN ended up with bad memories. But I joined it this year. Of course, this JUEMUN was also really hard work. In addition, I was even more worried because I decided to be a regional facilitator. However, thanks to this experience, I have gained confidence in myself.

Last semester, I tended to be lazy because of online lessons. I could take classes anytime in one week, so I usually escaped from lessons. However, I couldn't behave the same in MUN class. So, a lot of tasks moved me forward.

I can say I could achieve to play a role! This JUEMUN 2021 was a memorable thing for me. Other delegates can say opinions logically as delegates of assigned countries. I could learn how to consider issues globally. I was so nervous since it was my first time to try the facilitator in a regional bloc. However, thanks to a lot of help from senpai, Tom & Rob, and other delegates, I could finally achieve my goal. This time, I could understand the procedure and the way of WP and amendment seats etc. I cried after all the sessions were over because I felt that I did it, and I am glad that my effort has paid off.

I'd like to Thank you everyone. Teachers helped me and encouraged me a lot. Thanks to everyone's cooperation we could have a good discussion in the JUEMUN. There are a lot of things that I have to improve on. But, I feel I am more mature than before. Thank you.

I think this has been one of the best experiences of my life so far. Thank you very much!

Mission was completed!! I'm no longer who I used to be! JUEMUN changed me. I'll keep challenging myself. 

As you can see, the Model UN continues to have a dramatic impact on our students and during the pandemic, even though it was held online, it still provided “life changing” international learning experiences for our students. 

Looking Forward
In the fall, we will hold our Model UN class again, and we welcome hardworking students to get their first MUN experience, as well as returning students. The pandemic is still making our future unpredictable, but we hope to hold a small face-to-face conference this December with Okayama University, and perhaps students from other universities as well. The conference theme will be “Securing World Heritage for Future Generations” so if you are interested, please start researching issues related to World Heritage sites over the summer. 

In addition, we are beginning to plan a trip to New York for the National Model United Nations (NMUN) Conference in early April, 2022. We are forming a team with Okayama University. Of course, this trip may not happen if the current COVID-19 situation continues, but we are hopeful that it will become safe to travel next year. Students who want to go to New York must have participated in at least one MUN conference in Japan to be eligible. 

JUEMUN 2022に向けたお知らせはこちら▶

Thomas Fast准教授(教員紹介)