In the year 2012, students of St. Michael’s proactively took the initiative to organize and host not one, but two grand events: the first one being the St. Michael’s Debate Championship (SMDC) 2012, in which other institutions and private delegations were invited to compete in cut throat parliamentary debates; and the second one being the St. Michael’s Model United Nations (SM-MUN) 2012, the first MUN to be organized and hosted by our school, in which students from grade 9th onwards, as delegates of different nations around the word debated on haunting issues and tried to solve the world’s problems in a diplomatic manner. Both events were a big success.
On 29th August we submitted written a request to our Deputy Principal Mrs. Naiyer, to be given the permission to organizing the SM-MUN. That very moment Mrs. Naiyer passed a contagious smile and gave us a nod, which was our signal to go ahead with our plans. That day we spread that smile to whoever crossed our way. We discussed our ideas with Mr. Lobo, who encouraged us throughout the planning and preparatory stages, giving us new ideas and refining our own. In a few days it was decided that I was to be the President and Bilal Haider would be the General Secretary of the first St. Michael’s Model United Nations.
We spent the month of September planning on how to go about and organize this, at first seemingly impossible task. We kept our pace and slowly we could see light at the end of the tunnel, we could see a successful event ahead of us. We went through the registration phase where students started enthusiastically registering themselves for their first MUN and selected our volunteers, who played a major part in the success of this event. Mashaal, Swaleha, Owais, Elsa and Hassan agreed to chair.
In October, as soon as the O levels were finished with their assessments, we started the training sessions. It was, for almost all the participants, their first MUN experience. The training sessions were from 7th to 11th October, and gave the participants the training they needed to display extraordinary debating and diplomacy skills at the conference. We also arranged for the lunch for all the participants, and our Principal Mr. Misquita generously decided to sponsor the snacks on all three days.
Friday 12th October was the first day of SM-MUN: The volunteers and organizers had a lot to day that day. After the Friday prayers, as soon as I entered the school, I could see decent, smart, and prim and proper pupil dressed formally for the occasion. We began with the distribution of the packages for delegations which were the folders, pads and pens along with the placards, and the ID cards of all participants in a large paper bag. After this all the delegates were seated in the Auditorium where we started off with our opening ceremony.
The ceremony began with a recitation of the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible, followed by speeches by Mrs. Naiyer, Mr. Lobo, the President, and the General Secretary. Finally the Principal Mr. Misquita declared SM-MUN open. As the curtains were drawn on the opening ceremony, we had a tea break. After the break, the delegates moved to the committee rooms, i.e. the Auditorium, Hall 1 and Meeting Room 5, where DISEC, ECOFIN and SOCHUM committees respectively were to be in session. The first day went great, and although immensely tired, we all looked forward to the next day.
Saturday 13th October, day 2 of SMMUN: All the participants were on time, and the committee sessions started as planned. DISEC was shifted to A-Levels Room 1, as there was an orientation in the Auditorium, and Hassan and Owais had an exam that day. Bilal and I had to chair in their place. That day, Mashaal and I had to give a speech at the orientation as well. Everything went well. I designed the certificates and had them printed that day. We had some entertainment sessions during the MUN, as is the tradition in all MUNs. These entertainment sessions provided the much needed break from long serious debating. Overall, all the committees went exceptionally well.
Sunday 14th October, day 3 of SMMUN: The last day went exceptionally well, with crisis situations popping up in the committees, and the committees finally passing their resolutions at the topics at hand. We had finished a little before the planned, and had a long entertainment session in Meeting Room 5 after DISEC raided ECOFIN and DISEC and ECOFIN raided SOCHUM with paper balls! This was followed by a formal lunch, and then the closing ceremony officially drew curtains on the first SM-MUN.
At the closing ceremony, our Deputy Principal Mrs. Naiyer gave a thought provoking speech, this was followed by a closing speech by me, and finally SM-MUN was declared closed. Finally the committee chairs announced the much awaited Best Delegates, Honorary mentions and Special Mentions. The final act of the day was the distribution of the certificates of participation to all the delegates.
That day we all went home with a big smile on our face! We had achieved something big; something we had dreamed of achieving! That day was probably the biggest and the happiest day I could remember of. It was really amazing to see our hard work and efforts shine so beautifully over the course of those three days!
I am really indebted to our volunteers and all our delegates; and I am really thankful to Owais, Mr. Lobo, Mrs. Naiyer and Mr. Misquita for all their support and encouragement.
As I had said in the opening speech on the first day:
“SM-MUN is all yours; make it or break it, but do your best!”
I was really pleased at the end, that everyone did their best and made our first MUN the best it could be!
–Ahmer Jamil Khan
President of St. Michael’s Model United Nations
Head Boy of St. Michael’s Convent School