Hi MUNPlanet! My name is Kevin Nan, and I am incredibly excited to be serving as the Secretary-General for CAHSMUN 2017. I’ve been involved with Model UN for just over three years now, where I’ve had the pleasure of attending seventeen conferences as a delegate, staff and Secretariat member. Immersing myself in these different capacities has allowed me to view conferences from different angles, which will hopefully help our team make this year’s session of CAHSMUN the best yet!
MUNPlanet: CAHSMUN is a three-day high school Model United Nations conference which welcomes hundreds of delegates from high schools all over the world each year. To get to this point, it has to have some history. Tell us about it.
I am truly honoured to be part of a conference with such a long and illustrious history. CAHSMUN was founded in 2004 as a small one-day conference, growing over the years to become one of North America’s largest Model UN conferences. What has not changed over the years, however, is our relentless commitment to accessible service, international consciousness, and academic orientation – these three pillars continue to form the foundation of our annual conference. Today, we host over 800 delegates from around the world with the aim of empowering students through deep and active engagement with complex global issues; developing skills in diplomacy, cooperation, and critical thinking that motivate lifelong global citizenship. Delegates leave CAHSMUN with the knowledge that they can make an impact and affect positive change in the world.
MUNPlanet: In addition to being one of North America’s largest high school run Model UN conferences, what else makes CAHSMUN stand out among other conferences?
Our years of experience have enabled CAHSMUN to have access to an unmatched financial aid pool; through this, we have been able to provide over $25,000 in delegate subsidies and scholarships over the past five years.
We are also the only conference in Canada to offer the Summit program, allowing delegates to simulate a more realistic United Nations experience. Like in the real United Nations, delegates in a Summit session will need to coordinate their agendas with their country’s representative in other committees, and negotiate to broker deals across different committees and agencies.
Our Secretariat team this year comes from a variety of different backgrounds: different cities, schools and Model UN experiences. It is through this that we have been able to diversify our committees program in such a way that offers delegates the opportunity to explore international politics in a variety of perspectives.
Such diversity among the team ensures that we offer committees that are both interesting and accessible to a wide variety of delegates. For example, while my interests largely lie in human rights and politics, having a history buff on the team lead to the introduction of our exciting American Revolution HCC and Senate of the Roman Republic committees. My one main piece of advice for aspiring organizers is to recognize the wealth of knowledge that exists in differences between people.
MUNPlanet: Another one that stands out is the NGO programme which incorporates traditional Model United Nations and a portion of what reporters do in the International Press Corps. What will this look like?
MUNPlanet: How do you provide assistance to delegations from outside of the Vancouver area?
As a conference, we are incredibly proud to host nearly 10% of our delegates from outside of British Columbia. We offer extensive support to our international delegations, including our exclusive travel agency, Star Alliance partnership and our excursions program for various local attractions and experiences, providing delegations with special group rates not available to the public. This year, we were certified as a Canada Border Agency ready conference, which allows us to provide priority support for visa processing. Travelling delegations should reach out to email@example.com for more information.
For sure! Our historical committees are consistently our most popular, year after year. This year, we are offering delegates an exciting opportunity to play a pivotal role in history, trying to hold on to power as part of Her Majesty’s cabinet, or leading the charge as part of the Colonies, both available in our American Revolution HCC. We’re also offering a small, highly specialized Senate committee, taking delegates back to 63 BCE to play an exciting role in addressing the Conspiracy of Cataline and resolving the Mithridatic Wars.
We do still have a very limited amount of space available in both of these committees, so interested delegates should reach out to us and register soon!
MUNPlanet: Students attend programs such as yours to improve some of their existing skills or acquire new ones altogether. What are some key skills that the participants will be able to improve/acquire by attending your program?
Behind our motto of “Learn Today, Lead Tomorrow”, CAHSMUN’s mission has always been to empower students from high schools around the globe through deep and active engagement with complex global issues. At its core, this mission is achieved by allowing delegates to develop skills in diplomacy, research and critical thinking, that motivate them to lifelong global citizenship. Our main goal is to ensure that delegates leave our conference with the knowledge and skills to make an impact, and affect positive change in creating a more just world.
MUNPlanet: If there is someone that’s having doubt about joining CAHSMUN, what’s one sentence you would tell them to convince them to apply?
We match the resources, professionalism and venue quality of a large-scale (4000+ student) conference, but without the high price tag or hours-long speaker list.