Hello! Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Nadira Saraswati, and I am currently a high school student completing my senior year, majoring in technical and performing arts. Throughout high school, I never thought I would be good at anything. Until, I discovered Model United Nations, igniting my passion for politics and international relations. I fell in love with MUN and its ever supportive community, they play a very important role in shaping who I am today. Over the course of 3 years, I have actively dabbled in various MUNs and debate competitions. And now, I am honored to have been entrusted with the role of Secretary General in this year’s HighScope Model United Nations, one of Indonesia’s leading high school level MUN conference!
During its inception, HighScope MUN was established as a way to educate students about effective communication, globalization of world affairs, and the importance of diplomacy. The conference was pioneered by our seniors of the class of 2010, now alumni, who believed in the power of the youth as future leaders of the world. The initial vision our successors had was to encourage the youth to be visionary leaders, confident public speakers, and active global citizens. The very first conference welcomed 40 delegates from across Jakarta with 3 councils. Each year, we have incrementally increased our capacity; now with 7 councils, welcoming over 245 delegates from around Indonesia and beyond. The councils used to be chaired by persons outside the school, but now the conference is 100% student run! We are happy to see how have we have come and how we have grown over the years, we could not have been more proud of the hard work and dedication of those before us.
The Indonesian MUN community has become one of the largest in the world. With a colorful cultural scene and an endless diversity of backgrounds, the Indonesian MUN community is filled with delegates of all characters and personalities. It seems as if in every MUN, you learn something new not only about yourself but also about the world. Since HSMUN has gained recognition, High school MUNs have achieved potency across the archipelago. HSMUN stands out as it is the only high school MUN run by high school students entirely and the first ever conference to introduce a crisis committee, imaginary committee and press corps at the international level. Aside from that, HSMUN is the only Indonesian MUN conference with a financial aid program, the “Scholar Delegates Program”. In addition, our conference partners with affiliated NGOs for charity initiatives as a way of giving back to the community, where delegates can engage directly with representatives. The HSMUN experience is one like no other.
The start of the 21st century, one filled with violent wars, the fall of nations, and the inception of unprecedented global conflicts, has made us question whether or not diplomacy is dead. Is it a cold, hard, written in stone fact that nowadays, violence and aggression serve as the only effective means in dismantling tensions and preventing conflict across borders? Are we, society as a whole, doomed to return to our old ways of life?
We are living in an age where aggressive military power and offenses supersedes peace and diplomacy. Diplomacy has unfortunately taken a backseat in addressing many global conflicts, with many viewing the art of diplomacy to its anesthetized associations with trade-offs, compromise,plasticity, acquiescence and the like. Diplomacy as the voice of reason in international relations has been drown out by the pounding discords of confrontation, stoicism, and cantankerousness; all of which may sound good but often get one nowhere at great costs.
The root of conflicts around the globe point to a single problem; the lack of understanding, peace, and tolerance. Throughout the course of history, diplomacy has remained a paramount force in the fostering of peace. Diplomacy has a way of going where violence and threats cannot. The role of diplomacy in unifying international affairs is constantly underestimated, and consequentially underinvested in. Diplomacy should not be antithetical to progress, instead it should be the driver of change. As the future leaders of the planet, it is important for today’s generation to be taught that violence is never the answer. It is time for a new era of diplomacy.
The world is changing, what can we do? Well, we can either fight the current or go with the flow. Undoubtedly, change is imperative to the future of our world. The extent and sphere of conflicts everywhere has shifted drastically with the force of globalization at play. Threats to security in one nation reverberate to other nations, turning initial issues into multifaceted disputes which concern not only one country but entire regions as a result. Power dynamics in international politics and the rise of unprecedented conflicts at the international scene has called for change in the way we do diplomacy. The role of the international community has gained prominence now more than ever. World leaders are now engaged in international affairs with a renewed spirit, furthering cooperation and understanding at the forefront of diplomacy. Relations amongst nations are stepping into a new light, reinforcing the harmonization of efforts and collective action in stabilizing regions and advancing societies everywhere. As the world changes, we change with it.
The very first tip I would give out to fellow organizers is to show commitment to and passion in your MUN conference. As the saying goes, “do what you love, love what you do.” The commitment and passion you have for something determines not only how successful you will be at it, but also how far you are willing to go to get where you want to be. During times of crisis, passion is what fuels and keeps your confidence up! The second tip I advise aspiring organizers to keep in mind is to plan everything. Set specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, and timely goals for your committee. It helps to have weekly meetings and communicate consistently with each other. Encouraging resourcefulness and constructive criticism within the team will take you far. Lastly, networking is essential for the conference’s success. Be it through partnerships or sponsorship opportunities with companies, organizations, or media outlets. Networking is key in getting your conference out there and noticed.
In the future, we hope to introduce a joint historical crisis committee, seeing how rare it is to come by such a council in the MUN world. I could see how challenging, substantive wise, the committee would be but I can imagine how interesting and fun the experience will be. We shall see!
The imaginary council is different from the others, in which the topic of discussion comes from the fictional world. Although unconventional, the imaginary council allows first timers who are not interested in or not well acquainted yet with politics and international affairs, while bringing them the value of the MUN experience. This year, our conference has aspired to introduce a range of topics to tailor the variety of interests.
The Wizarding World Council takes place in the Harry Potter universe, in a time where Lord Voldemort’s untimely downfall marked the beginning of a new wizarding world order. Despite the absence of a dominant antagonist figure, dangers still loom; the Wizarding World is in the face of political uncertainty, in which the threats of coups from what is left of Voldemort’s allies burgeons, while the scapegoating of minority magical races are reaching its climax. In the midst of this power struggle, matters including the rehabilitation and justice for the victims of the Battle of Hogwarts are still left unsolved. Negative sentiments within the Wizarding community towards muggles and magical minorities pave the way for discrimination and oppression of marginalized individuals, as the relationship between wizards and muggles are put to the test.
Despite its fictitious nature, the Wizarding World Council follows the same procedure as other councils and are as competitive in practice.
Wands up! As a matter of fact, we welcome delegates in the council to embody their roles. Our answer to that is: Why not? Try not to go overboard and walk in the committee with a bathrobe and a fake beard. Save yourself the embarrassment, haha! There are limits though, as long as you are professional you will be okay. Jokes aside, if you are looking for more information, feel free to visit our our website: HSMUN
From my experiences as a delegate, MUN conferences never fail to amaze me. The invaluable experience encourages students to be well rounded, not only in academics but also in social aspects. MUN allows students to be exposed to real life, reinforcing what they have learned in the classroom to the realities of the world. MUN sparks passion and interest in world affairs, motivating their studies. But most importantly, MUN conferences help form long lasting friendships with students every where!
Through the revolutionary breakthrough of technological advancements of communication, MUN communities all over the world are now connected. Innovations in technology, especially in the MUN community, acts as a bridge to connect delegates around the world to exchange knowledge, share experiences, and create meaningful bonds that will last. Technology enables the interaction of people beyond borders, breaking social, language, and even cultural barriers, which then evolve into communities. Over time, the development of information technology and communications brings people closer to each other and encourages understanding of differences furthering harmony in global unity.
There is a plethora of things to see and do in Jakarta! As the capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta is the hub of everything from business, education, shopping, culturally and historically significant sites. Among the few:
MONAS, The National Monument: An iconic symbol of Indonesia’s struggle during colonial times. It is known to offer one of the best views in town.
Taman Mini Indonesia: A miniature park of Indonesia that showcases the diversity and rich cultures from Sabang to Marauke.
Fatahillah, Kota Tua: Dubbed Old Batavia, old fashioned buildings surround the area. Kota Tua harbors Jakarta’s most iconic museums from the Wayang Museum, Textile and Ceramics Museum, to the Kite Museum and many more. Many of the buildings have survived the test of time, some as old as 80 years. A relic of the past, Kota Tua gives off a vintage atmosphere that will sure to bring you back in time.
The National Museum: Home to Indonesia’s important artefacts, displaying the cultural heritages and works of art from different provinces across the archipelago. From instruments, to ancient scripts, to poultry, the museum has everything. They even offer great interactive activities for visitors to enjoy.
Istiqlal Mosque: A piece of architecture legacy in Indonesia designed by Frederich Silaban, the biggest mosque in the world, after Mecca and Medina.
Malls: If you are one for shopping, Jakarta offers many modern and high end malls. From the iconic Grand Indonesia to the contemporary Plaza Senayan to the famous Pondok Indah Mall, there is something for everyone. These malls house an array of local and international restaurants serving cuisine from every corner of the globe.
Delegates can expect a well organized event at the end of an exhausting conference day! When I join MUN conferences, one thing usually comes to mind: how’s the food? Well, as a previous delegate in HSMUN, I can vouch for how delicious they are. Delegates will enjoy an all you can eat buffet of traditional Indonesian dishes and snacks with an array of international courses for their selection. Furthermore, local upcoming bands will perform all night, ending with tracks from a local DJ. As a way to commemorate the event, a photo booth will be up for anyone wishing to take pictures. All in all, we strive for the best for our delegates!
There was this one delegate once who mistook the word “distinguished” with “extinguished”. For the entire conference, this delegate would keep saying “extinguished delegates” without realizing his mistake. At the end of the conference, the directors gave him a superlative award, “Most Likely to become a Fire Fighter.” The other delegates in the council barely took notice of this, until the directors pointed it out. Once everyone realized this, the room erupted with laughter. He was indeed destined to be a fire fighter. Knowing this, the world is once again safe. Haha!
Memorable, inspiring and visionary. We hope delegates would take away knowledge and experiences from the conference as a way to propel themselves forward in life, beyond academics. We are optimistic that participants will grow not only as delegates and leaders, but also as a person. We have faith that HSMUN will leave participants with a lifetime of wonderful memories and lifelong friendships.
What are you waiting for? Jakarta awaits you!