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Secretariat Letters

Letter from the Secretary General


Dear Delegates,

It gives me great pleasure to invite you to the sixth session of The International School Bangalore Model United Nations, to be held on the TISB campus, from December 17th to 19th. Our team has put in an immense amount of effort to ensure that this will be the best conference TISB has ever seen.

I started Model United Nations in the ninth grade, and immediately fell in love with the entire concept. It built my confidence not only as a speaker, but also as an active member of the society around me. It gave me the confidence to lead and express myself – skills that helped me personally outside of Model United Nations. It also, more importantly, taught me how to listen and see things from different perspectives, which are traits that, I believe, can help alleviate the terrible conflict in the tumultuous world around us. So in part, the new edition of TISBMUN represents my attempt to give back to the brilliant Model United Nations circuit by reinvigorating the spark of innovation in the MUN circuit and recreating the ideals of diplomacy and understanding contrary to the increasingly aggressive nature of Model UN. TISBMUN has long been established as a conference that focuses on innovative committees that redefines the scope of Model United Nations, and this year at TISBMUN, we have taken these ideas to a whole new level. This resonates throughout the specific committees that the secretariat has vigilantly picked to ensure an enthralling and unique experience for every individual. We have ensured that there is a committee for each and every delegate who attends. Whether you want to work towards worldwide disarmament, or wish to improve global conditions through your biological expertise or your extensive knowledge of economics; whether you revel in the intense debate of the security council, thrive in the element of unknown held by a crisis committee, or enjoy humiliating other delegates by putting your pen to paper, as a member of the press – TISBMUN has something that you will love. This year TISBMUN is focusing on establishing committees with something special about them; every committee, from the ubiquitous DISEC to the novel Ycombinator committee, will have something special and innovative about its proceedings and agendas. Our aim at TISBMUN is to re-establish the way we look at the dynamic between the specific committees and the issues they are focusing on.

Whether you’re a first timer or a ‘MUN veteran’, I strongly encourage you to come down to TISBMUN to gain a different perspective on how Model United Nations fits into the world around us and truly understand how issues are interconnected. TISBMUN does not simply end with its captivating committees. Eminent guest speakers and enthralling social events will ensure you have a gala time both in and out of committee. In short, TISBMUN VI will be a unique and amazing experience, whether it’s your first MUN or your twentieth. I look forward to meeting all of you in December!

Sincerely,

Rahul Kataria

Secretary General

The International School Bangalore Model United Nations 2016

(srahul@tisb.ac.in)


Letter from the Director General


Dear Delegates,

It gives me immense pleasure to invite you to the sixth session of The International School Bangalore Model United Nations, held at TISB on the 17th 18th and 19th of December. Our team has been working for months together to organise an unparalleled conference that will provide substantive debate and foster international diplomacy.

This year at TISBMUN, we have drawn upon a diverse array of committees, providing delegates with the opportunity to choose from different topics that will be engaging and challenging. We have conventional committees like the Disarmament and International Security Committee and the United Nations Security Council, where delegates will experience high-level policy discussions of global significance. For delegates interested in fast paced crisis committees, we have an innovative start up based Y-Combinator and a Futuristic Military Staff Committee. Delegates can explore agendas ranging from internationally pertinent ones like the peaceful use of outer space to issues closer to home in the Rajya Sabha. In essence, we hope that TISBMUN will be able to cater to all delegates, and also allow delegates to step out of their comfort zone and discover new areas of interest and enhance their diplomatic skills.

Model United Nations serves to be an educational and transformative experience. I have personally seen myself grow through the ten MUNs I have attended, as I learnt the skills of diligent research, persuasion and diplomacy and became more confident and assertive in my approach. I hope that TISBMUN will also serve you in this journey and provide the platform for you to push your limits and discover your true potential. If this is your first MUN, I assure you that though MUN may seem daunting at first, it truly is a captivating experience. I hope that TISBMUN will allow you to embrace the challenge that MUN provides and allow you to transform into a globally conscientious individual.

Through the course of three days, I encourage you to dig deeper into the agendas that you discuss, understand the gravity of these issues, and evaluate the consequences of the solutions you propose. I also encourage you to look beyond your country’s personal aspirations and suggest reforms that will move your committee forward and result in a productive outcome. I hope that after these three days you carry home not just an award for your performance in committee but also a changed outlook on global affairs and long lasting friendships.

I look forward to meeting you at TISBMUN 2016.

Best Wishes,

Anvita Ramachandran

Director General

The International School Bangalore Model United Nations VI

(ranvita@tisb.ac.in)

Charge D’Affairs Information

Devanshi Agarwal is a senior at The International School Bangalore, and the current Head of Social Service in TISB. Her ambition of becoming a Medical Lawyer is driven by her interest in biology and debate. She has participated in several MUNs in her hometown, Chennai, as a delegate, a co- chair and an organiser. Other than MUN-ing, Devanshi enjoys writing poetry, playing the piano, traveling, cooking and scuba diving. She can frequently be seen engrossed in a bone- chilling thriller, while The Big Bang Theory plays in the background. Serving as Charge d’Affairs for this year’s TISBMUN, Devanshi is excited to welcome all delegates and members of the Executive Board, and help make the MUN experience memorable.

Devanshi Agarwal

(adevanshi@tisb.ac.in)


Sankirth Vallabhaneni is from Hyderabad, and is in his final year at The International School Bangalore. He was a Chief Organiser for Vivum, the TISB student- run fest, and is experienced at organising MUN conferences. His love for cricket, squash, hockey and volleyball led to his desire to enter politics, and promote sports in India. An avid movie buff, when Sankirth isn’t reading an autobiography of a politician or sports player, he is most probably sleeping. As the Chief Operations Officer for TISBMUN’16, Sankirth looks forward to making the conference experience enjoyable for everyone.

Sankirth Vallabhaneni

vsankirth@tisb.ac.in

Faculty Information

The Model United Nations Club is one of the most active clubs at TISB. We have been conducting MUN Conferences as a part of our school fest VIVUM till 2011. However, our students realized that an MUN Conference should be bigger and run separately from VIVUM. TISBMUN is completely organized by the students. Our students have successfully organized five MUN Conferences. Our best students have also served as Chairs and Assistant Directors at local conferences as well as Harvard MUN India, Ivy League MUN Conference India among other top international Conferences. We hope to make the sixth TISBMUN Conference a truly delighting one for you. Please feel free to email me anything regarding TISBMUN.

Mr. Anand Jerome

French Faculty and In-charge of MUN

janand@tisb.ac.in

Important Dates and Information


Date Event
September 30th Executive Board Application Closes
October 1st Individual, School and TISB Student Registration opens
November 1st First release of country allocations
November 30th Individual, School and TISB Student Registration closes
December 1st Second release of country allocations
December 12th Position Papers due
December 17th-19th Conference dates for TISBMUN VI

On Campus Accomodation

TISB’s palatial campus has accommodation facilities available for delegates. Preference is given to delegates from out of Bangalore, although in the past some Bangalore delegates have resided at TISB during the conference for a more dynamic experience. Please note any delegations wishing to reside on campus during the conference must have at least one faculty advisor reside along with them. Accommodation is Rs. 1500 per day per person. Please email tisbmun@tisb.ac.in and janand@tisb.ac.in for more details on accommodation.

Schedule

Country Matrix

Executive Board

Open Letter to Future MUN Delegates

Dear future model United Nations delegates,

I am sure you are excited about embarking upon this unique journey that will take you through the world of Model United Nations. Trust me when I say that there is absolutely nothing like it. Nothing that tests such a wide multiplicity of skills and talents. To be successful in this convoluted world is not easy, but it ultimately all boils down to being determined. Nobody is born with a gavel in their hand. Ultimately, being able to succeed is something that can be taught by the greatest teacher to ever exist: experience.

But it is always great to get a head start. The world of MUN that you witness and experience is no doubt going to be different from those who came before, and those who came after you. Experiencing it for yourself will no doubt be indispensable, no matter how many lectures you hear about it. But listening to the experiences and of those who have already explored this world and embarked on this journey will nevertheless be of great value. This is the aim of this letter. To give you some basic tricks of the trade before you start playing the game yourself.

The tips are divided into 2 categories. ‘Research’ and ‘In Committee’.

Research:

  • Many people choose to believe that relying on the internet for some basic facts and figures is sufficient to help you excel in committee. But research is much more than that. Obtaining data, facts and figures about the issue is integral to frame concrete arguments, but relying only on data about selective aspects of the agenda is not enough. This will simply give you a one-dimensional understanding of the topic, no matter how many websites you visit. Go into committee with just basic numbers on the main areas of the topic, and you will soon find that you are not able to keep up with the debate in committee. There will be a scarce number of areas where you will actually be able to argue. Therefore, to avoid this, you need to delve much deeper into the research aspect of the MUN. For example, if your agenda is about a particular war that took place in the past, talk to a relative or someone who lived during that period. Understand exactly what it was like living during that time. What were the issues. What were the problems. Read a book about the issue that will be debated in committee. I cannot express how much more a book gives you compared to reading a couple of articles or watching a documentary on the topic. There’s absolutely no comparison. Once again I reiterate, having facts and figures to form opinions, back up arguments and speak intelligently and convincingly in committee is crucial, actually having a conversation with someone who had experienced the problem will go a long way to helping you understand the topic at a much deeper level. 

  • Try to understand similar cases in the past or in the same period in different locations to the agenda being discussed and use them as case studies in order to try and understand how to attack the problem at hand. For example, if the agenda is related to the growth of drug cartels in Africa, fuelled by economic compulsion, one could use the drug trade in the Americas as a case study. In order to understand how to approach the problem, try and research on, for example, how the USA is dealing with these existing cartels in South Americas, how they try and restrict the influence of the existing cartels, the drug trade routes etc. and try and understand how that can be applied in the African context. 

  • A basic fact that has been drilled into almost every new delegate from almost the minute he/she arrives is to never quote Wikipedia as a source of facts and figures. The larger point that is being made when someone tells you this is that credibility of the sources of your information is crucial. No matter how inflammatory, brilliant or sensational your claims may be, if you are not able to back it up with a credible source, they are next to meaningless in committee, because the lack of validity of the source will be the first thing other delegates will point out in this situation.

  • Identify websites that are essentially devoted to statistics and research. For example, if you are trying to learn more about your own country, the CIA World Factbook is a great place to start. It contains plentiful information on almost every major aspect of your country, from basic facts like the type of government and population, to more complicated issues like the current major political and environmental issues of the country.

  • Many delegates make the mistake of researching only on the topic at hand, and forgetting to give importance to research about one’s own country. Never forget that at the end of the day, while you are trying to solve a global problem, special precedence must be given to how the issue relates to and affects your country. Protecting your country’s interests and representing its beliefs are at the end of the day your main job. It does not matter whether you personally agree or disagree with your country’s government’s beliefs. You are essentially agreeing to play a character when you choose a country, and along with it come its beliefs and interests, which you must uphold at all times.

  • Finally, an important point to note is that there is no substitute to research. Having great soft skills and being able to work with people is important, but without doing your homework, there is not much that they will count for in committee.

In Committee:

  • Doing research is like watching game film. But walking into committee is when the real game begins. A common mistake that I have seen delegates make is trying to dominate and control proceedings right from the word go. Making a strong first impression on the chair is important, but there are two reasons this may go wrong. Firstly, acting dominant and controlling right from the first minute may make you come across as someone who is annoying to the other delegates or rather trying too hard. Secondly, even if it does work, other delegates will immediately see you as a threat to the gavel and try to shut you out of everything. Neither of these is doing you any favours in the long run.

  • Ideally, by the end of day 1, you want to establish yourself as one of the top 8-10 delegates, but not take control immediately. Get to know your fellow delegates and start working with them.

  • By about midway of the second day is a good time to have brought together a loyal group of delegates, which will form your core team going forward.

  • The person who does the best in committee is often midway between the most intelligent and the most likable person in committee. Being intelligent and having good arguments is not enough. Respecting people and being able to gather support and respect is what will make it count. But on the flip side, just being plain likeable is not enough. You may make plenty of friends in the process, but being taken seriously when it counts is just as important. Just joke around with other delegates the entire time, and be assured that the gavel will be a long way away.

  • Make sure that while drafting a resolution, even the most quiet members of your bloc on the fringe are able to get at least one or two ideas on the resolution. This will ensure that they feel some ownership on the resolution themselves and will drastically reduce their chances of switching to a different bloc.

  • While defending a resolution in front of committee, it is crucial that you are thorough with not just your points, but the points given by others as well. That ensures that any point that is brought up for clarification will enable to you speak up and defend it. Essentially, it gives you full ownership of your points and partial ownership of others’ points. Even if one of your fellow sponsors has explained or defended on of the points on the resolution, add a point of your own. This truly goes a long way.

  • Finally, it is usually by the second half of day 2 or day 3 that tight blocs form, and there is little scope for a change in loyalties. This is when you go all out. Upto this point you should have been part of the spotlight, but this is the time, more than ever, to go out and dominate. Hold nothing back.

Once again, like I said, reading a hundred tips and tricks like these is nothing compared to going and experiencing the world of MUN for yourself. But, these will no doubt provide you with some insight and basic knowledge before you go out and embark on this incredible journey yourselves. There is truly no exercise available today that better tests so many different skills in such a short span of time like Model United Nations. The awards are important, but at the end of the day, the true beauty of doing MUN is in the skills you develop and hone in the process. The ability to argue intelligently. The ability to work with others. The ability to work with clarity, The ability to treat people with respect. The ability to earn respect for yourself. I have never seen anything like it. Model United Nations is no doubt one of the single most productive and helpful activities you can participate in. Not only do you have the opportunity to learn an immense amount, it equips you with skills that stay with you for life. I wish to sign off by wishing you all luck for this incredible journey of MUN waiting in store for you. Each one of you will have a different story to tell at the end of it. Good luck and enjoy yourselves!

Anurag Aditya Sharma

Grade XII, TISB