Learning by Leading

Learning by Leading: Model United Nations at Dulwich

At a glance, the room resembles a live UN broadcast. The delegates are seated behind placards bearing the names of their respective countries – each of them as poised and professional as they are knowledgeable about current events while they prepare to passionately debate about their nations’ interests.

But in these proceedings, there is one key difference: all of the delegates are teens. While some high school students have a reputation for being temperamental and self-involved – concerned more with Snapchatting and the latest school gossip than with international affairs and global politics – the students who participate in Dulwich International Model United Nations Conferences (DIMUN) are anything but.

With a history of almost 50 years, Model United Nations is an officially recognized NGO affiliated with the UN Department of Public Information. Its programmes and conferences bring together students and faculty from all over the world. Dulwich's rendition brings together hundreds of students from international schools across Asia. They give hundreds of speeches, present thousands of points and make dozens of resolutions. 

Aside from deepening their geopolitical knowledge, the DIMUN participants also hone their public speaking skills by participating in a series of debates, discussions and research projects. Because they are entirely student led events, the conferences present an excellent opportunity for participants to build their leadership skills as they work together to organise and run the proceedings. This has led the students to achieve some significant feats, including deciding on and inviting keynote speakers without the help of their teachers. In the past students have successfully invited the British Ambassador to China and Agi Veres, Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme, China.