Japanese Language Model United Nations
On July 25, four Unit 3/4 Japanese students travelled to the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership building in the CBD for a Model UN Conference – but in full Japanese.
We had a taste of what it would be like to be a delegate in a real United Nations conference – debating and making amendments on UN’s resolutions regarding real world issues inside an assembly hall. The topic this time was “Rewrite the Future: Quality Education for All”, where we discussed matters like COVID-19’s impact on education, as well as free and compulsory education around the world.
Groups of students from all around Victoria came to the venue to debate the issue, each playing the role of a certain country’s delegate. Our team roleplayed as representatives from South Korea, and we had prepared beforehand to make sure we could adequately fulfill our role.
The day simulated how a real UN General Assembly would go – beginning with each country delivering their position statements, explaining their views. After that was morning tea, where we talked with a couple of other teams, figuring out who was friend or foe. Sometimes we even made secret alliances and other sneaky diplomatic deeds. Up next was the Caucus, where we debated on the issue formally, and informally walked around to other teams to get them on board with the amendments we South Korean delegates wanted to make to the UN’s resolution. In the end there was a vote, and our amendment to support the training of female teachers for developing countries was actually one of the few that passed. We had another, on lowering GNI investments on education foreign aid in favor for donations in technology, and if we had just one more vote that too would have passed.
It was challenging to debate and make amendments in full Japanese, but with the help of our language assistant Kaori Sensei and teacher Kamimura Sensei, we actually made it work. It’s not everyday that we’re able to use our Japanese skills on a formal event like a UN conference, so it was a really fun and refreshing experience. At first, we were worried that we would struggle in keeping track of all the arguments made when it was in another language, but the Secretary General who ran the event often summarized what other teams said and also spoke clearly, so the event ran very smoothly.