Vancouver Youth Model United Nations (VYMUN) looked a bit different this year. Students weren’t able to physically gather for the annual conference, but they were able to meet online. This year’s theme was “A World in Crisis,” and it reflected on the medical, economic, political and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and other growing global issues.
VYMUN is a conference that introduces younger delegates in Grades 7 to 10 to the world of Model UN, and it’s a weekend that provides a good foundation for future MUN events to many students.
“I really enjoyed VYMUN,” said Meredith Gould ’24. “This was my first MUN conference, and I wanted to do it because I am very politically invested and wanted to learn about different countries and their stances on the different issues that arose.”
Meredith was part of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) committee. That committee looked at “Countering Toxic Narratives about Refugees and Migrants” and “Supporting the Economic Inclusion of Refugees.” Meredith said she enjoyed it and looks forward to participating in Model UN conferences in the future.
This wasn’t the first time Anthony Pan ’26 has been part of a Model UN conference, and he said it was an enjoyable experience.
“It was different in some parts,” he said. “Most of the order is still the same and it can be fun to be at home, even though I wish I could have gone to Whistler.”
Anthony was in the World Health Organization (WHO) committee where they had two topics to discuss: “Antimicrobial Drug Resistance” and “Vaccine Development and Distribution.”
“It was really interesting. We had lots of activities. I especially liked the crisis committee, it was really fun and my committee was great for beginners. A lot of instructions from the chairs and it was just a great experience,” he said.
VYMUN was the first Model UN conference for Luka Hurschler ’24, and he said it was some of the most fun he’s had in a while, even though it wasn’t the traditional in-person conference.
“My favourite part of VYMUN would have to be the unmoderated caucus,” he explained. “That’s when the chair of your committee gives a certain amount of time to talk freely with other delegates that share your view or your country’s view. My unmoderated caucus was super fun because they were filled with some really interesting delegates and it was also really fun to be able to talk to other people about what my country believes.”
Being part of the World Health Organization (WHO) committee, Luka said it required a lot of hours of preparation, but one of the best parts he said was the Midnight Crisis where they were able to discuss real-life events such as COVID-19 and a theoretical COVID-20.
“Model UN is such a great opportunity for all students and if this type of conference interests you, I would highly recommend it,” Luka added.
Ryan MacPherson ’25 also attended VYMUN. This wasn’t his first time taking part in a conference, and even though it was virtual, he said it was very worthwhile.
“I felt it went really well,” he said. “I was in the Crisis Committee so it was small, but I found the online format was really good…I found it was more enjoyable online and it was a lot less stressful.”
Ryan was named “Best Delegate” in the United Nations Security Council Crisis Committee, for his position on their topic, “Crisis in Venezuela.”
“I loved how everyone was so caring because a majority of us were new to the Crisis Committee. We weren’t all trying to one-up each other. We were just trying to have fun and enjoy the time with VYMUN online,” he said.
Model UN students are already gearing up to take part in GMUN, the annual GNS hosted conference that will take place online this year on December 4 and 5. Registration is now open!