CISSMUN, more commonly known as Concordia International School Shanghai Model United Nations is an amazing three day conference hosted for high school students every year. This year CISSMUN was held at the same time as GIN Asia, which is a program promoting student initiatives that aim at solving global problems.

The joint events welcomed hundreds of students from dozens of schools all over Asia with a delegation even coming all the way from Ecuador! We got to participate in a truly incredible Model United Nations conference. All the delegates were passionate and motivated. The debates gave way to meticulously thought out resolutions. We had the opportunity to address subjects such as the colonization of Mars, ensuring legal accountability for crimes committed by United Nations peacekeepers or even  preventing so-called Honor Killings in the Arab-Islam world to name a few.

We were spread out over 17 committees, including the International Criminal Court and the International court of Justice. As the conference was coupled with GIN Asia, we were able to attend some inspiring and I even dare say life-changing keynote speeches. The speakers included world renowned writer Ismael Beah who grew up in Sierra Leone and was a child soldier during the civil war.

The story of his life, and how he learned to forgive himself brought the audience to tears. Kim Phuck delivered an emotional speech about having to live with her scars and about hope for a better world. Melati and Isabel Wijsen are sisters from Bali who decided to take action for the environment and founded the association “Bye Bye Plastic Bags”. What they have managed to achieve as such a young age goes to show that anything is possible. My biggest take away from this conference as a whole is that if you want change, you have to be its actor, you have to make it happen and not just stand on the sidelines and watch.