Nanyang Technological University
Model United Nations (NTUMUN) 2019
Founded in 2006, Nanyang Technological University Model United Nations (NTUMUN) is held every February and is a constant feature in the Model United Nations circuit in Singapore. Over the past 13 years, the conference has been a staple in the MUN calendar amongst high schools in Singapore, as well as universities abroad. This conference is organised by the Nanyang Technological University, currently ranked 12th in the recent QS World University Rankings 2019 and has regularly attracted more than 400 delegates in the last few years.
Interested delegates are required to apply through a google doc that is accessible on the conference website. The registration period is spread out over three months, with early bird registration spanning four weeks from the second week of October, and regular registration lasting two months thereafter. Accommodation options are made available for chairs and international delegates. While this is most welcome as the conference venue is held on campus in the west of Singapore near the end of the East-West line, it also means that it would be difficult to explore the city outside conference hours because of the travel time involved. The conference also takes into account the delay involved in international bank transfers and allows for a buffer of ten days or so for delegates to complete payments after registration deadlines. Besides recommending committees based on their difficulty level, the delegate registration form also provides options for delegates to select their meal option.
With Singapore celebrating the bicentennial of its founding in 1819, the unique point of NTUMUN 2019 lies in its historical committees discussing issues pertaining to Singapore’s history. The Merdeka Talks Committee discusses the direction to be taken by Singapore in response to the threats posed by the Communist insurgency and the debate on separation or merger with Malaysia. The Singapore Cabinet Crisis committee takes the council back to 1991 to respond to joint military exercises held by Malaysia and Indonesia just 20 kilometres from the Woodlands checkpoint abridging Johor, Malaysia. NTUMUN 2019 will simulate ten councils spread across the two historical committees, four large General Assembly committees, three Specialised Agencies including the Security Council and International Court of Justice, and a Press Corps.
NTUMUN adds value to the delegate experience through quality panel discussions and Question-and-Answer sessions during the Opening Ceremony with guest speakers. Panellists and guests in previous iterations of NTUMUN include former Secretary-General to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, former Ambassador to Indonesia Barry Desker, as well as Directors of think tanks based locally, such as the European Union Centre in Singapore.
NTUMUN is reputed for its socials, usually held on Saturday nights at a nightclub in Singapore. Given the legal drinking age of 18 in Singapore, the conference also implements measures to ensure that underage delegates do not have access to alcohol at the counter. The conference is also environmentally friendly as it has a policy of allowing electronic devices in committee rooms and discourages printing working papers and draft resolutions. Lunch is also provided for participants, and secretariat members conduct feedback sessions at least once during the conference to improve the delegate experience.
The NTUMUN 2019 secretariat consists of undergraduates from the University with prior experience across different sectors of organising the conference, many of whom previously organised MUN back in high school. Senior roles within the secretariat are staffed by more senior students who have previously handled academics, liaisons and business development portfolios in previous iterations of NTUMUN. The chairing team of NTUMUN has often been headed by a university student either from NTU or a local University. Meanwhile, the Assistant Chairperson roster is more diverse, with Undergraduates from Singapore and the region alongside senior high school students, and boys currently serving their mandatory National Service. These members also chair or organise other reputable MUN conferences in Singapore, namely the Singapore Model United Nations, held by the National University of Singapore in June every year.
With an established tradition spanning 13 years, NTUMUN 2019 is a conference that consistently delivers in its operations and academic quality, with a social event held in prominent night spots in Singapore – a city with vibrant nightlife. This three-day conference spans across the weekend and is open to delegates from 16 to 25 years old. The only drawback is its venue in the west of Singapore, which is hard to access by public transport. With a delegate fee starting from 80 SGD for local delegates in the early bird round, this conference offers excellent value for money in conference quality and is suited for all levels.