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2/26/2023 Closing Ceremony
Speech by Lillian Toe, Secretary-General

Honorable chairs and advisors, dedicated staff, aspiring diplomats, and my fellow secretariat members. I am Lillian Toe, your Secretary-General, here to give some closing remarks for the New Taipei Model United Nations conference. 

I have had the privilege of participating in Model United Nations since my freshman year. In conference halls, I listened to speeches about globalization and social responsibility and the uncertain future of our generation. In committee rooms, I learned to argue, to justify, and to compromise. At home, facing my computer screen, I acted as chair and delegate at online conferences. And, in the past six months, I have had the irreplaceable honor of working with some of AAIA’s best and brightest, to direct and actualize our school’s first Model United Nations conference. 

It is not an exaggeration to state that both my high school career and my personal worldviews have been shaped by my experiences in MUN. It was in MUN where I learned to hold my head high while asserting my thoughts and ideas. It was in MUN where I first learned about concepts like sovereignty, human rights, and international law. In MUN, I made friends and embarrassing mistakes and cherished memories. In MUN, I began to look beyond the things I had always been able to see. The world around me expanded as I began to pay attention to the international affairs of our time. Global citizenship became something that I could confidently claim, as I learned, in MUN, about those dreams and values that transcend national boundaries and unite us all.

Through simulated conferences such as NTMUN, we, as chairs and delegates, learn that the United Nations system is vast and complex and imperfect. As our guest speaker hinted at yesterday, and as I’m sure our experienced delegates here will know, the debates in MUN can seem both repetitive and futile. But that is because the initiatives of the United Nations are limitlessly ambitious. From zero carbon to all-inclusive equality to international peace and security, the aims and values of this organization represent our society’s drive to overcome differences and relentlessly advance. Even in times such as now, when our world seems deeply divided, the United Nations is there to act as a forum where the potential for peace and compromise resides. I think the idealism of the United Nations can be impractical and impossible. But it is also an idealism that is worthy of admiration and conviction. So, despite the occasional dullness of debate, and the frustration that comes with addressing seemingly unyielding challenges, I hope you can all walk away from NTMUN with an appreciation for the idealistic and a belief in the possibility of compromise.

Before I make my closing remarks, I would like to extend my gratitude to several people, without whom NTMUN would not have been possible.

Firstly, Ms. Nicole Tseng, Ms. Lily Yao, Mr. Adams, and Ms. Gillette, as well as all the other AAIA staff and faculty who helped us both before and during the conference. Thank you for spending your valuable time and efforts on helping the MUN Club this year. I want to especially thank Ms. Tseng for her patience and dedication. I promise that next year, the secretariat team will try harder to get people to turn in their forms on time.

To Tim, Audrey, Kaiyen, Lucas and all the other students who filled in delegate and chair spots last-minute. Thank you all for stepping up when we needed you. And to our other working team staff – Belle, Amy, Louis, Justin, Nelson, Brandon, and all our amazing admins and press team members – thank you for sticking with us throughout all these months. I hope you are proud of your efforts and I encourage you to continue pursuing student leadership positions in the future. 

To our wonderful chairs, thank you for the efforts you put into writing your reports, and thank you also for your poised oversight of committee proceedings. 

To our advisors. Thank you for taking the time out of your four-day weekend to accompany your delegations to this conference. We appreciate the work you did in the Approval Panel and hope you consider your time here well-spent.

To our first-time delegates. Thank you for taking the opportunity to embrace Model United Nations. I hope that your NTMUN experience will serve as the first step in a long and distinguished MUN career. 

To our experienced delegates. Thank you for choosing NTMUN to further your MUN experiences. I hope you enjoyed your time here, and encourage you all to return next year.

Lastly, to Hugo, Sophia, and Tammy. The three of you are the greatest secretariat teammates I could have possibly had. It has been a privilege to witness your strong leadership in Model United Nations. Thank you for working with me this year to make NTMUN a reality, and please keep the AAIA MUN spirit strong after I graduate. 

As I approach the end of my senior year, I sometimes find myself wondering if my efforts and initiatives in high school were worth it. Looking at you all today, I find myself satisfied with all that I have done not only in Model United Nations, but also in my time here at AAIA. Once again, I thank you all, and hope that you enjoy the rest of your extended weekend.

With that, I now pronounce the New Taipei Model United Nations conference officially closed.

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See you in November!

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