Over the past month two groups of terminale students have attended MUN conferences, one at the Royal Russell independent school in Croydon, South London, and the other at the American School of Milan.
We were invited to participate in the 40th annual MUN Conference at the Royal Russell School, Croydon, in which we were able to explore new areas of MUN. The five students who attended were delegates representing Cambodia, they chaired the committee dealing with political issues, and were judges on the International Court of Justice.
During the Toussaint holiday a group of eighteen terminale students attended the Milan MUN conference and were delegates for countries as varied as Lebanon and Germany, and were on committees covering a range of subjects such as human rights, environment, disarmament, the World Health Organisation and the UN Security Council.
The students and the teachers who accompanied the trips (Mrs Kendrick, who planned and organised the trips, and Mr Rennie) enjoyed themselves very much. These were the first MUN conferences attended in person since the covid pandemic and students learned a lot about lobbying, the importance of diplomacy and working together, as well as speaking in public and trying to persuasively make a case. The next MUN conference will be in Bilbao in January. Let’s hope it will be as fun and as successful as the last two.
Some thoughts of our MUNers on their trip to Croydon:
Jacques and Elliot:
Rather than a regular MUN Conference, we participated in the Model International Court of Justice, where there is more of a focus on law. Indeed, we followed typical courtroom procedure which we were able to discover, with arguments from advocates, issues such as the authentication of evidence and the questioning of witnesses. Our role was that of being judges, therefore we were asked to compile an extensive amount of notes from the courtroom in order to deliberate on a final judgement, something which we both particularly enjoyed. Our case was Republic of Gabon vs Republic of Equatorial Guinea, and this experience allowed us to understand how a case is typically presented, examined and solved. Overall, this experience was quite unique, different from anything we had done previously in the MUN, and was extremely enriching.
Royal Russell School asked Mrs Kendrick when our school applied if there were any delegates wishing to chair a committee during this conference. Seeing as I had never done it in a conference before I was quite curious to see how it worked, so I applied. This is how I ended up chairing SPECOL 1 (special political and decolonisation committee). To prepare for this conference I had to write a research report in August on one of the topics my committee would debate: the question of ensuring justice for war crimes. Although it was quite intimidating at first, chairing turned out to be very interesting and being able to do it with two other students from other schools made the whole experience even better. I also like seeing how the organisation of a conference worked behind the scenes, with the whole process of a resolution going through the approval panel and then being chosen for debates by chairs. After our time in committees elapsed, I was happy to join two other students, Méloé and Raphaël representing the delegation of Cambodia in the General Assembly, where all delegates from all committees come together and debate certain resolutions that have been previously picked by chairs. I was even lucky enough to get chosen to do two separate POIs (Points of Information)!