Form 6 pupils recently took part in a mini Model United Nations (MUN) event. They were given the unique opportunity of taking the places of UN ambassadors in the Security Council, recreating the feeling of an authentic diplomatic summit.
The pupils looked at the crisis in the South China Sea. The purpose of the exercise was to broaden debating skills and further enhance independent learning with the benefit of discovering more about contemporary global issues. Teacher of Politics Mr Sanders and Head of Politics and International Relations Mr Ward were very impressed with the high level of debate from all the participants.
One of the delegates, Benedict Holland, sent this report:
“Starting at 9 o’clock in the morning, the day would prove to become one of impassioned speeches and intense negotiation. Pupils first created fact files of the countries they would represent. Then, following a break where hot beverages and sweet treats were served, delegates read impressive speeches introducing their country to the 15 fellow members of the UNSC. The initial harmony would, however, soon be interrupted by diplomatic discord. Politics teachers, Mr Ward and Mr Sanders, introduced the conflict the savvy pupils were to resolve: the South China Sea crisis. Supported by both the experienced Politics teachers and Seventh Former Rosalia D Agostino, pupils composed position papers outlining the primary issues they, as representatives of their country, would contest and the solutions they would advocate. Each of them then wrote succinct speeches summarising their position and read them to fellow delegates in statesmanlike fashion.
Following a short lobbying session in the foyer, delegates where rushed back to the Politics classroom, where they voted on which of the proposals to support. Surprisingly, China’s bid triumphed, but aspects of its proposal to constitute a South China Sea Council faced great scrutiny from nearly all western sides, especially Belgium, whose delegate’s ferocious speeches left a lasting impression with everyone. Adam Berger, Russian delegate and political enthusiast, stated afterwards that he “thoroughly enjoyed exploring the world’s issues” while Adam Chidlow, German delegate, expressed great excitement for upcoming conferences.”
MUN is a popular activity offered in the Upper School and every year around 50 pupils have the chance to attend a conference across Europe.