Model United Nations Conference at Haileybury 2017

Sunday, 26 March 2017

After school on Friday thirty year 12 students visited Haileybury to attend a weekend Model United Nations conference. The weekend commenced with an opening ceremony, welcoming delegates to the event. There were over six hundred students participating from schools all around the world, such as the United States of America, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands. Each school was then allocated countries within the United Nations to represent.

Once the opening ceremony ended, delegates were split into committees in order to start lobbying. There were 7 different committees each debating a different topical issue such as disarmament and human rights. Before the conference each student had already written a resolution concerning one of the issues raised in their committee. When lobbying began, each delegates aim was to collect ten signatures so that they could pass their resolution through to the Approvals Panel. Lobbying continued until nine o’clock with a short break for a lovely dinner in the dining hall, before it was time to go home.

Students arrived back at Haileybury for 8:15 the next morning to continue lobbying and to find out whose resolutions were going to be debated. At 9:15 the debates began and continued through until 5:30pm. Resolutions that had been approved were debated for an hour each, arguing first for the resolution, then against, with amendments often suggested. A final vote would then take place to decide whether the resolution would make it through to possibly be debated in the final assembly the following day. Many resolutions from Presdales were debated and Presdales students played an active part in offering points of information and often making amendments.

On Sunday, debates continued through the morning. The general assembly began in the afternoon and resolutions which had passed through the committees then had the opportunity to be debated in front of all 600 delegates. One resolution went through from each committee and four were debated. The general assembly lasted four hours and during the time just one resolution was passed. This was then followed by a closing ceremony in which prizes were awarded to certain delegates in each committee. Finally, at 5:45pm it was time to draw an end to the weekend and return home to get ready for school the following day.

Every student thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, having the opportunity to debate issues in big groups and make lots of new friends.

Eleanor Fazan (Year 12)

‘MUN was such an interesting way to meet new people from different countries and practise speaking and debating in front of a large group of people! I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend!’ – Abi

‘I found MUN a really useful way to build my confidence, and it was really interesting meeting people from all over the world and learning about new topics.’ – Jess

‘MUN helped boost my confidence and provide experience in public speaking. The whole weekend was an interesting and unique way to learn about current affairs!’ – Chloe

‘MUN was extremely fulfilling and interesting as well as a great way to meet new people from around the world who have similar interest in current affairs. I would highly recommend it!’ – Emily

‘On Saturday evening each delegate was invited to an 80s-themed disco. We did not have such high hopes for the disco but it definitely exceeded expectations. The fellow delegates were so friendly and welcoming, we danced all night and it was spectacular’ – Tari and Princess