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MUN Conference 2021

MUN Conference 2021
Karen Smith

Over the weekend of 27th and 28th February, eighteen Fifth Form and Lower Sixth Canfordians joined over 190 pupils from schools in the UK and Europe for the MUN Conference. The two day event was held virtually and was organised by Magdalen College School, Oxford. Pupils from across the country form alliances with other delegates representing particular nations and fight to have their resolutions passed, just as in the real UN.  There is a UN Secretary-General and committee chairs and votes are cast to determine outcomes.

Model United Nations has been popular at Canford for many years and the school has developed the programme so pupils begin developing valuable research and presentation skills required from Year 9 onwards. Within their Carousel programme, Shells can try their hand at assuming the roles of national ambassadors and representatives, attempting to explore and solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. These skills will then be built on during Fourth Form Global Connections so that by the time pupils reach Fifth Form they can then choose to specialise in a Monday activity Global Connections Programme, new in September 2021, which incorporates MUN within its sessions. Regardless of activity choice however, all pupils can become involved in regular evening MUN debates and the lively weekend conferences.  There are few better ways of understanding international affairs and global politics than by putting yourself ‘in the shoes of world leaders.’

Canfordians have taken part in Model UN conferences for many years, often with excellent recognition for their efforts in awards at the end of the events, and this year was no exception. Many pupils had never experienced a Model UN conference before, but did extremely well, in their enthusiastic approach acting as delegates from India and the UAE. Seven pupils achieved awards in the form of commendations, including;

Arian Akrami - Commended 

Leo Burnet - Highly Commended 

Eliana Covell - Best Young Delegate in Committee 

Magnus Crawshaw - Commended 

Ed Loveridge - Commended 

Jack Niu - Highly Commended 

Tom Windsor - Commended 

Naomi Ings, Head of Global Connections who organised the Canford entry, commented:

"The MUN is a great way for young people to develop their skills in presentation, negotiation, teamwork and diplomacy, all of which will be very useful to them throughout their lives.  It was a fascinating two days which opened our eyes to the debate surrounding current global issues and our group of pupils thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  Thank you to everyone at Magdalen School for such a well organised and enjoyable two day MUN Conference."

Pupils were equally enthused following their MUN conference experience, some of them described their highlights below.

I loved it all, but my highlight was debating my resolution on neo-slavery, especially when it got passed. Another highlight was receiving best junior delegate on my committee. Even after just doing a few days I feel I can articulate myself so much better.

I really enjoyed my first MUN experience. It was really interesting to learn more about the United Nations as a whole and the format in which conferences run. I also enjoyed discussions on each of the topics and learnt a lot of new facts; mostly from what other delegates in my committee were saying and points that were raised.

For more information about Model United Nations, please visit Model United Nations 

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