by Naomi Richards, Teacher of History and Model United Nations (MUN) Lead
This weekend saw something extraordinary happen. A smartly dressed platoon of d’Overbroeck’s students descended on the Sixth Form, along with students from seven other local schools in similar garb. After a very cheerful opening ceremony, they all got down to business creating and debating UN-style resolutions for some very real problems, such as the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Things moved along a little cautiously at first, but everyone found their confidence as the afternoon went on, and by the second day everyone was flying. Resolutions were coming out thick and fast, and the debate was extremely lively.
For those who think they’ve seen it all with student debates, think again. MUN is different. It’s not about winning, it’s about representing a huge range of countries and working together. It’s also organised and chaired by the students. Four different committees were each chaired by three students who were in charge of an average of twenty two delegates per committee. In total there were nearly 100 students. There was a lot of serious talk, but a great deal of fun. In the Security Council, a resolution tabled by Germany to tackle cyber warfare was voted in, and the delegates celebrated by singing a karaoke version of Abba’s “Dancing Queen”. On the Special Political Committee, there was also merriment as representatives of China and Taiwan attempted to entice other countries over to their respective views by promising free bananas. It was wonderful to see.
All the students deserve accolades, but the following deserve a special mention, as it was they who decided the format and the topics of debate, wrote fantastic briefing papers and chaired the committees. Presiding over everyone was Gannette who kept everything going at a great pace. He is a demon with a gavel. The other committee members worked their socks off for the whole event. A huge congratulations to all who took part. Hosting a conference is a first for this school, but it certainly won’t be the last. Watch this space!