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News: Surval hosts its first Model United Nations Conference

07 June 2019

On Thursday 6th June, Surval hosted its inaugural Model United Nations Conference. This was a hugely successful one day event, which saw delegates attend from Haut Lac International School and GEMS World Academy. The day began with a galvanising speech from Guest Speaker Elaine France, a Consultant with the UN for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to achieve Sustainable Development, and then the delegates split into two committees: UNESCO and the Environment Assembly. The UNESCO committee debated the protection of heritage sites from population growth/increased travel & tourism, and the Environment Assembly debated initiatives for more sustainable cities and communities. The day ended with a closing ceremony in which all delegates received certificates of participation, and were thanked and congratulated by the two Surval Chairs, the Conference Coordinator and MUN Club leader, Mrs Done, and Surval Principal, Mrs Woodhouse. Throughout the day, it was extremely uplifting to see the professionalism, knowledge and commitment of all the Conference delegates as they discussed these vital Sustainability issues; these students truly are the leaders of tomorrow, and our tomorrow will be better for having them as our leaders.

Read on to discover what the participants had to say about the day...

“Your job today is to take action for people and the planet. Your job for everyday is to take action for people and the planet.” – Conference Guest Speaker, Elaine France. (Consultant with the UN for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to achieve Sustainable Development.)

“This has been an amazing opportunity!” – Lupita, FY, Mexico– A new member of the MUN Club, this was her first MUN Conference. (Delegate in UNESCO – Italy.)

“Everyone is really intense about protecting their resolutions; I think it’s because they have their country’s best interests at heart.” – Raquel, FY, Mexico. (Delegate in UNESCO – France.)

“I’m amazed at how beautiful the campus is, and the Surval students have all been really welcoming. I’ve really enjoyed the debate on Sustainable Cities – right now, cities account for 30% of the world’s landmass, and are responsible for 70% of C02 emissions – this is not sustainable, and we need to raise awareness of the problem and possible solutions.” – David, GEMS Academy. (Delegate in Environmental Assembly – Czech Republic.)

“It’s great to be able to talk about something that’s so important.” – Sharmila, GEMS Academy. (Delegate in the Environmental Assembly – Ireland.)

“What was the highlight? – Everything.” – Regina, G11, Mexico. (Delegate in Environmental Assembly – France.)

“Today has been incredible – the debates on Sustainable Cities were really interesting and fruitful. I was impressed by how well all the delegates performed. Being part of the MUN club has really improved my confidence and public speaking: when I went to the first Conference at Le Rosey at the start of the year, I was too nervous to speak; today, I submitted a resolution, made my opening speech and made a lot of points of information!” – Rubi, G9, Mexico. (Delegate in Environmental Assembly – China.)

“I was so nervous at first, but once we started lobbying, I relaxed – I really felt like I was an actual UN delegate. I am thankful to Mrs Done for proposing this idea, to Surval, for making it come true, and to the other delegates for participating and making the debate so great!” – Laura, G9, Kazakhstan – a new member of the MUN Club, this was her first Conference. (Delegate in Environmental Assembly – Switzerland.)

“It has been a great step for the MUN Club having this Conference in our school. As a way to conclude the year, it was a really positive and important event – it really gave a “boom” to the club! The girls have spent a lot of time preparing resolutions and were really committed to the debate, and for the girls who joined this term, it was a great opportunity for them to attend their first MUN Conference.” – Violeta, G9, Mexico, MUN Prizewinner of 2018/19. (Delegate in Environmental Assembly – USA.)

“Being Chair is a really different experience from debating – it’s important to be fair, and to give everyone the chance to speak. I’ve been really impressed with the knowledge of the delegates and how quick they are on their feet!” – Sandra, G12, UK. (Chair in Environmental Assembly)

“There is a lot of hope for the future. Adults and teenagers themselves underestimate the power of young people to help the environment, but once we trust ourselves, we know we can do whatever we want to do. It’s about confidence, and MUN gives us that.” – Lucia, G12, Spain. (Chair in UNESCO)

“The day went better than I could’ve imagined. Both committees were enjoying themselves whilst showing some very impressive thoughts and skills. It was a huge amount of work, but the day came together wonderfully and everyone contributed to make the day a success. Truly, a huge thank you to all guests, delegates, chairs, admins and staff that contributed to this big day. I am so happy that our students were part of us hosting an MUN Conference for the first time and I am so proud of our Surval MUN Club!” – Mrs Done, MUN Club leader and Conference Coordinator.