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“…the opportunity to improve our public speaking and diplomacy skills, whilst seeing a new country"

Posted on: 22nd February 2019 | Category: Academic Programmes, Cultural Trips, Surval Life

“…the opportunity to improve our public speaking and diplomacy skills, whilst seeing a new country and famous international institution.”

In February, Surval MUN members travelled to Amersfoort for a Model United Nations Conference: here is their account of the trip.

On 7th February, five Surval students set off to the Netherlands for a four-day Model United Nations (MUN) conference at a large school in Amersfoort. Amersfoort is a small city of typical Dutch architecture, surrounded by canals and with a fascinating medieval heritage. Farel College hosted this MUN conference, with the overarching theme of “Where the World is Ours”. The conference began with a lovely welcome pack for delegates: pen, notebook, portfolio and reusable water bottle. There was also a “cupcake corner” where delegates could buy a slice of cake for other delegates, resulting in some delegates trying to bribe others into alliances with these sweet treats!

The conference had about seven committees and many General Assemblies. Two of our students, Lucia and Sandra, were members of the International Criminal Court Committee (ICC); Sandra was a judge and Lucia a defendant. They were able to debate two very interesting and real cases of the ICC: the prosecution of Al-Werfalli and Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi. Before the conference, they had to prepare the cases by making their position papers, and doing research about them in order to be aware of all the facts. The mock ICC had various members; it was composed of seven advocate prosecutors, seven advocate defendants, two judges, two presidents and a registrar. They spent the four days debating both cases by presenting real evidence, and interrogating witnesses. Whilst it was a very serious and productive committee, they also experienced fun moments – such as voting for various awards, reading the comments of the “gossip box” and even some dancing games at the end. Overall, it was a very enriching and eye-opening experience, which both girls enjoyed in this special committee. In addition to this, in the Awards Ceremony at the conference’s close, both Sandra and Lucia received Honourable Mentions, for Best Judge and Best Advocate Defendant respectively.

One of our other students, Violeta, took part in The Geneva Council, an historical committee in which they were debating The Cuban Missile Crisis. She got to represent the delegate of the DPRK in this historical issue. Before the conference, Violeta had to investigate the historical events that were going on during this period and step back in time to 1962. The committee was composed of twenty-three delegates, one chair, and the president. Violeta spent various days debating; position papers and amendments had to be written during this time. It was a good committee where the delegates had the opportunity to have fun while they were debating a real historical issue.

Eksha and Gimena participated in the World Health Organization committee, discussing topics such as the implementation of global conditions in prisons, or the best measures to increase the global rate of vaccinations. The debate was really fruitful and, as a committee, they managed to pass a resolution paper for each topic. Our girls learned and developed various skills throughout the weekend and performed a great job as delegates, developing their own arguments and discussing others’ ideas. Brilliantly, Gimena was also awarded with an Honourable Mention, the second-place award for Best Delegate in this committee!

We spent our last day and night in the Hague, a bustling and beautiful city. We were able to visit the International Criminal Court, and learn more about the institution: how it works, their jurisdiction and some of the actual cases they have worked on. It was really interesting, especially considering that two of our students were delegates in this committee and another participated as a witness. To conclude, the MUN trip to the Netherlands was a fantastic learning opportunity for all of us. The four days of debating gave each of us the opportunity to improve our public speaking and diplomacy skills, whilst seeing a new country and famous international institution. We are all looking forward to the next MUN conference and further debating of important global issues!



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