Tianna Kennett, Jackie Hoffman, Shane Hirtle, Santanna Mills, Brett Turgeon, Luke McCrimmon, Hayley Englot, and Brayden Rowley as members of the Model United Nations (MUN) at Manor School have been working hard all year long. May 16 to 22 will see these eight students take off for the “Big Apple,” New York City. They were able to raise money through a fudge sale, catering events, as well as raffling off an iPad and West Jet tickets to make this trip a reality. Also, a large thank you is extended to the Spectra Credit Union for sponsoring them.
NYC is hosting their annual Global Classrooms International Model United Nations Conference, one of the largest of its kind in the world. Approximately 2300 youth will be in attendance from around the world. Last year six students from Manor and Carlyle attended. The three Manor students who went last year will be joined by five new to the program. Principal Ron Wardrope had been involved with MUN clubs in Vancouver, before moving to Manor. Knowing that it is a great experience for students he encouraged them to sign up last year.
Gaining approval from the school board he was able to make the program into a credit class this year. As a credit it is focused on the practical and applied arts.
“Students are put on committees modeled after that of the United Nations (UN). They are given topics which they must organize and prepare for. Given a country to represent from the UN they must research and write a position paper on their subject. Essentially they take on the role of an ambassador. They engage in real world topics that require negotiation and diplomacy to resolve, it is really a great experience.” Wardrope stated.
The students said that they were given an example of a position paper, but from that had to develop their own. They had to focus on the topic they had been assigned, research, and write their own paper. They must understand their topic, but it is essential that they take the viewpoint of the country they are assigned. This can sometimes be difficult if they were to disagree with their assigned country on a topic.
The students all seemed excited for the experience. The returning youth stated that “the conference this year will be better because we’ll know what’s coming.”
Englot and Turgeon have been assigned to represent Germany in the General Assembly. They were to research the Criminal Accountability of UN Officials and Experts on Mission. This basically addresses the topic of diplomatic immunity and how to deal with ambassadors that commit crimes in other countries. At the moment the UN is only able to strip them of their job and recall them from the country.
Kennett and Mills were also assigned Germany, but they are assigned to the Environmental Programme concerning Responsible Fisheries. They are to respond to countries that are unregulated in their catch, resulting in over fishing and the slaughter of many sea creatures.
Hoffman and Hirtle are assigned to the International Monetary Fund to discuss External Sustainability and Development around the world, Greece being an important example. They will be representing Egypt in the discussion.
McCrimmon and Rowley have been assigned to a much smaller group focused on an historical re-enactment. They are to represent Egypt on the UN Security Council. They had to research Egypt’s position in regards to the war between India and Pakistan concerning the states of Kashmir and Jammu. The majority of India being Hindu and Pakistan being Muslim was a driving force behind the conflict. As members of the Security Council they are to present Egypt’s views on what the UN should do.
Though they have already worked hard on their position papers, they will be quite busy with the conference in NYC. This, however, is an opportunity many youth do not get and they will take in some cultural and historical attractions as well. They hope to visit the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Memorial Site, and maybe even take in a Yankees game.