Want to make sense of a confusing world? Worried about climate change or conflict? At a time when the world feels like quite an uncertain place, an understanding of how and why events occur, and how change can happen, can be a great thing to possess. And that is where Model United Nations comes in; young people come together in the role of delegates for nations around the globe to discuss some of the issues in the world today. Through MUN conferences they develop their understanding of the challenges we are facing globally, and the possible solutions to them – as well as meeting and making friends with others from schools across the region, the country or even the world.
Pupils from BGS have taken part in MUN conferences for many years and we have hosted thirteen MUN conferences. This weekend will see the fourteenth BGS MUN take place here at the school. We will welcome pupils from eighteen schools across the southwest who will spend Sunday discussing a wide range of past, present and future topics – including refugees, women’s rights, global economic systems, the future of Gaza, the role of private militias, and the world’s increasing population pressure, as well as emergency issues which are as yet to be disclosed to delegates – in committees and the General Assembly. Each delegation will have spent time ahead of the conference researching the issues, and the involvement and views of ‘their’ country, before taking part in a series of debates and committees. The aim is to agree and pass resolutions they believe will resolve or improve the situation.
Participating in MUN is a great way for young people to raise their awareness of international affairs and concepts, including peace and security, human rights, development and the rule of law. These are often complex, with long histories and no simple solutions, meaning participants have to take into account a whole range of factors and viewpoints if they hope to successfully reach agreement.
As well as gaining an insight into the complexity of global politics, MUN is also an excellent way for participants to develop research skills, as they investigate the issues to be discussed and the viewpoint and interests of the nation they are representing in it, and gives valuable experience in both structuring arguments, negotiation and public speaking.
Ahead of the MUN conference at BGS, two of our youngest MUN member, Year 7 pupils Annie and Izzie, spoke to Lottie (Year 11) and James (Year 10). Both are part of the BGS UK delegation; James is on the committee that will be looking at the issue of overpopulation, while Lottie will be on the Security Council which will be discussing the complex and important Israel-Gaza conflict. Watch their interviews below to find out why James and Lottie love MUN and how their thoughts on this weekend’s BGS MUN conference.
A big thank you our brilliant interviewers and camera operatives Annie and Izzie, and to James and Lottie for sharing their MUN experience.