On Saturday 29 April Woodbridge School sent nine pupils to the Royal Hospital School’s first ever Model United Nations conference. Between us, we represented the USA and the Russian Federation on four different committees and the security council, debating everything from the question of rising sea levels to the issue of religious extremism. Debates were lively and conducted with professionalism, everyone having researched their countries well and understanding the issues at hand. The General Assembly proved an opportunity to use our combined effort to help solve the question of North Korea and, although the countries we represented fall on opposite sides of the issue, both teams utilised our skills to the best of our ability. It takes great confidence to speak up in front of well over a hundred students but when you are representing two of the most powerful countries in the world you cannot shy away from the spotlight.
We have recently been working on improving the quality of our debate and the practise seemed to have paid off; although MUN is not a competition, several of us remarked that it felt like we had ‘won’ the conference. At the award ceremony, it certainly felt like it with three of us receiving ‘commended delegate’ awards (Archie Timms, Callum Sycamore and Sam Kill), four ‘highly commended; (Josh Cole, Abi Crane, Nathan Lloyd, Samuel Newman and Will Martin) and one prestigious ‘best delegate’ award for Chris Long, who represented the Russian Federation in ECOSOC. This is no small feat and probably down to the superb resolution he submitted to solve the question of the drug trade.
With every single one of our pupil’s receiving an award of some kind, it might seem obvious that we should receive some kind of joint recognition. Nevertheless, it still came as a shock when, along with one other delegation, our representatives of the USA received a ‘highly commended’ award for the entire delegation. And then, an even greater surprise when the Russian Federation (Chris Long, Josh Cole, Abi Crane, Samuel Newman and Archie Timms) was announced as the ‘best delegation’ in the whole conference. We left RHS with uncontrollable giddiness and renewed confidence, so proud that all of our hard work had made for a fun and rewarding experience.