Heathdale flower 18th August 2022

The Art of Diplomacy at Model UN

Some of our Year 9-10 students practiced their diplomacy skills when they represented India, Finland and Myanmar in the recent Model United Nations excursion.

Heathdale flower

The Model United Nations gives students the task of being a delegate from an assigned country representing the interests of their nation at a UN general council. Prior to the event, Heathdale was given three countries to represent, India, Finland and Myanmar. The students were given the opportunity to look at the proposals that were going to be debated prior to the United Nations and decide how their country would respond.

The day began with each nation giving a positional statement to the general assembly. After which a caucus was held in which debate on certain clauses of the proposition were held. At times throughout the caucus an unmoderated caucus was held in which all countries could discuss with each other and push for support.

Our Myanmar representatives were able to put forward an amendment that urged wealthy developed nations, with over 80% vaccinated status, contribute 5% of their Covid vaccination materials to the assistance of developing countries.

This was counter to the push of some of the developed countries trying to argue the number down to 2.5% and set an threshold that allowed them to give even less if they were in a climate of economic downturn.
Myanmar was able to garner support from amongst the nations and have the amendment passed to include the 80% threshold, keep the requirement at 5% and remove any economic clause that allowed for self-exclusion.

Finally the vote was held on the proposed amendments and then a final vote of the acceptance of the proposal on pathways to peace was passed.

This activity was a great opportunity for our students to develop their skills in public speaking, utilizing persuasive language and diplomacy. It put them out of their comfort zones having to speak with people they may never have met before and also in certain aspects disagree with. Our students were excellent in all areas and should be very proud of the way they represented Heathdale Christian College and demonstrated their God-given abilities.

Hear about it from our students!

"Adeline, David and I represented the Republic of Finland at the Model United Nations. We mainly pushed for peace-based amendments and supported all the countries that had the same views. We also wanted to make changes to clause 1.7 to give women the freedom of being on equal terms with men in all fields, and joined many others to amend clause 2.6 so that only countries that were capable of increasing their emission reduction targets would do so as it would be difficult for nations that depended on resources such as oil and gas for economical and societal reasons. It was really enjoyable to listen and learn about the different views and opinions that countries had on issues that were brought up, and being able to negotiate with other nations to convince them to join our side in making amendments to the clauses. We also learnt that Mr Deroon is a commendable player in Saboteur, but unfortunately, not as good as his students. (Sorry sir, but it's true!!) Overall, it was an extremely fun and educational experience and I hope that there would be more opportunities for others to participate in the future." (Meredith)

"Model U.N was such a great experience for me and I really do appreciate the opportunity I was given to go this year. I have to admit, it did seem very daunting before it started, however it was so much fun and the whole experience was just amazing. My group and I represented Myanmar, and we pushed for larger developing countries with a vaccination rate of over 80% to assist in providing supplies for developing countries to help stop the spread on COVID-19 worldwide. I really enjoyed watching the other countries negotiate with each other and seeing how one topic will effect every country differently. I learnt that many developing countries do not have the resources to achieve a-lot of the goals that are in place and they need global assistance to do so. I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend Model U.N this year, and I feel as though it successfully helped me better understand the United Nations as a whole." (Lilly)