8 February 2022
Face-to-face MUN is back! 14 delegates from Queen’s travelled to Manchester High School for Girls on 5 and 6 February to get back into the fray after two years of digital conferences.
Representing Pakistan and South Sudan, our team of students from Years 9-13 included seasoned MUNers as well as several first-timers.
The conference got off to a tremendous start with keynote speaker Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, who delivered an engaging, well-pitched speech that stood out even by MUN’s usual high standards. Ms Cooper offered a brief Q&A and also dropped in on the committee debates.
In their different committees, delegates debated topics as varied as the mainland China-Hong Kong conflict, tied aid for LICs, cryptocurrencies, deadwood in the global carbon cycle, the illicit arms trade, women’s rights in religious courts, and preparedness protocols for future pandemics, among others. As you know, in MUN the challenge is always to represent the views of your allocated country rather than your own.
Humour and fun are indispensable, well-liked elements of MUN, and after such a long time online there was a degree of pent-up exuberance which led delegates to embrace this side of the conference with gusto. Drawing on characters and plot elements of the “Despicable Me” movie, the crisis scenario challenged delegates to put their background knowledge about international politics and diplomacy to use in a creative and fun way – an engaging approach to fostering those highly-prized higher-order thinking skills like applying and analysing concepts and ideas, and creating new connections and arguments in the process!
Dora in Year 12, one of our most experienced MUNers, said: “As always, I really enjoyed meeting new people, and the highlight of the conference for me was the crisis scenario!”
Kitty in Year 9 received the award for Best Young Delegate in the Human Rights Committee, and Hannah McDonald received a Special Mention in the Security Council, which is open only to the most experienced delegates.