On Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May, nine PLC Sydney students travelled to Baulkham Hills to participate in the Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA). Hosted by the Rotary Club of Greater Sydney, Years 10 and 11 students participated to gain a wider understanding of international issues, in a forum similar to the United Nations. Students were tasked with trying to solve world problems such as protection of international maritime routes, the peaceful exploration of space, anthropogenic climate change and inappropriate use of social media platforms for political gain (read Donald Trump’s frequent use of Twitter).
In the first hour of proceedings on Saturday morning, PLC Sydney students were active lobbying for the interests of their assigned nations - France, Argentina and South Korea. Two speeches were presented by Claire Shi (Year 10), Argentina, followed by a proposed amendment which was later successfully ratified. A further speech for and one against was received in the deliberation of amendments to Resolution 6 on Diplomatic Communication from South Korea and France, Roisin Bryce-Stark (Year 10) and Claudia McDonnell (Year 11) respectively.
Two amendments from PLC Sydney delegates were debated. The Argentinian amendment regarding use of social media was passed but the South Korean proposal, Ling Ling Lin (Year 10), concerning international trade failed to gain enough momentum and support.
Energy ebbed and flowed through the day and our students participated fully with their countries being asked to speak on numerous occasions. French delegates, Grace Zhu (Year 10) and Heloise Arraj (Year 10), grew in confidence as the weekend progressed and put their research into Impromptu Speeches. Argentina picked up the pace on Sunday, speaking frequently debating resolutions regarding terrorism and space, Sarah Sweeting (Year 10) and Natalie Lambropoulos (Year 10). Georgia Hedge (Year 10) commanded our attention with her well-reasoned argumentation on behalf of South Korea. Year 10 PLC Sydney student, Grace Zhu commented ‘I was more interested than I thought I was when it came to world issues. I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but as soon as MUNA started, I was instantly engaged and learnt much about different perspectives from member nations’.
The proceedings were tightly controlled by the Secretary General, who was interrupted by enthusiastic applause following voting, a welcome break from the required protocol. Mexico’s entertaining musical interlude to discourage countries from supporting the refugee resolution was also well received. One of the highlights of the weekend was the Parade of Nations, where each country showed their national dress in a costumed team building exercise. Congratulations to North Sydney Girls High School for winning MUNA 2017. They represented the China delegation over the weekend and will now go on to participate in the National MUNA programs, to be held in Canberra this August.
Thanks for Lynette Hawkey, Head of Speech and Adam Bold, Global Perspectives for leading this initiative, enabling students to apply knowledge to real-world scenarios.