School to host Model United Nations conference

Pupils and staff have been busy organising a Model United Nations (MUN) conference for delegates from eight schools from across the UK.

The two day event, entitled SGSMUN, takes place on the 1st and 2nd of April and will see approximately 130 delegates visit Stockport Grammar.

The weekend involves delegates debating worldwide issues such as the conflict in Syria and issues in the South China Sea from a chosen country’s perspective. The delegates are able to gain an insight into the thought processes of different countries and they can obtain information that may not have been reported by western media. They compile their research in the run up to the conference using a variety of mediums including online foreign newspapers and TV news channels such as Al Jazeera.

At the General Assembly on the Sunday all the delegates get together to deal with a crisis issue. This scenario is created by the organising committee and the delegates do not find out what it is until the Saturday afternoon. They then have the Sunday morning to research and work on the issue before discussing how the crisis will impact the different countries in a variety of ways.

The 15 person strong organising committee, which comprises pupils from fifth year to upper sixth, have been planning the conference since the beginning of the school year and have been meeting once a week at the MUN co-curricular club.

Speaking about being involved in the club, Nathan Eckersley said: “MUN is an excellent way of gaining a different perspective on current affairs and it is also a brilliant way of meeting new people that you wouldn’t usually interact with.”

Being part of the club has helped Anna Hanson in a number of ways: “Being involved in MUN over the past few years has been such a valuable experience as it has enhanced my public speaking as well as allowing me to get to grips with world issues that I otherwise wouldn’t have taken as much note of.

“Working in the organising team has been a lot of fun, I’ve learnt new skills and worked with new people. We are looking forward to welcoming delegates to what will be a great weekend of debate.”

For pupils from first year to fourth year there is a weekly MiniMUN club where they learn debating skills and about world affairs.

For more information about SGSMUN please visit www.sgsmun.co.uk.

What is MUN?

Pupils, known as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries where they represent members of that body. The delegates are given their assignments in advance and they are tasked with researching the issue and coming up with a standpoint before presenting their viewpoint.

The competition was set up so that pupils can expand their knowledge of diplomacy, international relations and the United Nations and the work they do allows them to use and improve their researching, public speaking, debating, critical thinking and writing skills as well as building up their teamwork and leadership abilities.

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