Report by Chad Usher (Rb UVI):
The team represented the USA, Sudan and Chad, with Mill Luangamornlert, Benson Zhou and Charles Shaw as their respective ambassadors. Mr Portier and Mrs Crump accompanied the team.
Setting out early on Thursday morning by train to Paris, the team was apprehensive but nervous. The train was abuzz with last-minute clause-writing and discussion of team tactics. Eventually it was decided that the US team would approach debate in a Nikki Haley-type manner, defending the President on his views but in a slightly less bulldoggish style.
On Friday morning we set out for Maison de la Mutualitié and the Opening Ceremony. We listened as Secretary General Nicolas Julien, from the American School of Paris, set out the theme of the Conference: the New World Order. He hoped that in our debate we would work towards a shared goal of a more equal world where all countries and groups in society are represented. After the Ceremony we moved into debate in committees.
Sam Evans represented the USA in the International Labour Organisation, with George Ludlam representing Sudan in the same Committee and contributing impressively to the debate. Debating the issues of Labour Migration and Automation of Jobs, Sam spoke eloquently on both issues, creating a very positive impression on the rest of his committee - though perhaps straying from the 'less bulldoggish' tone followed by the rest of the delegation at times. Nevertheless the Chairs of his Committee felt that Sam represented the USA in an effective manner and gave him an Honourable Mention at the Closing Ceremony on Sunday.
Nick Yale picked up the same accolade for the UNESCO Committee, also representing the USA. Despite being one of the younger delegates in the room, he spoke with a clear passion and conviction. Even with the burden that being part of such a well-known country as the USA can bring, he fendded off vicious attacks from both Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. He defended the line of Trump’s America on the issues of Intellectual Property and Educational Infrastructure.
This year’s Deputy Secretary-Generals Mill Luangamornlert and Chad Usher further added to Shrewsbury’s haul by both winning the Best Delegate Award in the ECOSOC and Political Committees respectively. Chad defended the US line on State-Sponsored Cyber Terrorism and the South China Sea - the latter proving to be a very controversial issue, with the Chinese delegate trading jibes with Chad throughout. Will Stocker represented Sudan in the same committee and submitted some very well thought-through clauses.
Mill later went on to debate his resolution on 'Moving on from the Paris Climate Agreement'. This was an award in itself, but not uncommon for Shrewsbury now. In General Assembly only one country’s resolution is debated and to gain this right requires months of lobbying through emails and telephone calls with the conference organisers. Mill carried on a Shrewsbury tradition of gaining the GA resolution and successfully made it four years on the trot for us. Representing the US, who announced their withdrawal from the Agreement back in June, was always going to be a hard time. Every country in the world has now signed the Agreement, including Syria and Nicaragua who originally did not sign. Mill presented the resolution superbly, with Chad closing up the speeches in favour. Sadly to pass this was too much of a challenge, but to gain 38 votes in favour was counted as an achievement given the nature of America’s stance on the issue.
The rest of the team also held a firm line in their committees. Grace O’Mara held the honour of sitting in the Security Council and spoke in a strong, steady and convincing style. It was a challenging yet rewarding experience as debate was serious and considered throughout, with issues debated such as South Sudan and Peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Alexander Sparkes represented the US in the Human Rights Committee, discussing the redefining of the UN Declaration on Human Rights to have gender-neutral pronouns. After many impressive speeches, the Chairs unfortunately gagged the US for “reactionary” statements and accusations of dodgy chairing and vote-counting were flying. Sparkes was certainly foremost in the fight against the ‘New World Order’.
Tom Allen and Niamh Nugent were impressive to watch in the Environment Committee and both were regularly at the podium. Representing the USA, Niamh jumped into the debate and managed to defend the US’s dubious position on the environment with vigour and skill. Furthermore, she passed several amendments. Tom strongly argued against any clauses that would damage the rights of developing countries to mine for fossil fuels in order to sustain their economies.
On Friday night the team had the honour to eat at La Régalade, a restaurant owned by Old Salopian Ollie Clarke (PH 2002-07). The food was incredible - this is a 'must-visit' place in Paris. Coincidentally, two other OSs were there the same evening: old MUN-er Jack Critchley (G 2002-07) and Al Hinton (PH 2002-07) had come to see their old friend Ollie.
I would like to thank Mr Huw Peach (Master in Charge of MUN) for organising such a brilliant trip, where every timing and arrangement was planned impeccably. Thanks also to the American School of Paris for putting on yet another brilliant conference. Finally, a huge thank you to Monsieur Portier and Mrs Crump for giving up their weekend to take the team to Paris. They were truly incredible throughout.