Shrewsbury School

Multiple awards at the Withington Model United Nations Conference

Thursday 13 February 2014

Twenty-seven pupils travelled to Manchester on Sunday 9th February for the Model United Nations Conference held at Withington School. Almost half of them won awards. James Ollerhead (Ch LVI), who was Highly Commended, describes the experience of taking part in his first MUN Conference.

This Sunday I had the privilege to be taken as part of a team to the WiMUN VI (Withington School’s sixth MUN). Representing the USA in the Health Committee, I was one of about 30 delegates debating on the subjects of foreign healthcare and HIV AIDS.

Previous to the day, we had all been given the basic outlines of debate and we had all prepared amendments to the Committee’s draft resolution. We also had to research the views of our particular countries on these topics, which were to be the basis of our arguments.

The conference started with an opening ceremony, after which each delegation was divided into their committees, where we all had to spend half an hour lobbying and talking to other delegates from  other schools representing other countries.  In effect this was attempting to warm the others to you and get them to support your amendments and any speeches you might make. The next few hours were spent debating a medley of multiple amendments, some impressive some not so much, but all very much fun to debate.

Then just before we broke for lunch we were shown a video depicting a fake world disaster. The disaster was that the Democratic Republic of Congo had attacked its rebels with chemical weapons it had bought from Zimbabwe. The chemicals used were produced in a Chinese factory in Zimbabwe. The rebels in retaliation then attacked and severely damaged the factory as well as harming many scientists.

After lunch several of the committees were combined, and the actions to be made by the general assembly were debated. This was done without any preparation or previous knowledge on the subject. It certainly was the more challenging part of the day.

The day finished with the closing ceremony, in which the organisers reflected on the success of the day and gave out the awards for both individual performances (for which I was highly commended) as well as the best groups.

After such an enjoyable and intellectual experience, I very much look forward to my next conference in March at the HABSMUN, and I fully encourage people to come along and join the MUN as it is an enjoyable and engaging experience.
James Ollerhead (Ch LVI)

Teacher in Charge of MUN Huw Peach was delighted with the School's performance. "The Withington MUN Conference is particularly focused on beginners and this was the biggest one that they had ever organised. We were representing USA, Ethiopia, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand, with some of our more experienced delegates in the Security Council and the Human Rights Council.

"There were three tiers of awards: Outstanding (1 delegate in each committee); Highly Commended (2-3 delegates in each committee) and Commended (4-5 delegates in each committee). There was also another award (Delegates' Delegate), which was a vote by all members of the committee."

Congratulations to the following delegates who won awards:
HIGHLY COMMENDED: Esmé O'Keeffe and James Ollerhead
COMMENDED: Amelia Woodruff, Tiger Vechamamontien, Krem Todorova, Archie Trower, Vicki Horbach, Jesse Mattinson, Ilya Olkov and Dan Lo
DELEGATES' DELEGATE (popular vote): Tiger Vechamamontien and Krem Todorova

For a brief taster of what MUN is all about, please see the film put together by Andrew Spicer (M UVI) for Shrewsbury School TV:

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