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A review of the 25th Bath International Schools' Model United Nations

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During the weekend of 6 - 8 March 2015 Kingswood School in Bath hosted the 25th Bath International Schools' Model United Nations conference. Always a popular event, this year saw approximately 650 students from 46 schools taking part. Delegates from across England, as well as from Scotland, Germany and Portugal, took on the task of representing 124 member states of the UN in debates on a range of issues facing the global community today. These included the threat from Islamic State, the situation in Ukraine, the rights of the disabled, the protection of endangered species in Africa, weapons of mass destruction and cyber-security.

Mr Richard Nelmes of the United Nations Association - UK opened the conference on Friday evening with a message centered on the continuing relevance of the United Nations in confronting the global challenges facing the world in 21st century. This year, I was given the role of Secretary-General, and I chose to give my address at the Opening Ceremony on the topic of mass species extinction. I chose to highlight how the environmental problems facing the world today are not simply a human problem, but a matter affecting all species, and I called upon the UN to give a stronger voice to nature. I ended my speech with a call for young people to engage with the political process in order to build a better future for ourselves and for our world.

On Saturday the conference participants attended separate specialist committees to debate a range of topics, whilst on Sunday the conference changed pace to respond to the ever-popular emergency scenarios. Delegates were challenged to resolve an unexpected international crisis; this year these ranged from Greece's exit from the Euro to a clash between NATO and Russia over the shooting down of a Russian bomber over the North Sea. This year's Best Delegation Award went to the USA, represented by a group of students from Withington School in Manchester.

I personally would like to thank my team of Chairs for their hard work in preparing for and managing the debates. All rose to the challenge very well, showing exceptional organisational skills as well as great maturity in dealing with a variety of challenging situations.

The conference provided a great insight into the broad spectrum of matters addressed by the UN and, having followed the Model United Nations for many years at school, I am always impressed by how important their work is in bringing peoples and nations together to address the most of the important issues of our time.  

Sophie McDermott

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Miss. Sophie McDermott