On Friday lunchtime we set off for the annual Haileybury MUN conference, with sixteen pupils all ready to start debate and meet up with old friends. Thalia and Meera were invited to the conference as guest chairs and showed an impressive understanding of the debate procedure. Having prepared thoroughly beforehand Stevie, Josh, Pippa and Nikolai all had their resolutions debated in their committees, with Josh and Pippa making it into the General Assembly booklet – a great achievement. The standard this year was particularly high with lots of seasoned MUN schools in attendance but we came away with a collection of awards: Pippa winning Highly Commended Delegate and Josh, Alex L and Stevie all winning Distinguished Delegate Awards.
On Saturday 11 March 2017 we took three delegations to the City of London MUN conference. Although a couple of experienced Hague veterans attended, largely this was an opportunity for less experienced delegates, several attending their first conference.
The day started with a particularly interesting key note address given by James Robbins, the BBC’s chief diplomatic correspondent, in which he described the best and worst he had encountered in his reporting for the BBC (meeting Nelson Mandela and Muammar Gaddafi, respectively), and concluding with a passionate paean to democracy, freedom and the values enshrined in the United N
Speeches and debate followed on a range of topics from the pressing issue of ISIS to the less well appreciated plight of the Rohingya people. Hats off, in particular, to Dionne Scougul who stepped in as a late replacement with less than 24 hours notice to attend her first conference, debating this challenging latter topic.
Ella Jones’ first experience of debate in security council looked like it was her fiftieth, and she walked away with the highly commended delegate award. Alex Blake also picked up a highly commended award. Others, including Megan, Josh and Stevie were all excellent.
Another successful day for RRS MUN; well done to all.
As the mass drummers and horn players left the World Forum theatre Royal Russell students could start to look back on another very successful THIMUN conference. Peter continued to play a large role as a journalist in the media team and ended up writing four full page articles during the week. Georgia and Aisha were both excellent chairs, Georgia in total control of her committees at all times and Aisha – good-humoured, consistent, clear and fair. Georgia had the privilege of addressing the conference at the closing ceremonies. Of the delegates two of the more successful were Stevie and Lucas who did very well in ECOSOC together. Stevie as the main submitter on her resolution (which passed) and Lucas as second speaker on his resolution which also passed. Everyone spoke in their committee and the most improved delegate was Jade who grew in confidence during the week and spoke in her large committee every day. Otherwise Pippa spoke many times and was unlucky her resolution was never debated, Josh worked really hard and finally got his resolution debated on the last day (and passed) and Skanda made his mark on his committee presenting a rightfully partisan resolution on the first day which failed with flying colours.
It was a long week especially with the new system of no plenaries but everyone stuck to their task and were still putting up their placards on the last afternoon.
Outside of the conference the students on Wednesday afternoon either visited Humanities House where they were treated as a refugee, or went to watch a case at the ICC where a Lord’s Resistance Army general was being prosecuted.
Royal Russell sent 2 delegations and 5 chairs down the road to the 2nd annual Croydon High MUN conference. It was really nice that we could help Croydon High by lending them our placards and flags and providing 5 students to chair in their committees. Timone, Pippa, Meera, Rolanda and Josh, looked after their committees confidently and good naturedly. It is a difficult job keeping control of a committee whilst allowing the delegates to express themselves, have fun but keep on task. Our five proved themselves excellent chairs.
We had 2 delegations – Brazil and Argentina – with relatively inexperienced delegates including new sixth formers and 4 more-experienced year 10 students. It was particularly pleasing to see students like Alex, Nikita and Krish speaking well and often in their committees. The stand out performer was Ella who was presented with the Outstanding Delegate award in her committee. She thoroughly deserved it having written, and had debated, an excellent resolution which she professionally pushed through the committee.
The 35th RRSiMUN conference closed on Tuesday 25th October 2016 after delegates had enjoyed four very successful days of Opening Speeches, Policy Statements, Debates in committee and a day of GA debates.
Royal Russell’s 35th International Model United Nations conference was yet again a huge success. Over 100 Royal Russell pupils took part, giving up the first four days of their October half term. The hard work started at 2pm on Friday when the school had to be transformed into a conference centre. This not only involved turning classrooms into committee rooms but making beds in the boarding houses ready for our visiting guests and photocopying information packs for staff and pupils. Over 70 countries were represented by schools from all over the globe; from Japan, America, Greece, France to Spain, Turkey and Egypt. Debates took place over two days in committee rooms and covered a huge range of topics such as the rights of transgender people, the use of fur by the fashion industry and terrorism in Iraq and Syria to name a few. There were 18 committees, including the Security Council, Special Conference on Internal Terrorism in Levant and an International Court of Justice whose case was aerial herbicide spraying in Ecuador and Columbia. On Monday and Tuesday debate moved to the General Assembly and Georgia, Scott, Aisha and Maybellene had the mammoth task of controlling the flow of debate, ensuring all delegates had an opportunity to speak. If all of this wasn’t enough we were yet again wowed by the press and media teams’ contributions. Game shows, a live MUN’s Got Talent, four newspapers, live GA screening and several films were all created over the four days, written, created and produced by Royal Russell pupils. And to top it all off we hosted a disco every night! Royal Russell’s IMUN Conference has always been a conference of students, for students by students and this year’s was no exception.
At the closing ceremonies the following awards were announced:
Distinguished Delegation Award
Greece: American school in Bilbao
Indonesia: Santa Margarita
China: Reigate Grammar
Highly Commended Delegation Awards
UK: Santa Margarita
Russian Federation: St. Andrews Dublin
France: Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School
Croatia: St Gerard’s school
Uruguay: Terenure College
The conference was closed by the presidents of GA and the Secretary General
Whilst Royal Russell was a hive of activity for Open Morning on Saturday 24th September, nine of our pupils snuck away and attended Reigate Grammar’s 20th Model United Nations Conference. The team was a mixture of old hands and new delegates but everyone rose to the challenge and debated diplomatically and constructively. Among the debate topics were the treatment of prisoners, the security risks caused by immigration and realising the rights of gender equality. A special mention must go to Pippa and Aisha who chaired committees confidently and thoughtfully- great preparation for our own conference. Josh also had a successful conference and presented the crisis resolution at the beginning of General Assembly which was a huge achievement. Overall an excellent conference.
Royal Russell Students celebrate 70th Anniversary of first UN General Assembly
Four Royal Russell students attended the World AIMS MUN conference this week on the 70th Anniversary of the very first General Assembly. To add to the occasion the conference was held at the Methodist Hall in Westminster which also hosted the GA in 1946. In the opening ceremony Nick O’Donnell welcomed Royal Russell acknowledging that our school’s MUN conference was the first, and is the longest running, conference in the UK.
At the conference two of the original UN resolutions were debated, first as if it was 1946 and later as today. The two resolutions – on atomic energy and refugees couldn’t have been more relevant to today. Maybellene, Georgia, Aisha and Scott were lucky enough to represent USSR in 1946 and then Russia today. All four students spoke, with Georgia having the difficult task of trying to deny that USSR was looking to develop an atomic bomb back in 1946.
The conference was a huge success and a great start to a very busy year of MUN conferences for Royal Russell students.
Last weekend saw another successful conference for Royal Russell MUN delegates with twenty two pupils attending Haileybury College’s 25th annual conference. The cold and windy weather didn’t put our pupils off when getting fully immersed into lobbying and debate and it certainly didn’t put any off attending the beach themed disco! We left the conference with three awards – Stevie and Georgia with highly commendable awards and Josh with a distinguished delegate award. For several of our Year 13s it was there last conference, including Michelle who has chairing a Human Rights committee, so for some it was an emotional end to the weekend.
Fourteen pupils descended on City of London School for their annual model UN conference on Saturday. After a short period of lobbying, the opening ceremonies commenced, including a very interesting key note speech, given by Gadi Zohar, the former military service head of civil administration in Gaza, and a member of the Israeli negotiation contingent with the Palestinians, which resulted in the Oslo Accord in 1995.
The quality of debate was high. The experience and technical knowledge of the Royal Russell students was clearly apparent. Josh acquitted himself superbly as the UK ambassador in the Security Council. Skanda and Nikolai provided some of the most animated debating I have seen for some time, and the day finished with Aisha Dosanjh receiving an Outstanding Delegate award – one of only five such awards given to over 200 delegates.
Well done to all on another outstanding overall performance by Royal Russell pupils, confirming their place at the top table of schools participating in MUN.
Royal Russell students have enjoyed another very successful THIMUN Conference. Diana, Seonni and Jordan remained busy in the press team helping to produce five impressive editions of MUNITY. Maria has proved herself to be an exceptional President of the ICJ and Georgia chaired very well in her committee. All our delegates, representing Venezuela, have spoken in committee a number of times but special mention needs to be made of Michelle and the Security Council pair of Bart and Callum, who were main submitters of their resolutions in committee. On Wednesday the students also found time to visit either Humanity House – an amazing museum recreating the experience of refugees – or the Escher Museum. Having visited Ann Frank’s house on the first day, this has proved a most memorable trip for everyone.
Royal Russell School students have made a great start to the 48th Hague MUN Conference. Maria, as President of the ICJ, is running the court with her usual calm and authoritative approach. Georgia, as Assistant President of Disarmament One, has already chaired one debate, setting a high standard for others to follow. Bart and Callum, representing Venezuela, in the Security Council, are, in the words of the reporter from MUNITY, the “main contributors in the committee”, and Alex, Rita and Eden all made excellent opening speeches in their commissions. Jordan, Diana and Seonni are working hard for the conference newspaper. Diana has produced 3 original art pieces for every issue and Jordan has written a number of the main features, whilst Seonni is busy setting out the page layouts. With 16 delegates, 3 members of the press team and 2 chairs, Royal Russell students are again making their mark at this prestigious conference.
Royal Russell School played a large part in helping Croydon High run their first MUN conference – lending them our flags and placards, and suppling half of the committee chairs. It was nice to hear their Secretary General, in her closing speech, thanking us …. “Royal Russell, without whom today’s conference would not have happened”.
With Maybellene, Eden, Bart, Elysia, Aisha and Khadijah taking chairing roles (and doing so with aplomb), it was great to see our less experienced delegates doing so well as delegates. Everyone spoke repeatedly. Josh and Nikta both wrote resolutions – the first time Nikita has ever done so – spoke on them, and had them passed by their committees. Of the six top delegate awards given, four went to RRS students – Josh (at only his second ever conference), Valerie, Stevie and Rolanda, with Marianne also picking up a highly commended award. Many of the others were superb, although our two Year 9 students Nikita and Megan deserve special mention for their high quality contributions to debate. All enjoyed themselves immensely, and it was great to help CHS off to a flying start hosting MUN conferences.