This year we have had record numbers attending MiniMUN on a Wednesday evening. Over forty Year 6, 7 and 8 students have been debating topics as wide ranging as all countries having to introduce gender neutral uniform to legalising cannabis for adults via continuing with the Death Penalty. On Wednesday we had the annual debate in the Great Hall with the students having the chance to debate in the General Assembly set up for our annual conference.
Twelve Year 7, 8 and 9 Royal Russell students attended the Reigate Junior MUN conference last Saturday representing Kazakhstan, Egypt and the United Kingdom. This was a great opportunity for our junior MUN delegates to experience their first conference. The day included a couple of workshops on Public Speaking and MUN debating. The students in GA committees then had a short debate on a motion followed by a chance to deliver a policy statement. After this the students learnt how to construct a resolution splitting into groups to write full resolutions together. The rest of the day for these students was spent debating the resolutions. All our students did really well, all speaking in their committees. Particularly impressive were Abigail – always speaking in her committee, Joy who made a great opening speech and really joined in and David who ended up taking the floor in GA and answering some tough questions.
Meanwhile our three Security Council delegates (Arthur, Luke and Andrew) spent all day in the Council debating clauses on Nuclear Weapons and the current war in Syria and Iraq. They all had amendments debated and spoke well.
The huge success of the students suggests that the future of MUN at Royal Russell is very bright.
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.