Welcome to Bentley Model UN!
The Bentley Model United Nations Program is a group of students interested in international affairs who research topics concerning the UN and then put this knowledge to use by hosting two conferences for High School and Middle School students.
Every January, the secretariat of our conference spends one week at the United Nations in New York. During this week, our members are briefed by members of the UN secretariat, permanent representatives to the United Nations, as well as by other groups who figure prominently into the affairs of the United Nations.
The 14th edition of the Model United Nations, MUN, was held at the auditorium of Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Moka from August 5 to 7. It was in the presence of the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Dr. Vasant Bunwaree, Minister of Housing and Lands, Dr. Abu Kasenally, and Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Dr. Satish Faugoo. Officers from the Ministry of Education were also present along with more than 100 coordinators from each school.
The MUN is a unique pedagogical opportunity for the participants to acquire, develop and test a whole range of skills and competencies. It is an academic simulation of the United Nations with the objective of educating students about civics, effective communication, globalization and multilateral diplomacy.
According to Minister Bunwaree, MUN conferences contain an inherent beautiful dichotomy on the idea of reality and simulation.
During the three-day conference, the students played the role of delegates of the UN and discussed resolutions to be taken at the level of the different bodies, commissions and issues. Participants did research on the countries they were allocated and investigated their international issues. After deliberation and consultation, they found solutions to world problems on the agenda of the UN. All this was of course a simulation of the real world of UN delegates which meet at the seat of the United Nations in New York to discuss world issues.
Narain Dabee, the coordinator of the MUN said: “Among the 192 member countries of the United Nations, 156 countries were represented in the Model United Nations Conference 2010. It is the first time that a participation rate of 100% of schools currently running classes up to Form VI was registered.”
Dabee explained that to participate in the MUN, students had to be in Lower Six, except for the chairpersons who were students of Upper Six and were among the best delegates of the previous edition.
“The most coveted post to occupy is that of the Secretary General followed by the Deputy Secretary General. For that, we have a panel to assess the best delegates of the previous edition and after an interview, the panel votes for the students best qualified for the posts. These two posts demand a lot of responsibility and time. The Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General must ensure that everything goes on well during the conference. Of course, the success of the MUN depends on the work of each and everyone. It is a team work, involving the officers of the Ministry, the coordinators, the students and the schools,” said Dabee.
The work of the MUN starts much before the conference itself. During the month of January, the delegations are formed and the countries are allocated to them after a draw. Then, the students work on issues affecting their countries and send the projects to the Ministry. The merging
of the issues follows, that is delegations working on similar issues are grouped in a commission. Afterwards, the delegates work according to the commissions they are attached to.
For Day 1, delegations present their country statements, on Day 2, the 16 commissions, including the Security Council, meet to discuss and vote the resolutions, on Day 3, the resolutions are presented to the General Assembly.
For the delegates of the MUN, the conference is an occasion to develop their personality, communication skills, and knowledge about other countries, learn about the importance of diplomacy and become conscious of the problems affecting the world.
Tejaswinee Burumdoyal, Secretary General for MUN 2009 and supervisor for this year’s conference, said: “This is my third participation in the MUN and I can proudly say that the level and quality have greatly improved with new logistics enhancing the conference.”
More than 75 resolutions were voted and 16 global issues discussed including Gender Equality, Women Participation in Politics, Education for All, Clean Energy, Sustainable Development, Corporate Good Governance, Cross-Border Terrorism. All these issues are already on the agenda of the United Nations and will be discussed in the coming UN session.
More than 900 students took part in this year’s conference: around 624 delegates, 34 chairpersons, along with the MUN press, security officers and secretaries. 16 best delegates and 40 best delegations were chosen.
One of the resolutions that the delegates of the MUN voted unanimously was the minimum use of social networking.
Anji Faugoo, Secretary General of this year’s conference, said: The delegates have agreed that there was an abuse of social networking such as Facebook, Skype among others. They have voted for Governments to have more control over such internet spaces so as to protect the youth from any abuses.”
- A MUN logo was designed for the first time by the participatants and the MUN coordinator, Narain Dabee.
- The conference consisted of several trailers of 39 seconds each before each session. All were prepared by the participants themselves.
- For the first time, the former participants were included in the conference through the MUN in Action. Their last year’s resolution on Waste Paper Collection for Recycling was adopted in this year’s conference.
- The cultural programme on the opening and closing ceremony was presented by the participants themselves.
- A newsletter on the conference was prepared before the opening of the conference. It was designed and edited by the students.
- Most of the work and coordination for the MUN conference was carried out online through the website of the Ministry. The students also created and managed a website for the MUN 2010.
- Prior to the MUN 2010 conference held in August, several meetings among the students were organised to give them more time for interaction. A dress rehearsal also took place so as to make the students more at ease during the three-day session.
Aric Shakur are going to be representing New Zealand with his debating expertise and hopes to do well, but the 17-year-old admits his greatest problem is confidence.
On Monday the yr 13 Palmerston North Boys’ High School pupil was chosen being 1 of five members of the Russell McVeagh New Zealand debating team, which will represent New Zealand in an international tournament early up coming year.
Aric, who represented Boys’ Substantial at New Zealand Model United Nations, stated he was searching forward for the experience. “We have a quite strong group.”
He mentioned his greatest difficulty was the public speaking itself. “It’s just being able to articulate your thoughts.”
But Boys’ Great rector Tim O’Connor said Aric, who teaches part-time at NumberWorks – an after-school tuition programme helping children with maths and English – was a bright and capable student.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that he deserves being representing New Zealand,” he said.
Last month, Aric captained the Boys’ Higher Senior A debating staff from the Sir Michael Hardie Boys’ Cup, beating 11 other teams to take the Cup. Aric, who plans to start a conjoint degree in law and either arts or economics up coming year, was named Very best Speaker on the tournament.
This month, he and two other students from the July tournament competed inside the Russell McVeagh New Zealand Schools’ Debating Championships in Wellington.
The staff experienced experienced fine expectations for the tournament.
“Our staff was young but we experienced practised a great deal,” Aric mentioned.
Their crew had been coached by university students who had “the proper balance among work and play”. The students had coached them in debating strategies and showed them the best way to devise better arguments.
The team, which Aric captained, lost at the semifinals to a Wellington group, but his debating skills had caught the judges’ eye.
Christopher Bishop, president with the New Zealand Schools’ Debating Council, said Aric had a witty and engaging style of speaking.
Source: Manawatu Standard