Model UN Report
Three Roedean teams debated in 3 sessions of the Model UN annual debate at Wits University, organised by the department of SA Institute of International Affairs.. Overall there were 5 sessions being debated simultaneously, on different topics, involving over 90 teams, overall.
The topics the girls debated on were:
Peacekeeping (United Nations Security Council Session) allocated country = United Kingdom, Food Security (G20 Session) allocated country = Turkey and Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies (World Health Organisation Session) allocated country = Vietnam.
The auditorium at the beginning of the day was bursting to the seams with over 300 pupils, adjudicators and dignitaries. The real Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki- Moon, sent a message to the plenary, via the UN information Head in Pretoria, Helene Hoedle. Ban Ki- Moon stated that he took part in Model UN debating as a student and wishing all the delegates well. The pupils were also addressed by the permanent representative to the UN for Kenya, Martin Komani. He was most inspirational and spoke about the importance of reading, learning foreign languages, acting with diplomacy and interacting with as many people from different countries as possible in our global community.Helene Hoedle stated that the Model UN programme in SA was amongst the best in the world at school level.
A huge amount of preparation is needed for the debates. The girls need to be knowledgeable about their allocated country’s stance as well as the policies of other countries: from this info they need to identify potential allies or opponents in terms of policy and recommendations. Position papers have to be drafted as well as resolutions.
Pupils have to debate for six hours and present, lobby, caucus, and respond diplomatically to a range of countries. For this they have to understand the procedure of UN diplomacy and what they could attempt to change in terms of current UN policy. As the events that affect the debate unfold in real world events – such as the Syrian war, delegates have to update their position papers/speeches and resolutions. We were updating our stances up to the hour before the debate, as the G20 was meeting until Friday night, before the Sat debate. This preparation has taken the best part of a year, in terms of learning the techniques as well as the vast amount of knowledge needed. I have watched the girls grow in knowledge of current affairs and diplomatic speak.
The three Roedean teams performed extremely well.
Food Security (G20 Session):
Franci van Rhyn, Tamsin Mathew and Rabia Abba Omar: Won Gold
Peacekeeping (United Nations Security Council Session):
Alexa Clark, Paula Chappel and Isabella Kriegler: Won silver
Disease Control in Humanitarian Emergencies (World Health Organisation Session):
Hannah Freed, Reshmi Wilson and Aaliyah Buksh: Won Bronze.
The team in the Food Security debate that obtained a first place will be invited to attend the SAIIA Young Leaders Conference. This will take place at Wits University from the 8-13 December. The topics for discussion will include themes being discussed on the International Post-2015 Development Agenda. The negotiations will culminate in the handover of the 2013 SAIIA Young Leaders Declaration at a special event on 12 December in Pretoria. During the conference representatives of government, the United Nations, various diplomatic missions, civil society organisations, businesses, and universities will be joining us as speakers, mentors and observers to the conference. Visits to cultural sites, corporate, government, and organisation offices are also being arranged for delegates.
Marj Brown, Model UN Debating Coach
Young Leaders Conference
This year another group of talented high school learners will be selected from five provinces to participate in the second annual SAIIA Young Leaders Conference to be held during 8-13 December 2013 in Johannesburg. As part of the 2013 conference, learner delegates will host their own negotiation sessions on topics related to the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The negotiations will culminate in the presentation and the handover of the 2013 SAIIA Young Leaders Declaration at a special event on 12 December in Pretoria.
During the conference representatives of government, the United Nations, various diplomatic missions, civil society organisations, businesses, and universities will be joining the delegates as speakers, mentors and observers to the conference. Visits to cultural sites, corporate, government, and organisation offices are also being arranged for delegates.
One of the Model UN Roedean teams won their debate at Wits University – the girls were Franci Van Rhyn, Rabia Abba Omar and Tamsin Mathew. These girls were as a result chosen as delegates for the SAIIA Young leaders Conference .
Each of the girls as delegates has been assigned a research perspective to report back on to the rest of their committee. Research perspectives are based on work they did earlier this year and reflect the multiple stakeholders groups that are connected to the committee topic. Regardless of personal opinions the delegate has to challenge herself and fellow delegates to consider the issues from as many different viewpoints as possible. Finally the delegate has to think of herself as a representative of other young people from her school, her community, her province and her country.
Each year the theme of the SAIIA Young Leaders Conference is designed to reflect global trends and discussions. The theme for the 2013 conference will therefore focus on the current global priorities after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline of 2015 known as the Post-2015 Development Agenda( Building the Post-2015 Development Agenda is a United Nations (UN) led global consultation project, aimed at developing a new framework of development which will become effective when the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015).
Roedean’s three delegates to the conference each have been assigned to a different committee: Franci to the Conflict, Violence and Disaster Committee, Rabia to the Environmental Sustainability Committee, and Tamsin to the Addressing Inequalities Committee.
We wish the girls all the best in this exciting activity. They will have to prepare research and present a position paper and opening statement, besides negotiate and draft a resolution together with the other delegates. It will be a great opportunity to meet delegates from all over SA and grapple with real world issues and be part of giving a voice to the youth of SA on these critical topics.
Mrs Marj Brown, Model UN coach, Roedean.