Interview with Hannes Bischoff (Grade 12) concerning his recent Nord Anglia UN MUN Summit in New York
- How did you find out about the UN MUN Summit in New York? This is an annual event which is hosted by Nord Anglia at the United Nations in New York. The event takes place during the summer holiday and up to two students from each Nord Anglia school can participate in “Model United Nations (MUN)” debates. Students in Grades 11 and 12 were asked if they wanted to participate and I put my name forward. We were told that the debates would concern UN Sustainable Development Goals No. 4 and No. 5 as these are the ones which were chosen by Nord Anglia to focus on during the last academic year in schools.
- What are these Sustainable Development Goals? These goals are related to gender equality and global quality education. I think these are noble causes which need a great deal of improvement across the world. We all know that these goals are at different levels of understanding and development in each country of the world ranging from highly progressive to virtually no standards at all.
- Did you have to prepare yourself for these topics before you left for New York as they seem to be fairly complex issues? Yes. I had to prepare what the MUN call “position papers” beforehand concerning these topics and I was informed that I would be representing India. I, therefore, had to take the stance that India might take at the United Nations when debating these topics. It was necessary to do some research on how these topics are addressed in India right now and I also had to bare in mind the cultural implications that Indian people might have.
- Having prepared this in advance, what happened after you arrived in New York? Well, all the students went to the “Hard Rock Café” for pizza on the first evening. This was a golden opportunity for us to get to know one another meeting Nord Anglia students from across the globe.
- OK, so what happened on your first full day? We held workshops regarding how MUN was being developed in each of our schools and gathered ideas about how cultures affect gender equality and potential barriers that restrict quality education around the world.
- What for you was the most important aspect of the Summit? I believe the second day of the Model United Nations debate was the most important as that was the day that we passed resolutions and concluded with amendments. The high-level political forum was another highlight as we had the chance to meet the director of Mr Bean movies who is very knowledgeable about these topics. He was an inspiration to us all as well as Mr Andrew Fitzmaurice, the CEO of Nord Anglia Education. Moreover, the Director of UNICEF Child Relations gave a passionate speech which motivated us all to strive towards creating a better world.
- Would you recommend other students to participate in this event in the future? Absolutely. I highly recommend it to anyone as the experience was invaluable. I was able to gain further understanding as there was a range of diverse perspectives from students representing cultures and nations across the globe. In addition, I think this will be a great item to show about my care and understanding of global issues when I apply to universities during the process of this year.
- Hannes, thank you for this interview. You are welcome.
Hannes is a Grade 12 student at Léman this year. If you are interested in attending this event next year, please get in touch with Hannes who can provide you with further details. Precise details about next year’s Summit is usually announced by Nord Anglia in Spring.