The junior MUN team have arrived at Northbridge International School, for the 'Pressing for Peace: The Complexities of Peace and Conflict Resolution in a Globalised World' conference.
We arrived at the hotel briefly before heading to Northbridge International School. Quickly moving into their respective committees, General Assembly 1 and 3, the junior MUN team opened proceedings by presenting their well-honed speeches.
Over the course of the next two days, students will embody delegates of either Australia, Canada, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and Qatar. Their aim: to seek resolutions for problems such as ethics of corporations, the rights of indigenous people and ways to counter terrorism.
After the speeches, students had the opportunity to negotiate with other delegates from other schools before heading to an opening assembly to officially start proceedings. Here, they were privileged to be in the company of Mr. Polycarp Ambe-Nida, the keynote speaker, who offered students an insight into life as a United Nations Envoy. Cameroon born Ambe-Nida considers himself a citizen of the world through his experiences working within the UN. His role within the UN is to the translate testimony from eye witnesses to some of humanity's most abhorrent atrocities. Fearing for his humanity after becoming numb to years of hearing the worst of mankind, Ambe-Nida explained that events such as MUN fill him with hope for the future.
The day began with a flurry of activity as the delegates focused on completing resolutions before the approval panel opened at 10am. The delegate of Canada (Quynh Anh) co-submitted a resolution on the ethics of corporations and labour laws, and, after a rousing presentation, it was unanimously voted through.
Over the course of the day, delegates of Australia (Ky Lam) and Qatar (Noah) gave presentations on their resolutions with delegates of Japan (Tuong Anh), the Russian Federation (Bao Linh) and the United Kingdom (Kanta) challenging other countries through pertinent Points of Information (POIs).
The evening banquet began with a second United Nations guest speaker, Mr. Nicholas Koumjian. Working as a prosecutor in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), Koumjian reminded the audience of the very real and recent history of Cambodia before quoting William Saroyan as saying, 'The whole world and every human being in it is everybody's business,' encouraging pupils to think beyond their own personal circumstances and consider the wider world.
We then had the pleasure of a traditional Khmer welcome dance as well as performances from students at the host school.
After another long, but rewarding day, we made our way back to the hotel to relax and prepare for the final day of deliberation.