Model United Nations
By: Matt Kerr, STS Teacher
On Friday, April 22, Grade 9 students participated in Model United Nations and had the opportunity to engage in discourse with one another to discuss international issues. This year the topic was the ongoing Ukraine refugee crisis. In the morning they were joined via Zoom by retired Canadian Forces Major-General David Fraser who served as a NATO operations commander in Afghanistan. He spoke with the students about NATO and how militaries work with refugees abroad.
The Model United Nations (MUN) program at STS strives to strengthen students' research, debate, and consensus building skills. It also fosters international understanding and greater comprehension of the complex forces that drive decision making around global issues.
Through the Model United Nations (MUN) program, student delegates have the opportunity to learn by doing. Each student is actively engaged by being assigned to "sit" on a simulated committee of an international organization such as the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States, the African Union, or the International Monetary Fund. In these simulated environments students are called upon to represent their assigned country's position on a given global issue. They work towards achieving a resolution, promoting international co-operation while adhering to objectives of national interest and their government's foreign policy. They endeavor to pass resolutions, which outline plans of action to combat problems ranging from the provision of education and healthcare to women in rural environments or international financial fraud, to territoriality of the North Pole.
More than an exercise in debate, Grade 9 students engage in negotiation and consensus building over the course of 3-4 days, as they strive to formulate concrete solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing the world today. Success and an enjoyable experience in the Model United Nations environment requires diligent research and preparation, an appreciation of different perspectives, strong public-speaking skills, and a strong competence in negotiation.
The MUN program offers STS students the opportunity to engage in authentic, experiential learning exercise; an occasion to put into practice the skills and knowledge developed through coursework across diverse disciplines, as well as their expanded understanding of international issues. Both challenging and exciting, this program supports Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School's mission of developing well-balanced students for a life of purpose by inspiring excellence in scholarship, leadership, and character.