Twenty-five Shawnigan Model UN delegates participated at the Vancouver Model United Nations conference, Jan. 19-21.
The largest high school student-organized Model United Nations conference in North America, Vancouver Model United Nations (VMUN) is one of Canada's premier educational simulations where students are assigned to represent a nation in an engaging debate regarding pressing issues, such as global health, environment, security, finance, economies, human rights, and development. This year, VMUN had 20 committees for the students to choose from, including General Assemblies, mid-size specialized agencies, smaller regional bodies, and crisis committees.
Social studies teacher and Model UN instructor Paul Klassen noted that students Bonita C. (WHO) and Isaac L. (House of Commons) stepped up to the plate to volunteer their time as staff in their respective committees, a role that required extensive experience in MUN and came with the responsibly of helping to manage and organize more than 150 participating delegates in each case.
Owen C. was the head delegate for the Shawnigan group and spoke about the experience in Chapel on Jan. 27. “What matters most is that we saw so many new students from Shawnigan MUN take a leap forward," he said. "For some this was their first conference and they were put in front of hundreds of experienced MUN participants. However, they still voiced their countries’ opinions and fought for compromise in debate sessions. Although some of you might think that speaking much doesn’t sound like much, it is. I applaud those of you who tried something new and went outside your comfort zone. We had such a phenomenal experience.”
The following Shawnigan students were also recognized formally for their VMUN contributions. “The awards are not the focus of why we do Model UN,” shares Mr. Klassen. “But they are the proverbial ‘cherry on top.’”
Ainsley F. (Jordan). Honourable Mention (WHO).
Kerry W. (China). Honourable Mention (CCPCJ).
Aaryan K. (USA). Outstanding Delegate (WTO).
Damir K. (Estonia) Honourable Mention (WTO).
Natalie U. (Saudi Arabia) - Best Researched (IAEA).
Uma T. - Best Delegate - Russian Revolution (ACC).
Owen C. - Best Researched - Bolivia (UNSC).
In addition to attending VMUN, the group was able to enjoy a UBC tour where they met with several alumni who are at various stages in their engineering studies at the university.