Report by Grace O’Mara (M LVI) and films by Dave Clifford (Film Fellow) and Angus Warburg (PH UVI):
ShrewsMUN 2 was a whirlwind two-day conference, where schools from across the country came to represent their nation and engage in debate.
On the morning of the conference, the executive team, Oliver Bureau (Ch UVI), the Secretary General, and his deputies Mill Luangamornlert (SH UVI) and Chad Usher (S LVI) stood waiting anxiously for the first minibus to arrive. There needn’t have been any worry, and soon Alington Hall brimmed with eager delegates.
The opening ceremony focussed on the conference theme of “Trust and Dialogue” and a speech from Lord Carlile of Berriew. Lord Carlile encouraged us to be forward-thinking and even said that if there were any “young, pretentious left-wing radicals” in the room, they were just like him when he was younger. He impressed upon us that the value of the UN came not in the fiery speeches made on stage, but rather in the back-room talks that allowed nations to find common ground. This point complemented the theme of the conference by emphasising the need for genuine dialogue, rather than bluster, to engender trust.
Soon the conference was well underway and as the Head Chair of the Special Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals, I can say that the standard of debate was high and that delegates managed to find compromises much better than in the real UN.
Other chairs, like Tamara Fox (MSH UVI) and Nina Churchill (M UVI) in the Security Council, found that while debate was fierce, very little was agreed upon. However, it was not just the chairing nor the delegates that made the debate. ShrewsMUN was very fortunate to have a wonderful group of volunteers acting as secretaries to help with the administrative part of the conference.
Moreover, we had an excellent Press Team of Tom Hughes (CH UVI) and Sam Bayliss (Rt UVI), who managed to put together the second edition of “The Salopian Weekender”, with only a few tongue-in-cheek jokes, in just two days. We were also very fortunate to be catered by the ever-efficient staff at KH.
After a full day of debate, delegates were given the chance to have even more fun at the MUN Social that was hosted in Quod. It was a great chance to cement friendships made throughout the day and finished promptly at 10:20pm, in deference to the following day of debate.
On Sunday, after a morning of debating resolutions, the delegates moved into General Assembly, which is where all the delegates assembled in one room to debate a resolution, proposed by China. It was chaotic and challenging, but the General Assembly was one of the highlights of the conference.
The conference finished with a speech from the Secretary General Oliver Bureau; and as quickly as it started, ShrewsMUN 2 was over. After months of preparation, all the hard work had come to fruition in a well organised, educational and most importantly fun conference.
After this conference, we are all more excited than ever for ShrewsMUN 3!
Please have a look at the video put together during the final morning of the Conference by Angus Warburg, which was shown during the Closing Ceremony:
And please follow the link to see a video put together by Dave Clifford: ShrewsMUN 2. Both videos capture well the atmosphere of the conference: