Shrewsbury School

Shrewsbury MUN team win Best Delegation Award

Friday 6 December 2019

Congratulations to the Shrewsbury Model United Nations delegates, who enjoyed a busy and very successful weekend at the Tudor Hall MUN Conference (30th November - 1st December).

A total of 150 delegates from eight schools took part in the Conference. Three of our Upper Sixth (Alex Sparkes, James Leaver and Nick Yale) chaired committees, and all the Shrewsbury School delegates got stuck into debate and made good contributions. 

The Shrewsbury A team, representing China, won the Best Delegation Award, with strong competition from runners-up Cheadle Hulme, Tudor Hall and a combined Warwick School/Kings' Warwick team.

In addition, the following won individual awards in their committees:

Best Delegate (1 in each committee)
Mark Ellis
Sam Evans
Rhys Woodward

Highly Commended Delegate (2 in each committee)
Lucia Bowers-Martinez
Joseph Meisner
Milton Tai

Commended Delegate (3 in each committee)
Archie Saint
Bertie Shepherd-Cross

We are extremely grateful to Bertie Shepherd-Cross (O L6) for his insider account of the Conference. In particular, his reflections on the impact Model United Nations has had on him and on his fellow delegates offer a hopeful message for the future... 

Reflecting on Shrewsbury’s latest performance at the recent MUN Tudor Hall Model United Nations Conference, it is clear to see that we have some extremely talented speakers and skilled diplomats in our midst. I was honoured to be a part of this team over the weekend and saw first-hand the tough competition which our Chinese delegation managed to take on, in order to win the Best Delegation Award.

After an early wake-up and journey to Tudor Hall, our ten delegates and three committee chairs arrived at the Opening Ceremony with an open-minded yet determined attitude which lasted throughout the weekend. A rousing speech from the Headmistress about climate change and the importance of tackling it now was followed by a more sombre talk from the guest speaker, Mark Petterson. He told us about his 20 years building wind farms in the renewables industry and the potential climate breakdown ahead if we don’t accelerate the green transition.

Sitting in committees all day flew by and before we knew it, we were enjoying the environmentally-themed MUN Social. Then on Sunday morning we were straight back into joint committees before entering General Assembly. To finish the excellent weekend, we were treated to a successful prize giving and Closing Ceremony. After saying our goodbyes, we headed back to school and while on the bus I contemplated what MUN meant to me.

Ever since starting MUN at the beginning of Lower Sixth I have had my eyes opened, not only to the procedural workings of the UN but more importantly to the impact the experience has had on those brave enough to give it a shot. I have attended two conferences now, and apart from the endless fun, I cannot fail to notice the enthusiasm shared by all those taking part. The passion for the subjects being debated and the eagerness to have your voice heard instil a sense of unity which binds everyone together. It provides a community in which serious issues can be discussed, knowing that one day it will fall into our hands to deal with such pressing problems for real. Thus, I am filled with hope that our generation has the desire and aptitude to make real change and question the status quo to forge a better world in which we can all thrive.

I have learnt that despite being young, people do care. We care about injustices in our society and the more global issues of today, which previous generations have not had to worry about. Some may say that it's just naïve optimism which will soon hit reality. But judging by the dedication and intensity of debate, this is not a temporary hobby but a training ground for future leaders.

We all know that MUN gives you the chance to improve public speaking skills and team cooperation. However, what people don’t realise is that MUN teaches you the art of compromise. Arguably the single most important quality of a good negotiator is the ability to reach a conclusion after hours of discussion. A conclusion that solves the problem and is easily implementable is a very difficult thing to achieve, but with compromise it can be reached. This is perhaps the most vital lesson of MUN that I have learned. It has taught me to accept other perspectives and given me more courage to develop other points of view to form a resolution that suits all needs.

Looking forwards to this weekend, I will be chairing my first committee at the inaugural Shrewsbury High School MUN conference. I am incredibly excited about this milestone in my MUN career. It will give me the independence to control the debate but also the pressure of keeping the discussions lively and on track. Although daunting, I can’t wait to use the gavel and to be in charge of an enthusiastic group of boys and girls committed to solving world issues. This will bring a new perspective to MUN and will challenge me even further than ever before. I hope that the conference is successful and that all the delegates, many of whom will be inexperienced, thoroughly enjoy their first conference, just as I loved mine.

 

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