Shrewsbury School

ShrewsMUN V Secretary General reflects on ‘successful’ debate

Wednesday 24 February 2021

On the 7th of February, Shrewsbury hosted its first ever virtual MUN conference: ShrewsMUN V.

Rhys Woodward (M) Secretary General of ShrewsMUN V, reflects on the ShrewsMUN V.

“It gives me great pride to think that my Executive Team and I successfully made Shrewsbury history in running ShrewsMUN V; a conference which was, by all accounts, a resounding success. Looking back on the 7th of February, which now seems a very long time ago, my Executive Team have wholly positive memories and can confirm that every Salopian involved rose to the occasion.

“The day started with a meeting at 9:25am in which Mr. Peach (Master i/c MUN) and I gave our ‘team talks’ to Shrewsbury delegates and chairs and finished by answering any final queries that people had. Whilst this was happening, the 200 external delegates, coming from schools all over the world, were enjoying our pre-recorded opening ceremony and receiving all the information needed for the day.

“Then, at 10:00am, committees began with a period of lobbying and icebreakers which put delegates at ease and gave them the feeling for the conference that we had aimed for: skilled debate with a definitive mix of casual discussion and Salopian charm. Following on from this, delegates were in committees all morning, stopping for lunch at 12:30, which allowed them to get their teeth into a variety of topics, which ranged from Global Political Corruption, Reducing the Economic Impact of COVID-19 and Iran’s access to Nuclear Weapons. Meanwhile, Mr. Peach, Milton Tai (Deputy Secretary General), Joseph Meisner (Head of Press) and I were dipping in and out of committees and ensuring the smooth running of the conference.

“Now, it would be slightly disingenuous of me to claim that we did not experience our share of technical or administrative problems during our day of debate. In all honesty, there were probably more than I would like to admit. But I think that it was our years of MUN experience and the expertise of Mr. Peach in the running of MUN conferences that really saved us throughout the day. No matter the issue, we all remained calm and can pride ourselves on our clear communication to external advisors which led to every issue being rapidly resolved. And I think that this is what made ShrewsMUN such a success, alongside the excellent chairing and fantastic debate on show.

“Returning to the timetable for the day, at 12:30 the delegates were issued their ‘crisis’ joint-committee topics for the afternoon, which were The Issue of Global Terrorism (for Human Rights + Security Council and Political + Disarmament) and The Issue of Climate Change (for ECOSOC + Environment and Health + Future). Delegates were then encouraged to produce resolutions for these topics which would be debated until 16:00 and precede the closing ceremony. Similarly, to the morning, we had a few of us going in and out of committees making sure that everything was running smoothly, whilst also receiving feedback from external advisors and Shrewsbury teachers who had decided to pop in and watch the debate.

“By the end of the day, all awards had been handed out, with Venezuela (Withington Girls’ School) achieving the ‘Outstanding Delegation’ award. After we had said our virtual farewell to all the external delegates and advisors, we had a Shrewsbury Zoom meeting at 16:30 to get everybody’s opinion on how it went, which was (thankfully) all very positive.

“As a final note, I’d like to look towards the future of ShrewsMUN. The Lower Sixth that contributed to ShrewsMUN all did an incredibly good job, with two of them chairing strong committees (Human Rights and Political) and another acting as a delegate in the Security Council. I made it clear to them during the preparations for the conference that they should try to gain a strong understanding of the process as it will inevitably be their job next year, along with (hopefully) having the pleasure of welcoming delegates physically to Shrewsbury. It really is a tremendous amount of work, that all fortunately paid off on the 7th, but I am sure that whoever takes the reigns for the future will skilfully undertake and produce the best ShrewsMUN yet: ShrewsMUN VI.”

All videos, along with our conference magazine and committee topics, can be found on our website: www.shrewsmun.com

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