The fourth Youth Model United Nations Conference (MUN) was held at Regent’s University London from 2-3 July 2017. This event, the largest held at the University so far, brought more than 180 scholars and teachers together to debate critical world issues.
“My students are more determined than ever to become engaged with the world around them, so they can better effect change themselves. The impact of Brexit and [US President Donald] Trump has pushed a lot of them into action. Young people need confidence to operate on the same level as those who may have grown up in a more privileged environment, and Regent’s offers one of the best MUN events available to help them achieve this.”
– Jess Gray, English teacher and Debate Club leader at Bishop Thomas Grant School
The students, from 11 different schools were between 12-18 years old. Led by a team of Regent’s staff and alumni, they examined issues from weapons of mass destruction to racism, the rights of indigenous people, disease in refugee camps and the possibility of global environmental calamity.
The students each took on the role of a different country and formed groups to represent the General Assembly, Human Rights Council, and Security Council. The organisers, a team of Regent’s staff and alumni, gave them real-time updates on conflicts and developing situations around the world.
Schools that participated in Regent’s University London's 2017 Model United Nations conference were:
- St Alban’s High School
- St John’s School Enfield
- Ricards Lodge
- London Nautical School
- Francis Holland School
- Presdales School
- Summerhill School
- St George’s School, Cologne
- Bohunt School
- Merchant Taylor’s School
- Pimlico Academy
Edward Walker, a 2016 Regent’s graduate in International Relations and this year’s MUN Chair was impressed by the commitment of all the young people involved. “I travelled twice to New York as an undergraduate to represent Regent’s at MUN and now I volunteer for the University. The notion of international relations has never been more valuable as the complexity of politics in the real world can increasingly impact anyone, whether you’re from London or Eritrea.”
A Year 7 student from Bohunt School, Edie Caruthers, said: “I’m very interested in politics. Today I’ve been representing Guinea, which has a large population of indigenous people. We’ve been working out how to better protect their rights.”
“Students genuinely benefit from the mix of theory and real world situations,” said MUN coordinator, Sabrina White. “Our Security Council group has been managing a constant flow of information about threats to international peace, because the real Security Council has to do the same. They’re currently dealing with a drought, followed by flash floods and a cholera outbreak in the world’s largest refugee camp in Dadaab, western Kenya.”