Concord’s first Model United Nations open to other schools

Concord College invited students from other schools onto campus this month to take part in a Model United Nations (MUN) conference. Five schools took part, making up 12 delegations who came from Shropshire, Cheshire and even as far away as Oxford to discuss and debate motions.

Concord has held successful conferences as internal events for several years now. Students have also greatly enjoyed sending delegations to other schools to participate in their MUN events, so hosting an external conference was the next step for the College’s MUN society.

On the day, students debated a range of different issues. These ranged from the hotly-contested nuances of regulating artificial intelligence to the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the Historical Security Council, delegates even took a look at the French Revolution.

Concordians come from all around the world to study here in Shropshire. It is therefore no surprise that there is a long history of interest in international relations and world affairs.

A highlight of the conference was a special message from one Concord alumnus who has gone on to make his mark in real world diplomacy.

Dr Marty Natalegawa was Indonesia’s Foreign Minister from 2009-2014 and was a diplomat and ambassador. He has been a member of the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Advisory Board on Mediation and has represented Indonesia in many roles at the UN, including as President of the Security Council and Chair of the Security Council Sanctions Committees on the DRC and Rwanda. He has also been a member of the Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and was instrumental in securing Indonesia’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 2012.

His inspirational message to today’s students was about cooperation.


“As you begin your work ahead, I hope you will recognise that many of the problems, challenges and opportunities ahead of us are transnational, transboundary in nature. They are issues such as climate change, such as public health, that defy national solutions alone. They require cooperative partnership.

Therefore as you begin your respective roles as representatives of different countries, different nations, I hope you have that uppermost in your mind, how you can not simply promote your country’s national interest, but also in doing so, be constantly looking for convergences, for consensus to be built, for bridges to be promoted.

Ours is a world that requires greater cooperation and not more divisions between states. Once again congratulations to all of you and all the best to all of you participating in this competition”

Concord English Teacher, Mr Luke Bowen, has been supporting the students in developing MUN at Concord and was delighted with the first external conference:

“The Secretariat did a fantastic job realising their dream of hosting our first Model United Nations conference at Concord open to external delegates.

“They were well supported by our team of Prefects and conference Chairs, who as well as running the committees, had the unenviable role of judging between the extremely competitive performances by the attending delegations. It was clear that the quality of the debate was remarkably high throughout, and the event enjoyed by those in attendance.

“I would like to extend my thanks to all the schools who joined us on the day. We were lucky to host such eager and determined delegates, some of whom had travelled rather far to join us for this half day. Despite the competitive nature of the event, an underlying spirit of cooperation was plain to see during the rest periods and closing ceremony”

Sohaib (6.1), one of the student committee chairs added:

“Chairing the Security Council (UNSC) was an enriching journey, filled with lively debates and new friendships. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Secretariat and Mr. Bowen for their invaluable support in organising this unforgettable event. Interacting with delegates from nearby schools like Ellesmere and Shrewsbury, as well as those from farther schools like King’s School Chester and d’Overbroecks, brought a diverse range of perspectives to the table. It was a pleasure to facilitate diplomatic dialogue and foster connections that transcended boundaries and made the experience both fulfilling and enjoyable.”

Concord students and staff enjoyed a wonderful afternoon and are grateful to their visitors from Shrewsbury School, Ellesmere College, Oswestry School, d’Overbroeks and King’s School Chester for making the event such a constructive experience. Special thanks go to Dr Natalegawa for his message and encouragement.