It is only fitting that after long hours of rigorous planning towards this event, there will be a long blog to act as tribute…
Now, where should I begin? You got it – what better way to stimulate debate? This delegate sets forth the clause: Urges the importance of…just kidding, I’m not a delegate (although I do urge you to thank the wonderful team that made this conference possible).
MUN (Model United Nations) acts as an academic simulation of the UN – valuable skills are developed from this, alongside the fantastic opportunity to familiarise oneself with international relations and diplomacy. Personally, having the privilege to act as Chair was a humbling experience. Being introduced to a whole unfamiliar style of debating procedures was a challenge I relished, especially when having to coordinate meetings. Oh, and did I mention? A wide array of prizes were available: not just certificates but custom-made trophies too. (Sadly, I could not get them as a Chair!)
The Concord MUN (ConMUN) committee certainly outdid itself, organising and planning the event to such granular detail. The event’s success is undoubtedly attributed to the team’s hard work and feedback from students acts only as testament to this.
Upon reflecting on his day, first time debater Darren from 6.1 said: “It was a refreshing break from studying for exams and was an overall fun experience to try something new”. Like Darren, attending a MUN conference was a first, where many were pushed out of their comfort zone (which, to be fair, isn’t an everyday opportunity). This acted as an excellent complementary program to Concord’s Pre-U Week, where MUN functioned as a platform for students to refine their orating abilities. Kaitlyn, also new and from 6.1 added: “I learnt about different issues in the financing and budgeting committee. It was indeed a valuable experience and I enjoyed it a lot.”
No – I didn’t forget – here’s a little something from the Secretary General himself, Barney: “It was just incredible to see everyone engaging with the competition. There were lots of interesting and productive discussions within the committees, and we just about managed to avoid starting a full-scale nuclear war, so in my mind, it was a very successful event!”
Next, I’ve got some insider scoop (Oh how exciting…), Under-Secretary Adelyn states: “To say that organising this conference was a daunting task would be an understatement. My job
requirements were to create the Delegate Resources and Training book. It was tiring but the efforts were well paid off. It was extremely wonderful and satisfying to see all the students step out of their comfort zones and try their best at MUN, something they were unfamiliar with.”
Following her initial thoughts, Adelyn expressed: “It was heartening to see so many capable people such as Andrea, Brandon, Ecaterina, Kheng, Shaz, Ivan, Symren and Reuben step forward to selflessly volunteer their services as Chairs. Their attention to detail and intellect have certainly come into play for ConMUN progressing so smoothly, so my utmost thanks goes to them. In the span of around one month, the Secretariat consisting of Barney (Secretary General), Kenneth (Chief of Staff), Caitlin (Country Under-Secretary) and Rachel (Committee Under-Secretary) have all worked tireless and relentlessly to create this well-rounded conference and I am personally so grateful for their constant support.”
(I thank you too!)
Wait hold up, not so fast. The fun isn’t over yet and we haven’t seen the last of MUN. Said Barney and Adelyn respectively: “We’re already thinking about how we could grow the event for next year so we’re hoping it could become a regular Concord event for the school to do each year.
“I look forward to what the next Secretariat plans for ConMUN 2022!”.
Lastly, profound thanks should be given to Mrs Wear, whose dream of creating the first-ever Concord MUN (ConMUN), spurred the Secretariat into planning the conference from scratch and giving valuable insights.
I get it, you’re all done with reading. Motion to adjourn debate? This Chair passes the motion.
Brandon and Shirley – 6.1
Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition
As the largest British Parliamentary schools’ debate competition in the UK, the Oxford Schools’ Debating Competition is aimed for keen students aged 14-18. Contentious motions are expected to be given to the students where there is only 15 minutes preparation, with no access to the Internet or help from external parties. Students then utilise this time to structure their arguments in a cohesive manner to formulate a well-reasoned speech- clever use of word play can often come to be helpful in terms of gaining points.
Concord sent two teams, each with two members, into the competition on the 9th of February. Given the current lockdown measures, this year’s Oxford Schools was held remotely via Zoom where the teams would then be allocated a dedicated breakout room with an experienced judge. It was initially a daunting prospect, the idea that you had to speak outrightly to complete strangers, with no easy method to gauge the facial expressions/emotions of others. Nonetheless, the competition went smoothly – where there were two debates. The motions were followed as such:
- This House Opposes banning controversial famous figures from social media platforms
- This House Regrets the glamorisation of start-up culture that encourages people to start their own companies rather than pursue traditional career paths
On a personal level, I enjoyed thinking of arguments with my partner and although the debate was virtually staged, we communicated our ideas to each other effectively. Asking the relevant POIs, giving out clear rebuttals are all key to secure a good score in the eyes of the judges. The judges from Oxford were very constructive and critical when it came to their feedback, giving us invaluable tips that are not explicitly taught formally. They were well aware that, for many competitors, it was their first time debating. It was genuinely a fun, intellectually stimulating, experience despite not being able to visit the prestigious Oxford Union at the university as it should be during a normal year.
Lastly, a deep congratulations to Rachel and Ethan from 6.1 who managed to bring Concord forwards into the Nationals on the 13th of March.
Brandon – 6.1
Concord competes in ShrewsMUN
‘CONCORD MODEL UNITED NATIONS SOCIETY EMBARKED ON A LOCAL MUN COMPETITION AT SHREWSBURY SCHOOL’
Recently, the Concord Model United Nations (MUN) Society embarked on a local Model United Nations competition at Shrewsbury School.
Model United Nations, or MUN, is a form of simulated debate wherein participants (or in MUN jargon, ‘delegates’) represent countries in committees to discuss relevant political issues, such as human rights issues or international security concerns.
This is achieved through delegates of countries presenting their stances and proposed action on such issues. Meanwhile, other countries either argue for or against their stance and proposed action, ending with a democratic voting procedure to see if the suggested action will be carried out.
Reflecting on the competition, Kieran from 6.1 – a very experienced MUN contributor who participated in the MUN competition in London last term – said: “MUN competitions can take place far from Concord – a particular problem when the competitions are often over multiple days, hence, it was a relief that it was so close to campus this time.”
Our delegates prepared by formulating clauses to submit for debate at the competition. In MUN, clauses are the means through which you present your stance and suggested actions, typically as part of a resolution. The team also took time researching in-depth topics surrounding our respective countries, which were Venezuela and Germany.
Said Kieran: “These were particularly trying tasks given the importance of these countries on an international level – Germany as a European ‘regional powerhouse’ and Venezuela as a country in turmoil, with disputed leadership and an economy experiencing hyperinflation. These countries made for highly relevant topic choices at the ShrewsMUN debate, including the economic situation in Venezuela.
“While we did not win any awards, the competition won the hearts and interests of the delegates, immersing us in varying styles of debate and moulding our delegates into becoming confident public speakers and adept debaters.”
Overall, the competition was definitely a learning experience for our delegates. The competition prompted an interest in international affairs, in no small part due to the hospitality of our hosts at Shrewsbury School, as well as the forthcoming debate that took place. Thank you ShrewsMUN.
Sam – 6.1