Model United Nations
Up to 20 students from years 10 – 13 get the unique opportunity to attend the prestigious Princeton Model United Nations (MUN) Conference in New Jersey in November. As well as experiencing the sights and sounds of NYC for a few days before the conference begins, the CPHS delegation competes with other students from across the world and learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations. MUN involves and teaches researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities. The participants are placed in committees and assigned countries and other organizations or political figures, where they represent members of that body. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with a topic or topics that their committee will discuss. The group works hard each week for an hour and a half to research their topics or person so that they are ready to take on the other nations and find a resolution to the issue. It is challenging, at times intimidating but most of all it builds resilience and confidence in dealing with many topical issues that are affecting our young people.
Here are a few highlights from staff from this years trip:
Day 1 of the PMUNC:
"Dressed in their finery and with their opening speeches hot off the press the first session of the conference began with a key note
speech from Martin Flaherty professor of Law at Fordham Law School and visiting professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton and also a Princeton Alumni. His speech challenged the students to consider the global issues faced by all nations, and to understand the importance of maintaining good international relations and diplomacy amongst all world states.
We, as staff, felt an extreme sense of pride as we watched the students listen intently and saw them preparing for their particular committees. Armed with their room assignments and a map of the conference centre off they went to conquer the world!
As the committees got into full swing we as staff were lucky enough to watch proudly as our Prep students debated with flair and enthusiasm on a huge variety of issues.
The committees ranged in both numbers of members and from the looks of the some of the young people ages! A particular highlight for me was walking into a crisis committee of the European Union to see Elana Sinclair (who was Christian Kern the Chancellor of Austria) holding her own in a room full of people who I thought looked like they were in their twenties! Well done Elana!
Another feature of the MUN committees that really struck me was the pace of the debate taking place as well as the rate at which the delegates are scribbling furiously onto note pads and passing papers around their committees in search of political allies. The fact that they could do this, listen, and make coherent arguments was amazing to me especially as the time edged towards 11pm!
The resilience that our students have shown in the face of the frankly anxiety-inducing preparation for the start of committees was an absolute privilege to bear witness to.”
Ms Andrews, Ms Devlin and Mr Mc Murtry.