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Kingswood Hosts 28th Bath International Schools’ MUN Conference

Published Friday 8th of March 2019 11:43:36 AM

The first weekend in March saw Kingswood play host to the 28th Bath International Schools’ Model United Nations conference. Approximately 400 students took part, representing 70 members states of the UN in two days of debate on a range of issues facing the global community today, including the situation in Yemen, mental health, press freedom, deforestation, weapons of mass destructions, and the rights of women in the Middle East. The conference was opened on Friday evening by our guest speaker, Mr Angus Forbes. Angus had previously visited Kingswood as part of the Wesley Society programme of speakers, and at our Opening Ceremony he again spoke powerfully and persuasively of the need for action to tackle the imminent catastrophe of Climate Change. Poppy, one of Kingswood’s two Secretary Generals for this year’s conference, also spoke, outlining some of the challenges confronting the global community and making an impassioned plea for the importance of education as we move forward into the twenty-first century. Saturday saw the conference participants break up into their separate specialist committees, whilst on Sunday the conference climaxed with the always popular emergency scenarios, where the delegates were asked to respond to an unexpected international crisis; this year these ranged from a biological weapons attack at two of Europe’s major airports to a Russian invasion of Estonia. Jo, sharing the role of Secretary General with Poppy, presided over the final General Assembly and delivered a closing speech in which she reflected eloquently on a range of global issues. Over 90 Kingswood students were involved in the conference, and all played their part in ensuring that the event was once again a great success. With so many students involved in chairing the event, Kingswood fielded two relatively junior delegations at the conference, representing Malawi and Yemen. Despite their comparative inexperience, both delegations enjoyed considerable success. Alma in Year 7 was named Best Junior Delegate in Human Rights 2, whilst Oliver in Year 10 was commended for his work on the Environment Committee. Tara impressed as the representative of Yemen on the Middle East Committee, and was named Best Junior Delegate at the entire conference, a considerable achievement. Others who deserve thanks include the technical crew, who ensured that all the technology worked well over the conference weekend, and the army of secretaries from Westwood, who once again did a phenomenal job in supporting the work of all the committees. Special mention should be made of the chairs, on whose efforts the success of the conference rests. 57 sixth formers were involved in chairing over the weekend and all rose to the challenge of taking charge of their committees magnificently, showing exceptional organisational skills as well as great maturity in dealing with a variety of sometimes difficult situations. After the cancellation of last year’s conference due to snow, many were very inexperienced, but the visiting teachers were full of praise for their professionalism and warm and welcoming manner. The head chairs for the weekend were especially impressive, and deserve a special mention; they were Poppy, Jo, Charlotte, Leo, Josephine, Megan, Davida, Uliana, Kate, Rin, Zoey and Hattie. Mr Woodgate would also like to thank Mrs Davies and Mr Newbould for all their help and support throughout the conference weekend.
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