Last month Loreto students took part in the annual Model United Nations conference at Cheadle Hulme School. One of the biggest in the North West, MUN-CH is always an opportunity for the upper sixth to start the year with a challenging two days of lobbying, debating and negotiation.

This year saw several firsts: for the first time, a Loreto student was invited to act as a guest chair; Nathan Meades, who attended several MUN conferences in his lower sixth year, helped chair the debate in the Special Commission on Poverty. He said “Chairing a committee at MUNCH gave me a very different insight into the world of Model United Nations and proved incredibly enjoyable and immensely rewarding. It will be an experience that I will certainly draw on in the future and will fondly remember.”

This also was the first year we sent two delegations to the conference; representing Burundi and Iran, the delegates had spent the summer preparing draft resolutions on topics as diverse as the arms trade, child labour and poaching. One excellent feature of MUN-CH is always the highly anticipated ‘crisis’ which usually breaks on Saturday afternoon. This year, students were faced with this situation: an electromagnetic pulse, caused by a nuclear accident in a commercial spacecraft caused massive disruption to GPS satellites in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. This escalated to a food crisis as international GPS-dependent shipping imports were halted and a drone crashed into one of Africa’s largest refugee camps, creating a worldwide humanitarian aid crisis.  Students had to work out how to prioritise and tackle the multiple systems failures and it provided a very stimulating and complex challenge for the second day’s debate.

This year was also our best ever year for awards: Toby Reeves-Hall won a commended award in the disarmament committee, whilst Georgina Gledhill, Daniel Johnson and Jack Simmonds all won ‘special mentions’.

All in all, it was an excellent experience for all concerned; Hannah Shephard, representing Burundi on the environment committee, summed it up thus:

“Representing a country nobody had heard of before made MUNCH interesting as we didn’t have any natural allies to work with. Nevertheless, representing a country with such controversial views made for exciting and fun debates. It was also good to see other delegates who I had met previously, and to see that although support in debates may change based on the beliefs of our countries, we can still be friends during breaks.”

Congratulations to all the delegates!

NB the images are credit to Liam Hancox photography apart from the group shot

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