Debating Trio win United Nations Tournament

A passionate trio of debaters recently competed alongside representatives from 200 schools from across the Country in the United Nations Association UK's inaugural Model UN schools tournament and returned to school with the first prize, an all-expenses paid, 4 day trip to the UN Headquarters in New York.

The theme for the event, held at the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization in London, was Uniting the Nations and was making a reality of the Olympic Truce. Cathy Allen, Teacher of EAL and coordinator of the Schools Model United Nations programme, accompanied the team to London. She explained, Students heard from Bill Morris, London 2012 Director of Ceremonies, who outlined the breadth of Truce activities taking place around the UK and from Conrad Bailey of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. He  described how the UK worked to secure the support of all 193 UN Member States for a UN General Assembly resolution on the Truce.

Afterwards, students were split into six 'UN Security Council' committees representing country ambassadors. They discussed how the ideals of the Olympic Truce could be used to build a safer, fairer and more sustainable world for us all. As in real life, not all negotiations led to a 'UN resolution', but every committee came up with a host of ideas on peace and security, human rights protection and international development. Cathy Allen added, The calibre of debate was incredibly high and the buzz throughout the day was palpable.

Five years ago, the initial idea behind the Schools regular participation in Model United Nation forums was made by Ms Allen and since then the School has encouraged many students to participate in Model United Nations events in the UK and the Netherlands. This gives them the opportunity to meet other young people of a similar mind set, with similar abilities and background knowledge, to engage in high level debates about real issues that will affect their generation.
Ms Allen explained, The School appreciates the importance, in an increasingly globalised world, of assisting Ellesmerians to take their place as global citizens. They need to have the intellectual capacity to assimilate a mass of information quickly and clearly, understand bias and how it affects the way global issues are discussed, think independently and creatively, and be able to synthesize all this into coherent persuasion during unpredictable debates. Although examinations may teach some things, they are certainly not enough for the next generation of leaders who will need to understand the global issues of our planet. 

The School was represented by Year 11 pupil, Josh Bendel, Lower Sixth Form student, Louis Bostock-Williams, and Rory Maclean, from the Upper Sixth. Whilst Rory was awarded the title of best delegate in his committee, Louis was voted the speaker with the most notable decorum, and together the trio won the team 1st prize.

Rory added All 3 of us really enjoyed the whole experience, apart from the 5.00am start to travel down to London. The cut and thrust of the debate was exhilarating. We never expected to win, but as you can imagine, we are all very excited about the trip to New York in the summer

Photo : L-R   Louis Bostock-Williams, Rory Maclean and Josh Bendel  

20th March 2012  Back to News