500 delegates from across the globe assembled together for our 10th annual Model United Nations (MUN) Conference, in order to discuss contemporary issues affecting their represented countries.
The Friday evening saw an introductory dinner, allowing the delegates to get to know one another and build excitement for the upcoming weekend. An opening address was delivered by MUN Co-ordinators Ms Stratford and Mrs McColm took place before a meeting of each committee, with icebreakers and lobbying in anticipation of the upcoming resolutions being debated to following day.
Saturday morning was kickstarted with the Opening Ceremony, where Secretary Generals Amy Quinn and Joanna Mead (both S6) spoke about feminism and sexual violence: both issues up for debate over the weekend. Melvyn Roffe, Watson's Principal, then talked about symbolism, before an inspiring speech regarding professionalism and integrity was delivered by Keynote Speaker, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Scotland, Mr Andrey Pritsepov.
Other guest speakers in the Lecture Theatre that day included Professor John Curtice, Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde and Senior Research Fellow at NatCen Social Research; Professor Matthew MacIver Convenor of the European Council on Minority Languages and GWC Governor; Professor Massimiliano Vasile Coordinator of the Stardust Network and Director of the Advanced Space Concepts Lab at the University of Strathclyde; and Ms Oonagh O’Brien, Lecturer at the Institute for Global Health and Development at Queen Margaret University. They spoke on a range of imperative contemporary issues, alongside the resolutions being debated in various classrooms. In the afternoon some delegates had a further opportunity to go to Parliament and have a Q&A session with MSP Daniel Johnston and proceeded to debate 'annexation' in one of the two large committee rooms at the Parliament.
After a busy day of debates the delegates had a chance to relax and socialise at the Saturday Night Ceilidh. As usual, this enabled them to form friendships and have a chance to reflect on the day and was an entertaining way to end the day.
A new (and improved) format for Sunday saw delegators planning and lobbying within their geographical groups, before debating a resolution about the Zika virus in the General Assembly, which was passed. During this the General Assembly was alarmed by a shout from the Zimbabwean delegation, giving way to the weekend’s Emergency Debate.
With successful resolutions, informative speeches and vibrant press team writing the daily news, the weekend was an overall success – perhaps the best GWC Model United Nation Conference to date.
Rowan Wilson (S5)