The eighth annual George Watson's College Model United Nations (MUN) Conference took place this weekend, from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 March, with over 600 pupils attending from all across the country as well as from further afield. Indeed some delegates travelled from as far away as Iran, America, and Norway to take part. It also saw Mr Rob Crawford return to direct the proceedings.
With a brief introduction from Mr Crawford and this year's Secretary-Generals, Jack Dryden and Dan Roberts (both S6), the conference began with all delegates congregating in their respective committee rooms to vote on the topics for debate for the rest of the weekend.
The debates on Saturday covered a wide range of topics including Maternal Health, Hydraulic Fracking and Media Regulation. In addition to their own debate, many committees were able to gain real life insight into the topics they covered through speeches given by guest speakers. These included John McLellan, former editor of The Scotsman, Director of the Scottish Newspaper Society who spoke on the topic of the freedom of the press, and Dr Vinca Russell of the Witherby Publishing Group, who spoke on the topic of managing emissions in the shipping industry. Dr Liz Grant, Deputy Director Global Health Academy at the University of Edinburgh, also joined us in the general assembly to speak on her work in palliative care.
All delegates were encouraged to take part of one of the highlights of the weekend: the MUN ceilidh and disco, which took place on the Saturday evening. This gave delegates and chairs alike a chance to take a break from the intense debate and socialise with the other delegates from different countries, cultures, and committees who they had previously not had a chance to interact with.
The GWC MUN press team worked hard throughout the weekend to publish two editions of the two publications covered all of these events: The MUN and The ScotsMUN. These papers were also used to seed information, which was available to all delegates preceding the emergency debate on the Sunday afternoon.
Overall the conference was a huge success: with participants not only being able to take part in the ever-rising standard of debate on current affairs, but also having a great time in the process. Many delegates and delegations were commended at the end of the conference for their outstanding contribution to the event.
Congratulations to all those who organised this now most eagerly anticipated of occasions, as this undoubtedly allowed everything, from the provisions of food for all participants to the overall procedure of the debates, to run smoothly.
Fiona Donnan (S6)