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Judd Model United Nations General Assembly

On Wednesday 31st January, Judd held its third annual meeting of the Model United Nations General Assembly (MUNGA). 

Over 70 students from the Sixth Form took part in roles including country delegates, members of the secretariat and members of the press. For most students, this was their first experience of Model UN but we were also delighted to welcome back some MUN veterans from Year 13, including some who had taken part in the Oxford Global MUN Conference in November last year.

Model UN gives students the opportunity to participate in a formal assembly, aiming to simulate the structure, procedures and resolution-making of the United Nations. Students representing countries are tasked with researching the perspective of their country on particular world issues and to use advocacy and diplomacy to foster international relations with other delegations. All political interactions must be in character for that country and delegations have to be prepared to defend their positions on certain issues while attempting to agree on a carefully-worded resolution. 

The day commenced with an opening address from our President, reflecting on the international events of the last few months and encouraging delegates not to be intimidated by the challenges facing the world today, but to be hopeful and ambitious that change is possible. The assembly then proceeded to opening addresses given by each delegation. While some addresses took a more conciliatory tone, others were suitably direct in their critique of the regimes of certain member states (particularly 'the West')! Following a period of lobbying, delegations split into two separate committees. The Human Rights committee considered the question of capital punishment and whether it is inconsistent with the human right to life and the right to live free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Meanwhile, the Security and Surveillance Committee discussed how personal information on citizens is acquired, shared and used, a particularly pertinent issue in light of the rapid development of artificial intelligence and surveillance technologies. Following three committee sessions, delegates reconvened for an emergency debate, discussing the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and the funding of UNRWA. Students took to the challenge exceptionally well and were quickly engaged in some very tricky diplomatic wrangling while delivering some outstanding speeches in each committee session.

Working alongside each committee was a superb secretariat team who supported the chair in managing the discussions, passing diplomatic messages and ensuring that votes and resolutions were accurately recorded. We were also delighted to welcome our first ever press team who were actively working on a publication throughout the day. We are excited to see what they produce. 

Congratulations to the prize-winners. 

Best opening address: Harry B and Ivan D (North Korea). Runners-up: Oli P and Josh T (UK) and Noah B and Albert K (India). 

Best delegate for Security and Surveillance: Niamh M (Israel). Runners-up: Max P (Brazil) and Owen M (Syria). 

Best delegate for Human Rights: Oscar M (USA).Runners-up: Diya B (Namibia) and Siobhan A (Sierra Leone). 

Outstanding member of the Secretariat: Himanshu U. 

Best overall delegation: Shreya N and Isabella U (Russia). 

My personal thanks to my colleagues who were instrumental in the running of a very academically challenging and enjoyable day: Mr Burnie (President), Mrs Emmerson (Human Rights Chair), Mr Davies (Security and Surveillance Chair) and Mrs Beck (Secretariat). 

We look forward to our next event.

M Yarham

Secretary-General, Judd MUN.