Model United Nations Conference

The second McKinnon Model UN was held on Friday 22 April 2016, in collaboration with the UNAA (Victorian Division). Students from Glen Eira College, Keysborough College (Banksia and Acacia Campus), Kilvington Grammar, Mentone Girls Grammar, Noble Park Secondary College and Norwood Secondary College joined a group of McKinnon students to represent the countries they had been assigned to. The topic Rewrite the Future: the Right of Every Child to Universal Primary Education was prepared for from the countries’ perspectives. In several additional preparation sessions and during the conference students slipped into the roles of UN delegates for a day. The additional commitment of time and effort - they also needed to prepare an opening statement on their country’s position in regards to this topic - was outstanding.
The Conference opened with a speech from Wendy O'Brien, a Board member of the UNAA who specializes in the children’s rights, presented facts, worldwide statistics and examples of child soldiers and child labour to the students. The UN assembly of the day was led and instructed by the General Secretary, Mr Ian Howie, UNAAV Vice President and Adjunct Professor, International Studies, RMIT University, who instructed students about procedures and formalities during this conference. Students had to draw on negotiation and diplomacy skills to ensure their views were heard. They had opportunities to present their position to the assembly, negotiate with other ambassadors in caucus sessions and learned to move amendments to the Resolution. Consensus had to be found and the final Resolution was put to a vote.
The engagement of students in key international human rights and social justice issues could be observed throughout the day and the praise of the General Secretary for the students’ thorough preparation and conduct in this event is credit to their incredible effort. I would like to thank Ms Binnion for making this event possible, Mr Kan and Ellen Nichols for the technical support, the facilities team for setting up the hall for the day, the catering team for providing all with morning tea and lunch, and the UNAA team under Conal Thwaite for planning and conducting this event. A special thank you also, to Mr Ian Howie, the General Secretary of the day, who guided students and kept them on task throughout the entire day.

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