Pressing world issues discussed at Model UN conference help students appreciate worldviews different from their own.
The Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly (SOMA) is a three-day international relations simulation for high school students held at the University of Toronto. In April, Redeemer sent six delegates to the conference where they had an opportunity to debate important issues of our era and draft resolutions in response. “This was my third year doing Model UN and each time offers a different experience,” said Grade 12 student, Bethany L. “I learned about other countries’ policies and values during debate.”
Five students represented North Korea and one student represented Austria. Hannah V., a Grade 12 student, “enjoyed the opportunity to see world issues from perspectives unique from my own.” Students prepared for this conference by learning about their countries in advance throughout the year with their coaches.
Through discussion, diplomacy, and consensus, students tried to advance their nation’s interests while negotiating on world issues. Hannah noted that “throughout the conference, we had intense discussions as well as light-hearted and fun moments.” She was inspired by the diplomatic abilities of other youth and discovered “it was empowering to be able to give impromptu speeches, a skill I did not know I had.”
Redeemer students sat on different committees including:
the UN General Assembly
the UN Human Resource Council
the UN World Health Organization
the UN Economic and Social Council
the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Each committee engaged in lively debate on a variety of pressing world issues such as the one China policy, transformation of labor, water security and sanitation in developing nations, and providing meaningful education to out-of-school children. Their goal was to produce relevant resolutions for forward action.
Our students exercised their ability to problem-solve and work with others who are motivated and passionate to deal with topics and issues of global concern. Bethany also learned it’s important to “realize there are many people and cultures around the world who hold vastly different worldviews than you.”