Once again, the hard work, persistence and developed skill of Burnaby students has become clear. A group of 20 students participated in the UN Association in Canada Mini Model UN Forum, held at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School in Vancouver.
6 of the students acted as Mentors – facilitating small group break-out sessions in order that all participants consider and then collaborate to create solutions to the many inequalities and injustice in the world. The Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations provided a framework for the discussions: 17 goals that if met in 15 years as is the plan, would mean the end of poverty.
Other Burnaby students acted as Participants, learning mostly for the first time about the SDGs, individual country’s situations, and also the same format of debate the the UN General Assembly uses. Students converged on Vancouver from Burnaby South, Burnaby Mountain, Alpha, Byrne Creek, Burnaby Central and Moscrop – great representation. And they did well! All contributed to the small groups, some mustered their courage to speak to the full group and the Mentors supported everyone to learn and improve their Model UN skills!
While the Mentors encouraged the students they had newly met to share their opinions, they also synthesized the entire deliberations of the later full group session into a polished UN resolution – a proposal for member states of the UN to support numerous specific strategies that would best implement the SDGs.
Burnaby students involved in Model UN conferences are developing a good reputation for knowledge and integrity. It’s not an effortless task to understand everything there is to know about a country regarding a specific and complex global issue and then talk about it – never mind tell people what to do about it – when you are in the age range 13-18. This is a tough gig even for adults. Our students master their Model UN skills over time, eventually becoming organizers and Secretary-Generals of their own conferences! Many have then moved on to university Model UN conferences.
Great job showing Vancouver how MUN is done!