Learning the art of international diplomacy

Learning the art of international diplomacy

Fifteen QE sixth-formers successfully got to grips with how countries as diverse as the USA and Pakistan view the world in a Model United Nations conference.

The QE Year 12 team spent weeks preparing for the annual MUN event at St Paul’s School in London.

Model United Nations is an educational simulation of the real UN at which participants can gain greater understanding of diplomacy and international relations, as well as learning skills including research, public speaking, debating and teamwork.

Economics teacher Sheerwan O’Shea-Nejad said: “Our boys were already confident, as evidenced from their ability to lobby other delegations, but I am sure their confidence will only grow after their excellent performance.

“All the students enjoyed the experience immensely and relished the opportunity to improve their debating skills and knowledge of these important global issues. Many friendships were made and the boys hope that they will be able to attend another in-person MUN soon and are even considering hosting one next year.”

At MUN conferences, pupils are assigned as delegates to a country and participate in committees that deal with different sets of issues.

Policy proposals submitted ahead of the conference required the QE cohort to convey their countries’ plan to tackle particular global issues. Examples included: closing Guantanamo Bay; handling the tensions in the Taiwan Strait; overseas electoral rigging; nuclear testing on the moon; disarming the Taliban, and decolonising the Western Sahara. The boys had spent time researching topics and the stance they were representing.

On the first two days, the delegates engaged in some heated debate on the merits of their resolutions in separate committees, before choosing the best of them to be presented and discussed in General Assembly on the third day.

“The students debated and lobbied well, with Aryaman Madan and Nayel Muhammad Huda especially active in forming alliances with other delegations, both during committee meetings and in-between them,” said Mr O’Shea-Nejad. “Nayel was recognised as the best speaker on the Women’s Rights Committee and Abir Mohammed as the best speaker on the Legal Committee.”

Reflecting afterwards, QE delegate Ryan Whorra said: “MUN was an amazing experience, due to the rich debates between all the delegates as well as learning the art of diplomacy as all delegates attempted to achieve their countries’ objectives.”

Danny Adey said: “It was a great opportunity to get a better understanding of the inner workings of international politics and meet new people.”

Mathavan Chandra-Mohan added: “It was really interesting to debate current issues with students from other schools,” Rahul Doshi that the conference was “great fun”, while at the same time the debates were “challenging”.

The QE group, with their committee, comprised:

USA: Aryaman Madan (Security), Danny Adey (Women), Ruixuan Wu (Special Political and Decolonisation Committee – SPECPOL), Rahul Doshi (Disarmament and International Security – DISEC) and Jeshvin Jesudas (Legal);

Pakistan: Abir Mohammed (Legal), Frank Zhang (DISEC) and Kai Mukherjee (SPECPOL);

Ireland: Surya Dhaka (Legal), Yash Makwana (SPECPOL) and Aarian Hundal (DISEC);

Saudi Arabia: Ryan Whorra (DISEC), Nayel Muhammad Huda (Women), Mathavan Chandra-Mohan (SPECPOL) and Mukund Soni (Legal).