The Middle School Model United Nations (MUN) club traveled to its annual international conference, this time in Madrid, Spain, on March 21. In addition to attending the MUN conference, the students had a chance to explore the host city and soak up some of the culture and attractions.
A total of fifteen students from sixth to eighth grade attended the conference in Madrid. However, around a dozen students who were part of the MUN club did not travel to Madrid. Fifth grade students were not allowed to travel and some other students were not able to.
They saw many of the key sites in Madrid, including the main roads and cultural centers of the new city, as well as many parts of the historic city of Madrid. Enormous palaces, grand squares, and statues on pillars of dizzying heights were all key attractions to see. There were many historic places and buildings about Madrid’s history through the Inquisition, the Spanish civil war, and its eventual rebuilding as a new modern city.
After sightseeing, they headed to the American School in Madrid, where the conference was being held. There, all of the months of preparation that had gone into writing speeches, building resolutions, and researching country positions came into action.
For the first night, it was opening speeches and then on to a one and a half hour lobbying period. First, all of the countries in each committee presented their opening speeches in alphabetical order. In an opening speech, each delegate needed to offer their country’s opinion on what the committee was debating and their potential solutions to solve the problem at hand.
After taking notes on everybody’s speeches, it was then lobbying time. Delegates got together with whomever’s idea they liked, and began writing and combining resolutions. Then, delegates had to go out and find more people to sign their resolution so it had enough initial support to warrant being debated.
The next day came the day of debates. Here, the resolutions written and combined the previous night were considered, deliberated, amended, and finally, voted upon.
It is key that all those participating attempted to keep an open mind to the ideas of others. The main point of MUN is to work together to come up with solutions to solve today’s problems. Not being open to working with anybody is not going to resolve any of the issues plaguing the world.
Throughout the day, even though they tabled resolutions, many were passed. Even though there wasn’t enough time for all of the resolutions to be debated, it appeared that most participants enjoyed the process of improving and debating the merits of each idea.
After the closing ceremony, the ASL MUN club showed how far it had come since the beginning of the year by winning three best delegate awards out of the seven committees. Immensely proud, the ASL group returned to London.