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Students at the Model United Nations


Model United Nations is an international event where teenagers and young adults get the opportunity to simulate the proceedings of various branches of the United Nations and learn about diplomacy, international relations as well as the United Nations. The event takes place in dozens of countries across the globe and comes down to a couple of days of intense research and debate, where participants embody and fight for the countries that they represent.

During the April holidays, four students from our school went to participate and represent our school in the Estonian Model United Nations. The event took place in the small town of Kehtna and ran for four days. The participants consisted of over 100 high school and university students from across the Baltic states and Finland.

The event was divided into four committees: The International Court of Justice (ICJ), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Media team as well as the United Nations General Assembly, which everybody was present in. Every participant was representing the country they were assigned to, in the committee they were present in, with special cases of 2 delegates per country in certain committees. Countless hours of research and late nights were required of us so that we could fully understand our country’s geopolitical and diplomatic stance related to the problems we were fighting for/trying to solve. The ICJ was solving the case of the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, with the USA as the plaintiff, and the PRC as the defendant. The UNHCR was resolving the issue of women’s educational rights in refugee camps. ECOSOC concerned itself with the development of green energy solutions in lesser developed nations. The Media Team acted as the international mainstream media, reporting on the situation in each committee.

Our students were assigned the two most influential committees, the ICJ and UNHCR:
In The ICJ, Stefan Kerig and Nathali Luzkov were Delegates of the People’s Republic of China.
In the UNHCR, Katherine Bergman was a Delegate of Japan, and Aryan Srivastava was a Delegate of Burundi.

In the ICJ, both the USA and China consisted of 2 delegates, with 12 judges present from various other states. Fighting for China was a very difficult task, as we had to justify claims to territories that technically were not ours, whilst the USA bombarded us with various claims of International Law infringement. Our performance was commended by many, and we somehow managed to change the media’s and public’s perception of China in our favor. Upon the final assembly of the ICJ, after hours of deliberation by the judges, the court ruled unanimously in favor of the USA. Yet, due to China’s vociferous defense of their territorial claims throughout the four days, and considering that this was arguably an unwinnable case for China, the ruling in practice turned out to be extremely favorable for China, and in part detrimental to the USA, so we consider the turnout to be a win for us.

The UNHCR on the other hand spent the four days discussing and proposing ideas for a resolution relating to women’s educational rights in refugee camps. Everything eventually led to the committee dividing itself into two groups, where the groups would create and propose their resolutions, which would later be voted on. Both Japan and Burundi were in the same group, and after both groups’ resolutions had been presented, the committee voted to accept the resolution of the group with Japan and Burundi in it. What was special about UNHCR, was not only the valuable experience and interesting group of people, but the fact that participating in this committee meant that we were also taking part in the refugee effort which reflects well on our core values. Although UNHCRs meetings were almost always calm, the participants from Audentes now have a thorough understanding of the general voting procedure that takes place in the United Nations.

On the last day, the General Assembly took place. During the general assembly, the ICJ read out its ruling, USA and China made their final speeches, Japan and Burundi read out the UNHCR proposal, and ECOSOC read theirs. UNHCR’s resolution was passed with a unanimous vote by the Assembly making Japan and Burundi’s efforts a success, and ECOSOC’s resolution was not passed as major states opposed the resolution.

Overall, this event elevated our debate skills, taught us international diplomacy, and gave us new acquaintances and friends. Our group of students did very well and was one of the most influential groups at the event. Apart from our inner committee debates, we had a lot of fun with the other Delegates outside of the official meetings. The organizers did a great job with EstMun, and we very much look forward to the next Estonian Model United Nations.

Audentes International School, as well as the students involved, extend their deepest gratitude to Mondo and the British Council for organizing this event.

Stefan Kerig DP1
Katherine Bergman Pre IB