From the evening of Friday 17 May through to the afternoon of Sunday 19 May, four students from St Margaret’s and Berwick Grammar School participated in the Rotary Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA), which was held at the Phillip Island Adventure Resort.
Our school would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Rotary Clubs of Berwick and Pakenham for their generous support in sponsoring our students to attend this fantastic event. This support has been ongoing for many years, which speaks to the altruism and generosity of this fantastic community based and globally active organisation.
MUNA requires delegations of two students to each represent the views of their country, in a simulation of the real-world United Nations General Assembly. This event challenges young people to understand, tolerate and respect differences of race, religion and nationalism throughout the global community. This youth project is enthusiastically supported by the United Nations, due largely to its capacity to develop global political awareness and empathy of many youth.
Rotary’s MUNA has the unique potential to bring the message of world peace and understanding, encouraging participants to communicate their knowledge and idealism, through the shared experience of debating significant social, environmental and political issues. Throughout the weekend, students debate issues such as climate change, refugees, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the complex situations in Yemin, Iran and the Syrian Arab Republic.
This fantastic experience provokes a strong sense of critical thinking and develops students’ ability to communicate and present their views in a public forum. It is heartening to watch these crucial skills advance so rapidly in such a short period of time.
Our school was fortunate to send Benjamin Scarborough and Meagan Hansen to represent the Federative Republic of Brazil, as well as Ned Matin and Naomi Drego who represented the United States of America.
We were even more fortunate to leave the event carrying the perpetual Peace Prize, awarded to the ‘honorable delegates from Brazil.’ This is awarded to the delegation that best represents the aims of the United Nations, through promoting peace and advocating for global cooperation within the assembly.
Congratulations to all our participants, and to the many students from across the Gippsland region who were involved in this competition. It was truly a special event.
Mr Sean Pieper
My Summit Extra-Curricular Enrichment Coordinator