Our Sixth Form finds its global voice.

The annual BISMUN conference took place this weekend at Kingswood School in Bath. Pupils from 27 schools took on the role of United Nations’ delegates in what was a superbly organised series of debates. Committees debated topics ranging from the Syrian war, drug tolerance, LGBTQ+ human rights, conflict in the Ukraine to Chinese claims over the South China Sea. The day culminated in a thought-provoking emergency case scenario with Russian troops entering Estonia.  It was a great pleasure to see so many young people in action and ready to give their country’s political stance a voice.

Simulations of UN committees, known as “Model United Nations” have a long tradition in numerous universities throughout the world, being recognised as important debate forums. “MUN” has expanded globally and attracts a growing number of students, especially those interested in political science, international relations, diplomacy, law, economics and cultural studies. 

During a MUN Conference, such as BISMUN 2018, participants play the role of delegates representing the policies, interests and objectives of a state in one of the simulated bodies. During the six days, they will be responsible for the legal and political decisions of the state they represent, decisions that will be reflected in the resolutions that they will adopt during the committee sessions. 

As a participant, I can say that BISMUN 2019 had a tremendous impact on us all. Angus Forbes, founder of the environmental charitable organisation ‘Bankers Without Boundaries’ opened proceedings with an inspirational address.  As an avid advocate of global self-determination, his organisation calls for the formation of the first supranational authority, one designed solely to protect and enhance a biosphere. It was a pressing and relevant thought to hold in our minds as we represented our countries in the series of challenging debates.

On a personal level I found the event fascinating. BISMUN 2019 managed to combine so many things and offer a vast variety of opportunities to engage, widen our horizons, learn about other countries' political views, step out of our comfort zones, speak in public, make new friends and have fun!  It was an empowering experience for us all.

Alexandra Sarban, Year 13