Students tackle international issues

Reynolds secondary student offers her views on upcoming Island Model United Nations

On Saturday, the world’s problems will be passed into the hands of about 150 teenagers from the Vancouver Island area.

Five Reynolds secondary students – Micah Wosilius, Angelina  Ross, Gavin Kierulf, Antonia Kowalewski and myself – will congregate at Brentwood College School, where we will meet up with other delegates from various high schools to participate in the Island Model United Nations (IMUN).

Model UNs such as these take place around the world. Unique to this conference is its student leadership role. Students participate as delegates, and some also form the Student Secretariat that oversees the entire conference.

Model United Nations is described on the IMUN website as “an opportunity for students to understand the idea of empathy and its importance in solving issues in our increasingly globalized world.” Students will meet together to discuss and solve a given world issue in an academic debate setting. Will the world withstand our resolutions?

This student-led conference will create awareness and expose youth to global issues by simulating a real United Nations General Assembly. Delegates are assigned a country or a specialized role to represent one of six predetermined committees. The result of this conference is for each committee to come up with hypothetical resolutions to their global concern.

Each committee focuses on an issue that affects our international community. Issues that committees will be focused on include: Korea reunification, the crisis in Iraq and Syria, the rise of cyber warfare, violation of human rights within refugees’ home countries, a hypothetical Wizarding War, and a Hunger Games-based committee.

I have been placed on the opposing side of a hypothetical Wizarding War. Based off of J. K. Rowling’s famous Harry Potter book series, this war will have taken place before Harry Potter was born when the evil Lord Voldemort was at the height of his power. My character at IMUN will argue in Lord Voldemort’s defence, in favour of him winning this hypothetical war.

In preparation for this event, delegates are expected to have previously researched information relative to their committee and have already submitted a one-page position paper.  Each anticipated paper will be reviewed by the student Secretariat. Since IMUN is a simulation of the real UN General Assembly, proper UN protocol has been emphasized.

The Island Model United Nations (IMUN) is sure to be a captivating and beneficial experience.  Best of luck to all delegates.

More information on IMUN can be found at imun.ca.

Shae-Linn Davies is a Grade 10 student at Reynolds secondary.