UNYP Hosts First Model UN for High Schoolers

On April 1, The Model United Nations Society at UNYP was honored to host their very first Model UN conference aimed at high school students and organised by Arina Rossikhin (4th year, IER/BA) and Anastasia Latenkova (4th year, IER). Among the schools participating were Prague British School, International School of Prague, Deutsche Schule Prag and Pražské Humanitní Gymnázium. The day-long event included a guest lecture from Marie Hermanova, who worked as media strategist and spokesperson for Czech volunteers working on the Balkan route (Czech Refugee Help). The students were very engaged in the lecture, which has helped them understand the topic of discussion and stimulate an active debate.

The delegates had an opportunity to represent various member states of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and to debate their respective countries' view on the political and socio-economic rights of refugees. The topic holds a high degree of significance, especially nowadays, considering how current international affairs unfold with the rise of political extremism in Europe towards minority groups and the recent Muslim ban in United States. The day was full of fruitful debates and by the end of it, the delegates produced a brilliant resolution. Three UNYP students (Ivaylo Miladinov, Aus Al Asbahi and Kiko Sugita) also participated in the event and had the chance to interact with students outside the university.

The delegates refueled their diplomatic energy with some sunlight and a healthy lunch on the rooftop. For closure, we handed out certificates of participation and excellence and–as per MUN conferences' tradition–punished the delegates that came late or in unprofessional attire with some embarrassing challenges. Our partner organization, Refufest, had volunteers coming in to promote their event and volunteering opportunities.

Overall, despite the challenges of organizing the event, it proved to be a success and the Model United Nations Society hopes to organize and host more events in the future. Special thanks to our club supervisor/chair of IER department, professor Oscar Hidalgo-Redondo, the head of marketing department, Mark Anderson, and student affairs manager, Ekaterina Kokkalou for their dedication and ongoing support.

Photos by Nurul Farhanny Binte Salim and Aratrika Bose

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