Budding diplomats from Hampstead School sweep the board in model United Nations
Hampstead School debating team this week had every reason to feel proud and triumphant as they returned to school with the much-coveted cup for the Best Delegation to the Model United Nations.
They also received several awards for outstanding individual performances.
The Model United Nations is an international forum where young people from schools all over the world debate issues of international concern. This year's conference was held between 3 and 5 November and was hosted by the Methodist College Belfast. It was attended by over 250 delegates representing over 20 schools including Eton College, Kingswood School, Bath and colleges from Vancouver and New York. Hampstead School is the first comprehensive school ever to win the cup for Best Delegtaion.
Participants' days are filled with lobbying, making amendments and debating resolutions as well as socialising. Procedures mirror as far as possible those of the real United Nations. Students are organised into delegations of four or five and are allocated a country to represent. Hampstead School had 21 students organised into four delegations representing China, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Philippines. Each delegate is then assigned to a specialist committee such as Health, Economic Development, Ecology and the Human Rights Committee. Agenda items this year included Human Trafficking, The Economic Results of the Tsunami, International Arms Trade and Tackling Poverty in Africa.
Committees are addressed by expert speakers. This year they included Professor Robert Kalin, a distinguished ecological expert and BBC news correspondent and writer Fergal Keene who urged delegates to take up careers in international journalism.
Much like the real United Nations there is fierce competition between school delegations to table resolutions, win support in committees and achieve approval by the General Assembly. Similarly, there is much lobbying and bargaining involved, even before the speeches and debates take place. Hampstead delegates were congratulated by an international panel of judges for their skilful and robust representation of their countries' policies, their effectiveness in speech making and their demonstration of consensus building, negotiating and leadership skills.
Andrea Smith, Assistant Headteacher, said that she was immensely proud of the
Hampstead School team.
"We are the only London school to take part in this prestigious event and the only comprehensive ever to win. It is enormously challenging to debate against students from schools such as Eton College. To win is a just reward for the hard work, preparation and debating skills of our students. They are a real credit to our school community. "
Ivano Pacini, who, with Serena Manteghi and Atiha Gupta-Armstrong, won individual awards for best delegates, said:
"We are overjoyed about winning this award. Participating in the Model United Nations has allowed me to understand the urgency of addressing world problems whilst at the same time appreciating there are no quick fixes. It is quite daunting to stand up and speak in front of so many people but very rewarding when they end up supporting you. It has taught me such a lot about public speaking and debating. We are delighted that so many other students are going to continue our discussions in our online political forum 'thebackroom.co.uk'"
Cllr Lucy Anderson:
"I am absolutely delighted and congratulate these students on this fantastic achievement. This reflects the investment that Camden Council has put into teaching and learning on citizenship issues in schools."
List of participants (* signifies individual commendations):
Jeffrey Burgin Year 10
Simeon Wallis Year 10
Olivia Timson ear 10
Becky Chan Year 10**
Nick Courtman Year 10
Daniel Jones Year 11
Oliver Robert Holmes Year 11
Joel Davis Year 11
Chloe Grass Orkin Year 11**
Kirsty O'Neill Year 13
Ivano Pacini Year 13***
Quaam Animashaun Year 13
Lauren Watters Year 13
Maya Sethi Year 13*
Luke Gregory Year 13
Rami Pantoja Year 13*
Atiha Gupta-Armstrong Year 13**
Serena Manteghi Year 13***
Lyria Eastley Year 13
Nicola Lajkatova Year 13
Josh Haringman Year 13
Press & PR Officer
020 7974 2547