On Saturday, January 20, 2018, our year 2 students organized and chaired our fourth Model United Nations (MUN) conference with another international school in Oxford. 12 of our year 1 students were the delegates in an extremely thorough Security Council debate on gun control. Nadya Tan from and Indonesia and Rebekka Kvalum from Norway were the chairs. It was their first time as chairs, and they completed their tasks with the professionalism that comes from perfect preparation.
Our year 1 students had been equally meticulous with their research. Particular delegates that stood out were Chenchen Du as the US, which received great criticism for its lax gun laws from Kiera Martin, as the Mexican delegate. Chenchen argued that it is what people do with guns that is the cause of problems rather than possession, whilst Kiera countered with clear statistics that many deaths in Mexico can be attributed to guns brought into Mexico from the US where they are freely available. Trying to find a middle way was the delegate of Russia, Boudicca Mahaseth, whose strategy was for individual countries to have the right to assert their own laws rather than a supranational agreement. Japan meanwhile, represented by Emily Torner, provided a series of evidence suggesting that strict gun laws could have a considerable impact on homicide rates.
As you can see from these examples, the depth of research on the part of our students was impressive, and this does not include the other insightful contributions from Germany (Ehtisham Chaudhary), UK (Alessandra Di Nicola), Saudi Arabia (Giorgio Cappuccinelli), Switzerland (Sara Zonza) and France (Fawwaz Nurruddin). Boudicca, Alessandra, Giorgio, Chenchen and Kiera then presented their policy statements to the entire school in our weekly assembly so that our student body could vote on whether gun laws should be stricter based on the evidence of government policy around the world. Just as the resolution was passed to have stricter gun laws in the conference, our student body overwhelmingly voted in this way as well.
What is also very clear is that we have a very talented group of year 1 MUN delegates whom Cy Webber (Head of Humanities, University Guidance Counsellor & MUN patron) hopes to take to the Cambridge University MUN in September. Their progress is undoubtedly a result of the expert tuition they have received on a weekly basis from Bror Nissen, Johanna Rosenberger and Luisa Kloth in year 2.
The MUN is not only a fantastic academic extension opportunity for EF Academy Oxford students on the International Relations, Politics, Law and Economics Pathways, but also for other students who are interested in researching, presenting and debating pressing global issues.