Loreto Letterkenny hosted Donegal and Ulster’s first Model United Nations conference on May 4th and 5th to discuss and debate key issues affecting today’s world.
More than 60 young delegates came together to represent countries all over the world in a bid to resolve major world conflicts and contentious issues. The matters at hand were:
- ‘Famine in the Global South, With an Emphasis on Countries Within the African Continent’
- ‘Capital Punishment and Incarceration’
- ‘The North Pole Dispute’
- ‘Foreign Involvement in Internal Conflict:’
The Loreto Letterkenny TY students researched their delegations fully before convening for the two days of the conference, where they were joined by visitors from other local secondary schools.
The idea was started by five Transition Year students- Meadhbh Roarty, Ciara O’Malley, Yasmin Sparks, Vanessa Nunan and Lucy O’Connell who were inspired to start their own Model United Nations after attending an international conference in Cork. Committee member Meadhbh Roarty wrote a in-depth reflective piece on the event which first appeared in the student publication – Lorecho.
“The atmosphere in the concert hall on Thursday morning was one of apprehension and excitement, all delegates eager to start the day and finally find out what LKMUN was all about!
“When all delegates finally took their seats in their formal wear and put their customised lanyards on, the day was started with an opening ceremony led by the Secretary General of the Conference – Ms Shiobaun Mc Gee.
“After speeches from Ms McGee and Ms Friel the conference was officially opened and it began with opening speeches, this is when a number of delegates make a speech to the rest of the assembly about the issues their country felt most strongly about. This was followed by lobbying, where delegates persuaded other delegates to sign their resolution and make allies.
“The resolutions were then submitted to the board and one resolution was picked for debate per topic by 2 MUN sixth year students, Dara Keeve and Megan Rushe.
“After break the debate on the first issue -Famine- began with the delegate of the Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea presenting a resolution to the rest of the Assembly; even though the delegate represented her ‘Supreme Leader’ Kim Jong-un incredibly well the rest of the assembly did not pass the resolution.
“The issue of Capital Punishment and Incarceration was the topic for debate after lunch, this debate became very heated at times with arguments by for and against this sensitive topic.
“One of the important things we learn at Model United Nations is that you must represent the views and laws of your delegation, this can be hard when their views are opposed to your own personal ones.
“The Second Day of the Conference was kicked off with the debate on Territorial Rights in The North Pole with several crazy amendments submitted including an idea to send all refugees to Denmark to work in Danish Pastry factories!
“The last debate of the day was probably the most heated of all -students from Colaiste Ailigh, St. Eunan’s, Errigal College and Mulroy College were invited to watch the debates and their students even got involved in the debates themselves!
“The last issue about Foreign Involvement in Internal Conflict was a very interesting and emotional debate with the issue surrounding refugees close to the hearts of many, however all delegates will definitely remember the fierce debate that happened between the United States of America and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The day was brought to a close with a speech from Mr Edward Horgan, a peace activist, Chair for Veterans Peace in Ireland and a lecturer in International Affairs in the University of Limerick. He travelled all the way from Limerick to talk to the assembly and gave an inspirational and thought provoking speech. This was followed by an award ceremony and a final coffee break.
“Overall Loreto Letterkenny Model United Nations 2017 was a huge success and every participant enjoyed it immensely. The aim of the committee was achieved, we had set out to make sure that each delegate enjoyed themselves and learnt about the world’s issues in a fun and interactive way! We plan to run LKMUN next year and hope to incorporate students from local Secondary Schools making the conference bigger and better!”