17 January 2018
By Mary Bermingham
Students from 18 secondary schools across Ireland, alongside visiting students from Spain, gather in Cork City Hall this week as Ireland’s largest Model United Nations conference gets underway. Running from Tuesday, 16th January to Friday, 19th January, 400 students will assume the role of delegates representing countries and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), as they enter into a series of fascinating debates on issues of pressing global importance.
This four-day Model United Nations conference is hosted by Cork Education and Training Board school, Davis College Mallow, and is a student-run simulation of the UN General Assembly. Together students will debate resolutions in General Assembly and Special Conference on topics such as promoting democracy, combating HIV/AIDS, equal rights, infant mortality rates and disability in society.
Passionately speaking about this fantastic opportunity for fellow students, Davis College student and Model United Nations Secretary General Niall O’Brien (aged 17 years) commented, “I am so excited to see our Davis College Model United Nations conference come to life after so much work and planning. I have participated in a number of Model United Nations conferences and I can say with confidence that our four-day session is going to knock the socks off all those participating! I firmly believe that the best way to learn about the UN is by actually doing it. It gives all participants, including myself, an insight into different countries, global issues and understanding the perspectives of others. This conference is also a fantastic way to meet and spend time with fellow Irish students, who share the same passion, and also meet those visiting from Spain. I hope that all participants enjoy and learn from this experience, and come back again next year to continue the debate.”
This is truly a fantastic learning and developing experience for all those involved, who not only gain from the conference itself, but also spend months honing their skills researching the issues at hand, writing clauses, resolutions, speeches and position papers in preparation. Students develop communication and debating skills lobbying and caucusing as they try to convince other delegates to co-submit their resolutions. During this conference students will also have the opportunity to hear from and interact with key players in the UN such as representatives from embassies to Ireland and special guest and keynote speaker Kieran Clifford, Campaigns & Activism Manager at Amnesty International.
For updates and images from the Davis College Model United Nations, or to find out how your school can get involved next year visit their website www.daviscollege.ie or follow Davis College on Facebookdaviscollege.ie or Twitter @Davismallow