Macleans College Students Attend NZ Model United Nations Conference
New Zealand Model United Nations is an annual event held in Victoria University in Wellington. The conference this year was held from 1 - 4 July.
Model United Nations is a conference that simulates the United Nations, where 250 secondary school students are selected via application to represent countries and news agencies, and invited to debate and negotiate with other countries in committees. The theme for the conference this year was “How Do Values shape the world around us?” with focus on how different values influence political and cultural practices and how these shape global events. Students got the opportunity to gain global and cultural insight into the functions of the United Nations as well as their representative countries.
This year 14 Macleans College students were selected to participate in the conference, one of the largest delegations of any New Zealand high school. In addition, four students received scholarships to attend the conference.
The students spent four days representing countries in debates on global issues such as Climate Change, Irregular Migration and Counter-terrorism. Additionally, they attended an opening ceremony in the Beehive, workshops on policy and negotiation, heard from guest speakers Jacinda Ardern and Patrick Gower, and visited embassies and NGO headquarters. The delegates engaged in intense debate, became more informed of global affairs and got to know students from across the country.
The Macleans students who attended were Wayne Zhou (Kupe House), Yishan Jin (Kupe), Yang Fan Yun (Snell), Ben Zhang (Mansfield) Katrina Zhang (Te Kanawa), Sara Khatau (Hillary), Winnie Zhang (Hillary), Helitha Dharmadasa (Hillary), Justin Chen (Rutherford), Malitha Ambanpola (Batten), Victor Sun (Batten), Shaun Wee (Batten), Zachary Wong (Batten) and Dushanka Govender (Mansfield).
Dushanka was also selected, via interview during the NZMUN conference, as one of twenty-two delegates to attend the Global Development Tour in January 2017. This is a tour of multiple cities and countries where the delegation will meet policy makers, businesses and NGOs working towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This trip will also culminate in the attending of the Youth Assembly at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The tour and NZMUN event are organised by UN Youth New Zealand, a youth-run organisation that aims to provide civics education to engage secondary and tertiary students in the current events of New Zealand and the international community.