Cool heads and hot topics were the order of the day of the Eleventh Felsted Model United Nations, focused on the theme of ‘climate’. We were proud to welcome 16 other schools to join pupils from Felsted Prep and Felsted Senior School in a conference of over 250 delegates and 45 delegations representing a diverse range of nations to discuss issues around Climate and the Climate emergency.
It was a timely conference theme, given that recent weather patterns have been so disruptive here in the UK, but also following extreme heat and fires in Australia, and protests in Bristol attended by Greta Thunberg that very weekend.
Felsted pupils represented both Security Council nations (United States, Cote d’Ivoire) as well as several non-security council nations, including Finland, Guatemala and Chad, as well as Israel, Bosnia Herzegovina, Brazil and Uganda. The latter delegation was a very conscious choice, as it allowed our delegates an opportunity to learn more about the country with whom we already have significant ties through ‘Teach Uganda’, and with whom we seek to deepen and extend opportunities working with Safi Coffee - a young, community-based business rooted in local coffee plantations in Uganda.
We were delighted to be able to host Tom Brown, Director of Safi Coffee, and to have him address the MUN conference as our Guest Speaker talking about some of the less obvious implications of climate change for developing nations such as Uganda. Tom encouraged delegates to think of climate change not only in terms of rising water levels, or changes to rain patterns, but also in terms of the ways in which changing weather patterns can enable both disease and crop-destroying insects to flourish, with devastating effects. Tom encouraged delegates about the need to think creatively and collaboratively about the practical solutions the climate crisis demands.
Debate, as ever was vigorous in all the committees, especially as the delegates gained confidence and developed the alliances that the MUN is designed to foster. Indeed, the committee Chairs were impressed to see that even our youngest delegates, notably from Felsted Prep but also from Framlingham Prep were able to make full contributions to the conference offering detailed resolutions and withstanding some challenging questions. We very much look forward to seeing them all again next year.
The conference was successful due in large part to the hard work of our Secretary Generals Jack T and Dominic W, who in turn supported a team of experienced and commanding committee Chairs, many of whom have participated in MUN for several years. It is also important to recognise that behind the scenes an enormous amount of work was put in to preparing pupils as delegates, and thanks goes to Mrs Borg, Ms Cortes, Mrs Jevons, Mr Pathak, Mrs Robertson and Ms Trucco for all their work. We are now already looking forward to the next MUN conference in just under a year’s time!