Five year 13 students (Oliver, Khadijah, Molly, Adetayo and Emmanuel) flew to New York on 5th March 2018 to take part in the International Model United Nations at the United Nations HQ; a student simulation of the proceedings of the United Nations. The NHSMUN conference is the largest of its kind in the world, with over 5,000 students attending. The team were representing the Dominican Republic, meaning they had to research the Dominican Republic’s position on each debate topic and prepare possible solutions to put forward for negotiation. While in New York they stayed at the Hilton hotel Midtown where they took part in their committee sessions, debating and negotiating – some evenings until 11pm! It was a busy and full on trip, but the team were a credit to SFX and represented the College with professionalism and made us proud!
As well as taking part in negotiations and debates on different UN committees, the team were filmed for CNN taking part in a speaker series. Students attended a talk by Zak Embrahim who is an international activist against terrorism – his father was one of the people who co-masterminded the World Trade Centre bombing in 1993. Emmanuel, Oliver and Molly also had the privilege of asking Zak questions about his work and his views on fundamentalism and globalisation. Students also had the exciting opportunity to see inside the United Nations HQ as the MUN closing ceremony was held in the General Assembly Hall.
Aside from the hard work and participation at the MUN conference, there was of course a bit of free time for sightseeing, shopping and eating, lots of eating… pancakes, pizza, Chinese, roasted nuts on the side walk. Khadijah got to fulfil a childhood dream of going to see Carlo’s bakery from the show ‘Cake Boss’ on TLC. Oliver wanted to browse record shops in Greenwich village, and ended up teaching Adetayo who Bob Dylan is. They also visited the High Line, Chelsea Market, the Staten Island ferry, Chinatown, Times Square, Central Park, The Met museum. They were lucky to have bright sunshine on their day of sightseeing but got caught in a snow storm on the Wednesday.
It was a trip of a lifetime and we hope we can run the same trip or one similar in the future for more students to take part in!
Following the trip Oliver – who performed a speech at the conference in the form of a poem – penned a poem on his experience of the trip:
We traversed the Atlantic by air,
When we arrived, the weather was fair.
The city was awake, and inviting,
But alas! Our stomachs were fighting.
We made for the nearest restaurant
Although in our food, there were no plants…
Once satisfied, we went to the hotel,
After unpacking and a nap, we were well.
The next day, we all spent exploring,
From 5th Av to New Jersey, whilst ignoring
Our sleepless minds, for all the sugar content
In our snacks kept us awake for the main event.
Debating went well; international relations
Is the key to a successful Model United Nations.
We made many friends, from Canada to Peru,
For the rumors about the British accent are true.
It was competitive yet cordial; to pass the time
I wrote a speech, and this passage, in rhyme.
We all miss New York – it’s a magnificent city,
To have but one week there – tis a pity.
Not to complain – we’re grateful and glad,
Although now that I’m back, I’m personally sad
Because I have mocks.