The Model United Nations Program at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School strives to strengthen students’ research, debate and consensus building skills. It also fosters international understanding and a greater comprehension of the complex forces that drive decision-making around global issues.
Student delegates learn by doing, meaning they are actively engaged in a committee of an international organization such as the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the African Union or the International Monetary Fund. In these simulated environments, students are called upon to represent their assigned country’s position on a given global issue. They work towards achieving a resolution promoting international co-operation while adhering to objectives of national interest.
These experiences require diligent research and preparation, an appreciation of different perspectives, strong public-speaking skills and a strong competence in negotiation. Both challenging and exciting, this program supports our mission by inspiring excellence in scholarship, leadership and character in our students.
Middle School students are introduced to Model United Nations in Grade 9 where they participate in a full-day Model UN simulation on various topics. To date, they have tackled such issues as corporate responsibility, the crisis in Darfur and workable solutions to the fossil fuel crisis – topics which help them make links between their academic studies and the real world. Many students have commented that this program has sparked their interest in international affairs and diplomacy and has put them on the path to continue with the program as they move into Senior School.
Senior School students can explore the world of Model United Nations by attending a local or national conference. Students may also opt for the International Politics 30 class in Grade 10. An academic option course, International Politics 30 focuses on the development of the international system of states, its organizations and its laws. It also looks at the ever-present tension between national interests and internationalism. While not a requirement for conference participation, it provides the perfect opportunity for students to enhance their general knowledge in this area of study and provides a wonderful complement to their preparation for the international conferences we attend annually: the prestigious Harvard Model United Nations in early December and the innovative Berkeley Model United Nations in late February.
Interested Senior School students are invited to join this trip as a co-curricular activity and can further improve their acumen in the program through participation in the organization and running of the Grade 9 Model UN. This is a largely student-led conference and provides another authentic learning experience for students who are responsible for planning, delegating and preparing for all of the logistical and academic needs of the event.