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Students Have a Blast at VMUN

A group of GNS students from the Middle and Senior Schools recently took part in the Vancouver Model United Nations (VMUN) Conference, which after being held virtually for the last couple of years, was finally back in person.
“The conference was really smooth. I think there were a lot of passionate delegates there ready to represent their countries,” said Jack-Harris Bruce ’24. “It was my first in-person conference. I had done two last year online and I think it was just a real introduction to the culture that Model UN brings.”
 
Jack-Harris was in the World Health Organization (WHO) where he was a delegate representing the United States. There were two topics discussed: “Pathogens in conflict areas” and “Medical Training in the developing world.”
 
“I like that MUN covers current issues,” he said. “That awareness it can bring and the ability to learn new things—MUN offers these opportunities. For example, I learned about what WHO and other international committees are doing to try and bring healthcare into developing countries, or to offer resources for healthcare in areas of crisis. My favourite part is the vast opportunity it brings to learn new things”
 
Sasha Baterina ’26 was in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) where she was a delegate from Spain. In the council, their topics were “Protecting female political leaders” and “Human rights in refugee camps.”
 
“It was really fun, and a really good experience and I learned a lot,” she said. “My favourite part was when we did a couple of ice breakers with the committee. Then we did an unmoderated caucus, which is where you get up and talk to other countries from different perspectives rather than raising your placards and going up to the podium to speak.”
 
The conference, which was originally tabled for February, was moved to April to allow for it to be held in person, which many of the students enjoyed. Charlotte Quin ’24 had attended VMUN virtually before and was glad to experience it in person.
 
“It was awesome, the whole process was super interesting,” she said. “Both are good and debates are quite similar, but I think the community is much more when it’s in person. During the breaks, we can socialize with other delegates and there are delegate socials. We get to stay in the same hotel as the conference. It’s a whole different experience.”
 
Charlotte was on the World Bank committee, where she was a delegate from France. Their topics included “Debt-trap diplomacy” and “Establishing special economic zones in developing countries.”
 
“It was cool,” she said. “There was a lot of debate and the topic was much more complicated than I thought it was. The role of different countries is completely different and the economic stance of different countries—we got to learn a lot about that and how it works on a global scale.”
 
VMUN is a three-day conference that has been running since 2002 and it is the largest high school student organized Model United Nations conference in North America.
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