At the end of October, Middle School students showed off their skills at the Vancouver Youth Model United Nations 2019.
Twenty-one GNS students in Grades 7 and 8 used their IB communication skills to discuss certain international topics at the annual VYMUN conference.
This year’s theme was the “Rise of Technology,” which shed light on the impact of technological advancements on a global scale.
Students had 12-15 hours in committee sessions where they discussed global issues. As well, four Gryphons participated in a midnight crisis, staying up until 2 a.m. to avoid a global disaster.
Amelie Bate was one of the GNS students that took part in the midnight crisis and said it was a great experience.
“Our crisis was that our Prime Minister Ho Chi Minh got killed. So we had to elect a new leader and pick a second in command,” she explained.
“It was interesting because one of the people on our committee was working for the CIA, and we didn’t know who. I was pretty sure it was the Minister of Transport, and he got voted second in command so we couldn’t follow that lead. But it was a great experience that I will remember.”
Bate was in was the Historical Crisis Committee, which dealt with the Vietnam War.
“We were representing North Vietnam, and it was great learning about it because I didn’t know much about the Vietnam War before,” she said.
Bate has attended the conference previously, and said her second time around solidified why she likes being part of Model UN.
Committees and topics discussed at the VYMUN trip included:
- UNICEF- exploitation and preventing child marriage;
- WHO -access to primary healthcare and the rise of biotechnology;
- UN Security Council- prohibition of chemical warfare in Syria and military juntas;
- NATO- cybersecurity and re-evaluating the purpose of NATO;
- UNODC- Panama Papers and reforming the UNODC;
- and Historical Crisis Committee- Vietnam War.
“There were a ton of people, and all the teachers and staff were nice—they showed us the way. The Chair was supportive and made sure everyone spoke at least once,” explained Molly Gramada about the trip.
Gramada was in the WHO committee and enjoyed the topics they discussed. “Everyone was nice, and the topics about healthcare were really fun,” she said.
Aleem Carino was in the NATO committee, which had to field a mid-day crisis.
“It made for some pretty good debate, and it was a lot of fun,” he said.
Going with the theme of the conference, the rise of technology, Carino said his committee talked a lot about cybersecurity.
“What I took away was how important cybersecurity is becoming. If you don’t have strong cybersecurity, whole nations can go into blackouts, things can go wrong—missiles can be launched,” he said.
Quinn Doerksen had a fun time in the UNICEF committee.
“There were a lot of people in my committee—about 60 or 70. Everyone got to talk because the chair was nice and there were a lot of friends with me. That made it a lot of fun,” said Doerksen.
The first topic the UNICEF committee discussed was again based on the technology theme: combating child sexual exploitation online.
“A lot of it was through technology like social media. We talked a lot about age and laws. It was a very [intense] talk,” Quinn said.
The students also got to have dinner in Whistler Village and a delicious breakfast buffet at the Chateau Fairmont Whistler.
This was the fifth year GNS sent students to the VYMUN conference.
Model UN is for everyone, and students can still get involved! From November 29-30, the GNS Model UN will host their own conference, GMUN, for the second time. Interested delegates should speak to their parents and check out the registration information on gnsmun.ca
. Students should contact Ms. Howey and Mr. Marthaller in the Middle School and Mrs. Nielson or Senor Morales Gil in the Senior School.