On the 12th of January 2016, 10 Sixth Form students from Tonbridge Grammar School travelled to Geneva for an international Model United Nations conference. Held at the World Metereological Organisation and the World Trade Organisation buildings, the conference welcomed 650 young people from 15 different countries in debating world issues from terrorism to climate change.
As representatives of the Netherlands in 7 different committees, we engaged in numerous speeches and debates, approaching international affairs from the perspective of our allocated country. In order to effectively put forward well-informed arguments and resolutions, we carried out thorough research on the country’s social, political and economic status.
By taking part in FerMUN, we had the honour of experiencing and learning a great deal about the United Nations, Geneva and the current world issues that are discussed officially in the same locations where we ourselves debated. Furthermore, as the conference was bilingual, we took the opportunity to interact with our fellow delegates and host families in French. In stepping out our comfort zone, we were able to meet many fantastic people, thereby greatly improving our language skills and developing as better communicators, all while making lots of wonderful new friends.
While for most of us the prospect of participating in the debates seemed rather daunting at first, we were able to give the best of ourselves by facing challenges with a positive attitude and supporting each other through any difficulties. The experience encouraged us to develop the courage to take risks, acquire the knowledge necessary to engage in debates and develop the critical thinking to apply our knowledge effectively to support our arguments. Participating in FerMUN gave us an insight into what it takes to play an active role in improving the world we live in and therefore becoming more responsible members of our society. As one of the students reflected “The political side of the conference was interesting, especially because it really proved to me that my generation of world politicians will definitely be able to make the world better”.