Model United Nations takes on Syria conflict

General Assembly at Model UN London conference. Image: Pete Coulson

General Assembly at Model UN London conference. Image: Pete Coulson - Credit: Archant

While United Nations member states dither over how to deal with the Syria crisis, students came together to reach a resolution themselves.

The Model United Nations Conference brought year nine students from The Warren School and Eastbury Comprehensive School in Barking and Dagenham together with pupils from three other London schools.

In a simulation of the General Assembly, the 50 selected students represented countries from across the world and worked in mixed-school teams to consider ways to resolve the Syrian conflict.

The programme ran over a three-month period and saw the teams engage in research, conflict resolution, communication and negotiation, which culminated in a final conference at Barking Town Hall.

Eventually, the student delegations unanimously passed a resolution on the Syrian conflict.

Rich Nelmes, from the UN Association of the UK, attended as a judge and commented: “We were honoured to attend your General Assembly meeting. The level of debate, negotiation and cooperation at this event was on a par with that of the real United Nations and we know the future will be in safe hands when you land in New York for real.”

The Model United Nations programme has been running since 2008 and is led by the Schools Linking Network, a charity supporting young people to engage in current world affairs and explore issues of identity, equality and community.