Model UN Conference - Primary Schools

Delegate from Somalia.JPG"It’s a wonderful experience that really made me think. It also improves public speaking. I loved this day."
Primary student

Barwon South Western Region held the first Model UN Conference for primary school students earlier this year in October 2012. Over 30 students from Geelong East Primary School, Lismore Primary School and Teesdale Primary School participated in a mock UN Council.

Students, divided into teams, represent different countries and debate on an issue from the point of view of those countries. This is an effective and practical way to train students to think globally, to consider different points of view, to familiarise themselves with the world as a global community.

The students developed potential resolutions which were then presented to the Council for debate and then voting. You can view the students' resolutions in full, however, here are some examples:
"AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY THE UNITED KINGDOM SUPPORTED BY MALAYSIA PASSED
Reaffirming that all countries must protect human rights so that everyone can live freely, safely AND EQUALLY;"
"AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY SOMALIA SUPPORTED BY NAURU PASSED
DEMANDS rich countries to help finance the programs of the UNHCR, including refugee camps in countries that have a lot of refugees but are not able help them stay;"
"AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY INDIA SECONDED BY INDONESIA FAILED
EXPECTS countries THAT HAVE THE RESOURCES TO GIVE access to schooling, housing, work and health care TO newly arrived refugees;"


Both the students and their teachers overall enjoyed the Conference with over 70% students strongly agreeing. All the students would recommend the day to fellow students. The most beneficial aspects of the day for students were:
  • Gaining knowledge on how a real UN conference works
  • Learning about all the different country’s positions on refugees and other issues
  • Seeing how my mind was changed on the issue of refugees and being placed in the point of view of a UN delegate
  • Going around the room and asking other countries questions and meeting new people

For teachers, the most beneficial parts were:
  • Opportunity for students to express opinions, gain confidence in speaking and learn about other cultures
  • Workings of UN
  • Deliberation and discussion
  • Public speaking and gaining knowledge

The day was chaired by John Hanan who concluded the Conference by saying, “I also hope this event encourages young students to take an ongoing interest in international affairs as they progress into higher learning at High School.