Bancroftians Hone Debating Skills at Model UN Conference

On the 14th October, 20 scholarly Bancroftians set out to Croydon to attend the 4-day annual Royal Russell International Model United Nations.

Representing the nations of  Vietnam, Bulgaria, Jordan, and Nicaragua, our students endeavoured to find solutions to important issues in our world, mirroring the real United Nations.

Arriving at the school, we turned our allocated classroom into a busy base for the fundamentals of any United Nations conference: napping, crosswording (cryptic, of course), and impromptu snacking between committee meetings. Soon heading off to our committees, we were thrown right into the Model UN-ning business itself, making alliances, crafting resolutions, and, the most challenging of all, decoding the alien language of the conference (Motion to explain any procedure whatsoever? Not granted, unsurprisingly. I yield the floor back to the chair and vow to never raise my placard again.)

Moreover, we participated in a General Assembly, where each ambassador, including four of our own Bancroftians, gave impressive speeches, making their wishes for a fruitful debate known to hundreds of their esteemed delegates and the honourable chair. More important, however, than the debating of critical current affairs, was the delegates mastering the exploitation of the note-passing rules of the GA to play highly competitive rounds of noughts and crosses with each other across the assembly hall.

May the floor be made aware that, not only did we participate in important debate, armed with meticulously conducted research (that was prepared weeks in advance, and not hastily on the train ride the morning of), but we learnt about the inner workings of the United Nations, and what really goes into maintaining international peace and security. We became skilled in writing constructive resolutions, critiquing ineffective ones, giving (almost always) constructive feedback, and crafting the necessary amendments.

Valuable lessons were also learnt outside of the conference, a significant one involving learning how to entertain oneself while waiting another 17 minutes for the tram to arrive (a regular occurrence, considering we managed to narrowly miss it every time), by playing long, taxing rounds of ‘I Went to the Market’, and guessing songs after one second frantically, irritating not only the carriage, but the entire tram.

Although the Model UN discos were exhilarating as expected, we endured a grand total of five minutes before opting for an early exit. Ted did, however, get the chance to fit into his Christmas pyjamas from 2016 – an impressive feat!

We ended our Model UN trip on a high, celebrating our last night in Croydon at the local Boxpark, following our noses and the irresistible smell of churros. One of our very own Bancroftians even won the ‘Best Looking Delegate’ award of their committee! (Clapping is in order!)

Model UN was an excellent trip that furthered not only our debating skills, but our interest in the world around us. Its impact was so profound that on the crowded train ride home, we couldn’t resist drafting resolutions to solve our own everyday dilemmas. Thank you to Ms Burnside and Mr Goalby for organising such a wonderful trip (and for the brownies!), and I hope to see many more Bancroftians take part in future conferences!

By Safa , L6SB

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