From New York to Nordhavn, this was borderline UN central

Forget New York, as Copenhagen International School was the place to be for a gathering of the United Nations in September.
Under the theme ‘Borders’, pupils aged 16 to 18 from five schools used Model UN, an educational simulation that adopts the format of the UN committees so that children can learn about diplomacy and international relations.
From September 19-21 at the school in Nordhavn, the main question on the agenda was: ‘What are borders?’

Students from CIS, Herlufholm School, Birkerød Gymnasium, the International School of Hellerup, and the International School of Turin simulated representations from 37 countries.

Even though MUN is a simulation in which students mimic the actual United Nations, the performance and passion of the students exceeded expectations at time.

South Africa’s representative Wecho Moncho confidently stood alone against the other nations as pressure grew on him to re-think his policy in Syria.

Representing the hosts, the CIMUN team spent a whole year getting ready, during which time they gained a lot of fruitful knowledge and experience. CIS student Megan Widjaja (left), the secretary general, recalls that last October she was afraid of taking the leadership role, worrying that she wouldn’t earn respect, but on September 20 she reflected proudly on the success of the conference. “It was a student-based project so most of the preparation has gone through the students,” she said. “When people come to the opening ceremony, I finally saw all of the work from the past year coming together”

The students who participated as delegates appreciated the CIMUN team’s effort – no matter if they were interested in the field before or not. Stanislas Salavert (left: left) aspires to work at the UN in the future and was happy to gain insight during the event. “I believe this is a really good simulation to see how it works. Of course, we don’t really see the inside operation, but we do get to see at least the diplomatic aspects between the countries,” he said. Clara Brown (left: right), who dreams of being a physicist, confessed that she wasn’t interested in any of the topics before. Yet, she believes she could hone her research and debate skills. “I really enjoyed the debate side of the conference,” she said.

To make the conference more fun, rules and punishments were set. If anyone used improper words while representing a nation as a delegate, they were liable to be punished – in one case by being forced to proposed marriage to another student.

The high school principal has nothing but praise for the students. “In terms of confidence, organisational skills and management skills, it’s a real opportunity for the students,” enthused Stephen McIlroy.

“My role has been fairly easy. It was mostly the students who have taken this on”