10 February 2020

John Lyon Model United Nations sees trade wars and climate change top the agenda

Thirty-six nations descended on John Lyon to debate some of the world’s most pressing concerns, as the School’s Model United Nations was reconvened.

Following the success of 2019’s event, the second annual John Lyon Model United Nations (MUN) took place over the weekend of 1st and 2nd February.

75 delegates from nine schools took their places for the event, with participants each representing a country and debating resolutions aimed at addressing key global topics.

Professor Richard Davies, fellow at the London School of Economics and former economics editor of The Economist officially opened the conference by addressing the students, who ranged in age from 14 to 18, before small committees debated resolutions and then came together as a General Assembly.

Topics of debate were varied, and included  the regulation of the United Nations Peacekeeper Force, the sovereignty of Kashmir, internet access as a right, civil unrest in Hong Kong, the crisis in the Amazon Rainforest, pollution in urban centres, the development of renewable energy solutions, regulation of the pharmaceutical industry, and de-escalation of the United States-China trade war.

At the end of proceedings, awards for best delegates went to the representatives of Pakistan, Kazakhstan, United States and overall winners, China.

Once again John Lyon Model United Nations was entirely student-led, with all of the event’s  logistics and content created by a committee headed by Upper Sixth students Husain Abedi, Patrick Miles, Deven Ruparalia, Vivek Nanwani and Adnan Kachwala.

At the end of the weekend, Husain and Patrick reflected on the second John Lyon Model United Nations.

Patrick said: “They say the second time you do something it is easier and I felt that was true with this conference. Building from last year’s success we were able to appreciate the project we had started. I witnessed young people involving themselves in fruitful and astute debate. In my opening speech I talked about the message of creativity and more importantly the crucial aspect of collaborative creativity and I felt that by the end of the weekend this message had been embraced by most of our attendees. I also thought that our guest speaker Richard Davies complemented this idea and introduced some really interesting tangible examples of creativity and adaptability and I felt that it was very well received by our delegates and supervisors in the room. His words set an encouraging and productive tone for the rest of the weekend.”

“This conference also marks the end of a journey, as I prepare to leave John Lyon, and I couldn’t have been happier to have spent it with such a supportive group of friends. MUN has played a key role in my own personal development and I truly believe it has helped tremendously with my self-confidence and finding something I’m passionate about.”

Husain said: “It’s not often  a delegate proposes we schedule a meeting concerning the US-China Trade War in a Greenlander Igloo. And in that very same resolution, a comprehensive plan to form a new UN body to mediate and moderate all international commercial negotiations. That, in my opinion, encapsulates what John Lyon MUN is all about and 2020 was no exception. There were intense verbal duels of clauses and amendments married to passionate alliances and compromises. I recall the delegate of Mexico’s passionate and succinct argument for why marijuana legalisation would eventually spur world peace. Or the delegate from Canada who didn’t relent in attempting cooperation in her never-ending stream of amendments.

“MUN is as much about the people as the politics. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team – an event where young minds develop new and interesting perspectives on global affairs, from lenses most don’t usually see through while also meeting new and interesting (and possibly lifelong) friends.

“Thank you to everyone for an amazing conference. To 2021!”