Feb 01 2018

Debating & the Bigger Issues – by Adrian Wood – Model UN (includes photo gallery)

DCMUN for me was a week of last minute research and and intense speech preparation preparation leading up to a week of craic.

So what is DCMUN? Basically DCMUN is a mock United Nations, each delegate (student) is given a country or organisation to represent in this mock UN in one of the three assemblies, general assembly, special conference and security council. I was given Afghanistan in the general assembly, a beautiful country known for producing budding terrorists, wonderful. Once I was given my country and the agenda issues for the week (of which there were 5). I had to research these topics and try to find out, my countries stand point on them. On each of these topics delegates have the option of writing resolutions to solve this problem using a number of clauses.

At the conference a delegate who has written one must get 10 signatures from other delegates whose countries would support the resolution. One resolution is chosen for each agenda issue. This resolution is debated and amended before a final vote can be passed as to whether the resolution will be passed. From Bandon Grammar School, two delegates wrote resolutions, Caitlin wilson miller (delegate of Portugal, special conference) and Shen Lester ( delegate of the russian federation, general assembly). Unfortunately these were not chosen despite being very high quality resolutions. A few delegates however signed resolutions that were eventually chosen.

Delegates have to dress in formal wear (I wore a tux!!) and refrain from using personal pronouns as you are not representing yourself you are representing a county! Bandon Grammar School had twelve delegates chosen for the event, including two on the new Security Council. David Brennan and Jack Lynch (day pupil), both represented the Russian Federation in this room.

The first day of the conference livened up a bit when lobbying started to get resolutions signed. We got to talk to other delegates from different schools and sign the resolutions we agreed with and would support . (Afghanistan didn’t really support much and I didn’t sign any). The second day it got a bit more exciting after the first half of the day that is, after the opening speeches. Some delegations had to do an opening speech (including mine) and I nearly bored the arse of myself reading it, because all in all each one was more or less the same. However after lunch the first debate started as Belgium submitted a resolution about refugee integration, it was watertight and hard to find holes in so people struggled to find holes in it. Cathal Brennan (delegate of the Human Rights Watch) in form 5 was the only BGS delegate to make a speech that day on the agenda issue as the rest of us decided that we would wait until the next day to try to speak as we wanted to get a taste of the formal etiquette and lingo of the UN before we had to go up to do a speech, however a few of us made points of information.  The delegate of UN Women attempted to submit an amendment that created a refugee hierarchy, it went woman, then children, then family pets,  then men in order of importance. This was received quite violently by most countries.

On day three there were two agenda issues up for debate: one about world trade and its effect on world inequality and also the question of the long term stabilisation of the Horn of Africa. The delegate of the UAE submitted a controversial resolution for world trade that seemed just a little too focused on oil and ignored all other kind of trade. Mary Linzel, form 4 (delegate of Venezuela) had signed this resolution and she had to come up with a very convincing speech defending it. She opened herself to one point of information, to which I stuck up my placard high to be picked to make one, the chair called on me and I asked it to which Mary handled herself brilliantly to answer. ( although I was the most hated man in the room to all BgGS delegates at that moment as perhaps I could have asked her an easier question and maybe not accused the venezuelan delegate of being greedy and selfish….. but anyway). Shen lester in form 4 (delegate of the Russian federation) also made a speech against the resolution, again handing herself brilliantly and performing a convincing speech. The resolution went russia’s way and didn’t pass despite a spirited effort to amend it so it wasn’t so biased to oil producing countries! After lunch the agenda issue didn’t really apply to any of the BGS delegates so we didn’t get to involved in the debate. Although the delegate of un women submitted an amendment that involved setting up a project whose title, when abbreviated, just happened to spell out NO MEN, what a coincidence and the delegate of Somalia just casually proclaimed that he was Jesus Christ.

On the final day there was 2 more agenda issues, one on the Sunni and Shia divide and the other on disposing WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction).

Iran submitted a resolution for the Sunni and Shia divide that the delegate of Afghanistan (myself) decided was biased toward Shia Muslims and also optimistic and unrealistic. So I took it upon myself to write a speech against it, which I was chosen to deliver in closed debate. The idea of it was nerve racking but once I got up on the podium they were quickly dispelled. Once I got back to my seat I found an influx of notes passed by other countries, some of which wanted me to back their amendments and some asking me to right one for them to back! Directly after me cathal Brennan was selected to speak against the resolution and he also produced a convincing debate. In the end we must have done something right because the resolution was not passed. The delegate of NATO’s plans to establish Donald trump as the leader of Islam caused quite a stir as other delegations began suggesting that their leaders would be better suited. ( his Holiness Pope Francis, supreme leader Kim Jong Un and her majesty Queen Elizabeth)

The final issue was debated after lunch was submitted by France. It proposed stockpiling all WMD stockpiles in a secure location. This was met with backlash due to the fact that this was a bit hypocritical and this mega stockpile could become a target for terrorist groups. The resolution was not passed.

After that it was time for all the assemblies to come together to listen to more boring speeches and find out who was getting a prize.

This year Cathal Brennan (form 5) received a prize in the general assembly, Highly Distinguished delegate and this was only the second prize that BGS has received in the competition as prizes are few and far between. So congratulations to him.

We were all wrecked after the week and went home after the prizegiving, feeling proud of what we had done while also laughing about what had happened during the week. I would recommend DCMUN to anyone as it is one of the best weeks I’ve had this year! I’d like to thank Miss Morley for all her hard work and dedication and I hope to do it again next year!


All delegations:

David Brennan -Russia- Security Council

Jack Lynch-Russia-Security Council

Georgie Walsh- Jamaica- Special Conference
Robert McGarvey- Russia- Special Conference
Luka Bird- Jamaica- General Assembly
Shen Lester- Russia- General Assembly
Mary Linzel – Venezuela- General Assembly
Charlotte Jennings- Venezuela – Special Conference
Asha Egan McCutcheon- Haiti -General Assembly
Lydia Lehane- Burkina Faso- General Assembly and CHAIR
Emily Pagel- Afghanistan- Special Conference
Adrian Wood- Afghanistan- General Assembly
Caitlin Wilson-Miller- Portugal- Special Conference
Cathal Brennan- Human Rights Watch- General Assembly and CHAIR
Louis Egan McCutcheon – Human Rights Watch- Special Conference