Students speak to the world

Herald File Photo. Students take part in model UN session at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School in the file photo from March 2023.

by Morley Harrison

On Tuesday, December 19th, I attended a very well run and meaningful Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA). Over 40 students representing 20 countries were involved.

This Assembly was hosted by Prince Albert’s St. Mary High School. Students from Carlton Comprehensive High School, Martensville High School and St. Mary High School attended.

This particular Assembly was initiated to allow students to participate and feel comfortable in a MUNA prior to the larger annual Assembly to be held at Carlton next spring.

Since the 1960’s, the Rotary Club of Prince Albert has been a strong supporter of MUNA. As a member of Rotary and an ex Social Studies teacher, I was most excited by what occurred on Tuesday at St. Mary. It bodes well for what will happen at Carlton this spring – students will arrive practised, prepared and determined to bring the voice of the world to Prince Albert once more.

Our world is witnessing extremely demanding international situations: climate change, devastating wars in the Middle East, Africa, the Ukraine, and growing tensions in Asia. The nations of the world need a voice that is searching for solutions to events that threaten us all.

The United Nations was formed in 1945 by 50 countries to do exactly that – do what no country can do alone:  express concerns about, advocate for, and find solutions to international issues – issues of aggression, climate change, cultural differences, humanitarian threats (genocide), natural disasters, and hunger, as well as many others.

Today there are 193 member nations represented in the United Nations. As we look at present international situations, it is obvious that the United Nations is not only relevant but above all, needed.

The over 40 students representing their 20 countries that gathered at St. Mary High School entered into a dramatic, well thought out, well presented, and at times heated debate on one of the pressing issues – ‘Climate Change.’ The debate called for each nation to accept responsibility for this issue and to take the necessary steps needed to end the crisis.

(By the way the debate was chaired by a recent graduate, Andrew Harris, of St. Mary’s Model United Nations Club. It was a demanding job – very well done Chair person Andrew.)

It was exciting to see students from grade nine to twelve debate and call for urgent actions not only on behalf of their particular assigned country but for the ‘world as a whole.’

I will close by saying congratulations to the three schools involved, their students, teachers and support staff, for a most meaningful Model United Nations Assembly. As they strive to play a role in their world both now and in the future, students want to speak – we need to hear them. MUNA is a most positive and engaging way for that to happen! I thank you, the participants, for your dedication.