News / Calgary

University of Calgary hosts 42nd annual high school model U.N.

Attending students discuss real issues from the United Nations agenda.

The model UN security council listens to Iman Mashood representing Malaysia discuss on going issues in Syria.

Lucie Edwardson/Metro

The model UN security council listens to Iman Mashood representing Malaysia discuss on going issues in Syria.

Over 500 of Calgary’s brightest high school students have taken over the University of Calgary this weekend for the 42nd annual model United Nations (UN) meeting.

The students, who come from 28 different public, private and charter schools in Calgary and surrounding areas, came together to discuss, debate and attempt to find real resolutions to real world problems during their mock UN meetings.

“This along with say debate societies in high schools, really allow students who want to talk about the big issues, the ones that will go on to really make a difference in the greater real life world—this is where they get their first experience,” said Rob Huebert, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science.

Huebert said the students discuss real world issues straight from the UN’s own agenda.

“None of this is fabricated or tailored,” he said. “We simply look at the United Nations agenda and pick out what’re the debate topics and what are the topics they’ll analyze—that might be ISIS, gender and equality, development, trade negotiations—we’re going to be drawing from the real world so it brings it right to their reality.”

Leah Schmidt

Lucie Edwardson / Metro

Leah Schmidt

Iman Moshood, an eleventh grade student from Webber Academy is representing Malaysia at the model UN Security Council this weekend. She said she enjoys the opportunity to talk about world issues that are often looked over or not fully understood.

Iman Mashood representing Malaysia.

Lucie Edwardson / Metro

Iman Mashood representing Malaysia.

Leah Schmidt, student Under-Secretary General from the University of Calgary said she first began in the model UN as a high school student.

Schmidt, who a fifth year international relations and women’s studies major, organized this year’s model UN and gave workshops to any school who requested them prior to the event.

She said it makes he proud to see the students live in action.

“Seeing the delegates in suites with their research binders all prepared and public speaking for the first time in front of hundreds of people is phenomenal,” she said. “I remember being in grade 10 and so nervous and they are all pulling it off without a hitch.”

“I feel like the model United Nations is a place where I can voice my opinion on all of these topics in a formal situation outside of my friends and family,” she said. “It’s also really cool to see other nations point of view because it’s not like you really go out and normally research the Ukraine’s point of view on an issue for example.”

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