Davis College became the United Nations Headquarters for two days
170 students became UN delegates, debated and wrote a resolution on Medical Ethics, Nuclear Proliferation and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
The students of Davis College in Mallow had the opportunity to become delegates to the United Nations of 170 countries and non-governmental organisations. They participated in a conference which simulated the United Nations General Assembly. The vast majority of the students were 4th year pupils but also included those involved in the Student Enrichment Programme (SEP), which caters for high achieving students in the school.
The objective of the Model United Nations is to write clauses and ultimately resolutions that will tackle, resolve or at least minimise problems connected to pressing world issues in the areas of human rights, scientific advancement, ethics, aid, disarmament, etc. Students become experts in the delegation they represent and on the issues debated. They then write clauses, which are debated, voted for/against and included (or not) in a resolution.
Worldwide, students who become experts in MUN are high achievers academically. They develop aural, oral and written skills, which are fundamental in exam situations. Because they research so many issues, they are also extremely familiar with a range of subjects and topics. More importantly, they become diplomatic problem-solvers with a humanitarian conscience, which contributes to their formation as responsible citizens of the world. MUN students are a step ahead and the skills they develop will allow for better integration and success in the workplace in years to come.
Despite its undisputed popularity in secondary school across the globe, the Model United Nations has failed to become widespread in Ireland. In fact, this was the first MUN conference to take place in County Cork. Davis College has taken the role of pioneer in this area and while DCMUN 2014 was exclusively constituted by Davis College students, the school intends the 2015 conference to be open to schools nationwide and overseas.
This year’s conference proved to be a massive success. The debate was intense and fruitful, with many clauses being approved, which became part of the final resolution. Several delegates were awarded certificates of merit, which were validated by Toastmasters. The following delegates were officially recognised:
Honourable mentions: Bríd Brennan (Belgium), Eoghan O’Leary Fitzpatrick (China), Giedre Klovaite (Egypt), Gráinne O’Callaghan (Estonia), Michael McMahon (Ethiopia), Michael Leahy (Japan), Jed Duane (Lebanon), Zwelake Mabidikana (Palestinian National Authority), Tamara O’Connell (Republic of Korea) and Christina Woods (Russian Federation).
Best Junior Delegates: Rory O’Connor (Jordan), Ava Kelly (Norway) and Kieran Horgan (Ecuador).
Best Debut Speakers: Neill Curtis (Germany) and Matthew McGlynn (Pakistan).
Revelations of the Year: Aine Dunniece (United Kingdom), Liam Faherty (Spain), Sofia Georgieva (Luxembourg), Brian Guerin (Uzbekistan) and Shauna Heaney (Unicef).
Most Distinguished Delegates: Nathan O’Regan (USA), Colin Roche (Switzerland), Aaron McNamara (Chad) and Hope Williams (Iceland).
Best Delegate: Ciarán Teape (Israel)
The conference was highly praised by several guests of honour such as Donál O’Mathúna, senior lecturer in ethics, decision-making & evidence in DCU, who spoke on the issue of Medical Ethics and Andrew Cottey, Head of Government in UCC, who imparted his knowledge on the issues of Nuclear Proliferation and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Pat Sexton from Toastmasters, the Cork Education and Training Board CEO Timothy Owens, Cork Mayor Noel O’Connor and TD Séan Sherlock were also present at the conference and praised the professionalism that surrounded the conference, the standard of the debate and the quality of the final resolution.
DCMUN will be back next year; bigger, better and more impressive than this year. This conference will be an annual event for years to come. An academic activity of great notoriety based on ground-breaking educational strategies of which Mallow town and Cork County should be proud.