On Friday 21 March, schools from all around Europe began to descend upon us for the ninth Haileybury Model United Nations. After a busy night of last-minute organising for some, and relaxation before the main event for others, it was time for bed. On Saturday, opening speeches and committee loomed.
Early on Saturday morning the remaining schools which had not arrived the previous night joined with the rest, to greet old friends and new, to start the strange, but very necessary period of lobbying. Lobbying is, effectively, a chance for people to go round and meet the rest of their committee, advertise their resolution and win support. Towards the end it, as always, became a gigantic free-for-all searching for the elusive final signature that means your set of proposals can be debated.
At 10am all delegates came together in Big School for the opening ceremony of the General Assembly. The Secretary General, Beth Bowen, who is also head of school, made her opening speech, drawing on vast experience of all matters MUN. Miss Cranch, the Director of MUN, then made her welcoming speech, outlining the rules of the conference, highlighting that it was down to the students, more than the teachers and advisors, to make sure than MUN ran smoothly. President of GA, Alex Erasmus (Batten), then opened the 9th Annual Haileybury MUN.
In the afternoon all delegates went back to committee, debating topics as wide ranging as the problems of Zimbabwe to the rights of the disabled. Debate was long and hard, but some good and definitive proposals were reached on each of the topics, ready to be debated in GA the next day.
Sunday kicked off with a chapel service with Bruce Kent as a guest speaker. All people in attendance found his views both thought provoking and detailed, and so came out of chapel service more awake, and enlightened for it!
From late Sunday morning and through the afternoon, we debated all the topics from the previous day. A number of resolutions were passed, and debate was as constructive as many of us have ever seen at an MUN conference. Roll on 2004!