Running the World for a Weekend
The School once again became a summit centre for a weekend in January to host WASAMUN, our annual international affairs conference.
With over 250 young people attending from across the country, the three-day event simulated the debate of a range of political and diplomatic forums, which this year included the United States Senate, the Arctic Council and the United Nations Security Council. Amongst the pressing international problems debated were the impact of populism; the rights of women during armed conflict and post-conflict situations; and building resilience to climate-related hazards.
Our simulation of the United States Senate provided an exciting opportunity to recreate the debate of the upper house of the American legislature. Pupils researched and adopted the positions of real Democratic and Republican senators, debating issues including the “Muslim travel ban”, funding for military operations against Iran, limiting presidential power in the imposition of tariffs and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The simulation was designed to complement many topics on the A-level Government and Politics specification.
Our version of the United Nations Security Council considered a crisis situation in Asia, engaging with some of the most pressing global threats and current scholarly debates in the field of security studies. Debate centred around the national sovereignty, the responsibility of states to protect their citizens from grave human rights abuses, and moral and legal questions regarding the use of force.
The scenario was fast paced and challenging, requiring delegates to build relationships, develop consensus and make decisions under time pressure.
The conference also included time to relax, with a number of social events including a formal black-tie dinner on the Friday night and a ceilidh on the Saturday.
Over 150 girls participate in the School’s Model United Nations programme, which is one of the largest of its type in the country.