This has been another extremely successful term for Model United Nations at RHS. The RHS MUN Society has record numbers with 70 active members, nearly all of whom, along with 16 staff guests, attended the second Annual MUN Dinner on Remembrance Sunday. The Guest-of-Honour was the acclaimed, BAFTA award-winning documentary film-maker, author and historian, Dr Laurence Rees. He addressed all present on the subject of war-crimes and genocide provoking a large number of questions. He also donated copies of his most recent book – The Dark Charisma of Adolf Hitler: leading millions into the abyss – which were sold that evening with all profits going to the services charity, Combat Stress.
In addition, the School has attended three conferences this term. The first saw 10 sixth formers visiting Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham in October to take part in their annual Security Council simulation. RHS represented China, Guatemala and Indonesia considering options in respect of an escalating crisis centered around the fictional nation of Rengaan, a cross between Syria and Myanmar. This was an extremely intensive day of negotiations and, at times, brinkmanship diplomacy, in order to prevent the crisis escalating to the nearby south-east Asian states of Thailand and Indonesia.
In November, sixteen pupils from Years 10 to 13, including eight first time delegates, took part in another day conference, this time at the London Oratory School. This time RHS represented Iran, Venezuela and, once again, the People’s Republic of China, a country in which we specialise. Mr Gutierrez gave invaluable help on the politics of his native Venezuela and the RHS pupils debated topics as diverse as: online currency – Bitcoins; private space exploration; tackling anti-biotic resistance; the treatment of terror suspects; the rise of trans-national crime and rebuilding the phantom state that is the Central African Republic to name but six of the twelve topics covered. Zach Tabor representing Venezuela was selected as a Highly Commended Delegate on the Political Committee, while Jess Edney – at her first conference – was also Highly Commended, this time for Iran within the Economic and Social Committee. Seven RHS delegates had resolutions debated which they had themselves written which is a mark of the quality of preparation put in before each conference.
On 9 December 2013, 36 RHS pupils, from Years 9 to 13, went to Benenden School in Kent representing eight countries: Afghanistan, Canada, China, Egypt, Lebanon, Panama, the Solomon Islands and South Africa. The topics are wide-ranging, from Islamist terrorism to sustainable biofuels production and from therapeutic cloning to the social evil that is Female Genital Mutilation. Three of our Year 13 have been invited as guest committee chairs which is a tribute to the way in which RHS delegates are viewed by other schools. Andrew Egan will be co-chairing the Special Committee on Genetics, while Zach Tabor will co-chair the Human Rights Commission. Conor Steeds has been asked to be the Presiding Chair of the Political Committee. It promises to be an excellent conference and a fitting end to a busy MUN term.