Ayalde attends an International Model United Nations Conference

Ayalde attends an International Model United Nations Conference

On Saturday 22 October, eleven students from Bachiller travelled over to Croydon, England with Nicola Dignum and Beth Boyle to attend the 35th IMUN conference at Royal Russell School. Approximately 500 students attended from schools from thirteen countries. One of our students was chairing a committee, one was the Registrar in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), one joined the RRS Press team, four represented Germany and four represented Australia.

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The students worked very hard to prepare for the conference, writing resolutions on topics such as organ and tissue donation, the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, addressing conflict minerals in central Africa, political refugees from Syria and Iraq, combatting plastic pollution in oceans and measures to promote microloans to increase economic growth in LEDCs.

All the students had to make a Policy Statement in their committees and the Ambassadors had to make a speech in the opening ceremony. During the general assemblies, all the delegates were able to make Points of Information and/or speeches in favor or against resolutions. Photos and video links can be found on our Facebook page, MUN Bilbao.

Noelia Vieira, German delegate in the Environment Committee:

I’m super excited to go to Royal Russell as it’s my first time I go on a plane! I’m very nervous because I’ll have to speak in front of many people but I think I’ll enjoy myself and learn a lot of things. I’ll make a lot of friends too! I have spent my morning sat on my friends suitcases in order to close them. It has been very funny because the people in the airport stared at us and laughed with us.

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Noelia working in the Environment committee

Maria De La Peña, Australian delegate in the Special Committee on terrorism in Iraq and Levant:

Having taken a plane at 10:30 I suddenly found myself at the entrance of a big, colorful and homelike school. Badge on, resolution and placard of Australia in hand and I headed to the SPECITIL committee. I admit that the idea of being alone in the new special committee of terrorism frightened me, and even more when I arrived to the enormous classroom. However, we started lobbying and that was a great opportunity to get to know the rest of the delegates who came from all over the world. Therefore, I felt more confident when having to do the policy statement in order to present Australia’s point of view, and although later my resolution didn’t pass, I was able to make points of information and become part of the debate. However, while listening and watching I realized I had a good deal to learn from experienced people as it became a marvelous event.

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Maria De Le Peña in the Spectil Committee

Patricia Gomez, Press Team:

Five days ago we went to Croydon, England, to attend an international MUN conference at Royal Russell School. I couldn’t help but feel really nervous at first, as I was going to be part of the press team and had no idea what I was going to do. However, once we arrived and met the people I was going to work with, I realized I was going to have a great time. Everyone was so kind and even though it was really stressful and we had to work really hard I can assure this has been one of the best experiences I’ve had so far. I hope I can repeat it next year, and I highly recommend it to everyone!

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Patricia with the four magazines the Press Team produced during the conference

Maddalen Lazaro, the German delegate in the SpecPol 1 committee:

The day we got to Royal Russell, we had to get signatures for our resolutions or merge them. When I got there I felt really nervous at thought of having to face lots of people I didn’t know, however, when I approached the first group of people to whom I was planning on giving my resolution I was taken aback by how kind everyone was. It set me at ease. The more resolutions I handed out the calmer I felt, and without realising it I achieved eight signatures, that meant I could submit it to the approval panel and if approved it would be debated in my committee. The next day we debated four resolutions in my committee, SPECPOL 1. Unfortunately, due to time constraints we were unable to debate my resolution despite the fact that it had been approved. Nevertheless, I had an amazing time at RRSIMUN and I hope my next conference is this fun.

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Noelia, Maddalen and Alejandra representing Germany in the General Assembly

Leyre Tejedor, Registrar in the International Court of Justice (ICJ):

My second international MUN conference, held at Royal Russell school, has been at least as enriching, empowering and unforgettable as the last one.

Last year I participated in the ICJ as a judge in the case of the Marshall Islands vs. The nuclear states, and it was my first time ever doing MUN, so for me it was a great discovery and a totally new experience. This year I was the Registrar, and the case we took on was Ecuador vs. Columbia. As I already knew how things work in the ICJ I was able to participate more and understand the case much better, which made my experience very enjoyable.

On the social side, I met many new  people I shared interests with, made lots of friends, and reunited with friends I had made the year before. It’s always fantastic to be in contact with people from different cultures and countries.

All in all, the ICJ has been a success and I’ve had a great 3 days yet again, doing what I’m most passionate about.

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Leyre Tejedor with the President of the ICJ about to read the judgement

Alejandra Garcia, Ambassador of Germany:

On Saturday all the delegations had to attend the opening ceremony where the ambassadors all have a speech about the problems that concern their countries the most. I was representing Germany and in case I wasn’t nervous enough because of the ambassador speech, some members of my delegation were late and I had to give them some material. Luckily they got to the conference on time.

When it was time for me to do the speech I was quite nervous and overwhelmed. However, when I started my speech I was very surprised as I was speaking calmly and clearly, even though my heart was racing.

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Germany preparing for the Opening Ceremony: Maddalen Lazaro, Noelia Vieira and Alejandra Garcia (Ambassador)

Irati Salcedo, Australian delegate in the SpecPol 1 committee:

On sunday i woke up really nervous, my merged resolution was going to be debated, and so i was going to speak in front of everyone, for the first time. The main submitter made his speech and he yielded the floor to me. When i finished mine, even though i decided not to answer any points of information, i still was proud of myself. Everyone was really kind and after talking i just could think about preparing the next one.

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Australia: Alejandra Connell (Ambassador), Christina Connell and Irati Salcedo in the General Assembly

Marta Fuente, Delegate for Australia in the Ecofin committee:

Sunday 23th October was a pretty exciting day for me. We all got early to the Royal Russell School, school where the MUN conference was held, and everyone went to their committees in which we had been the day before. There was a chair for each delegation with its name in alphabetical order. As I was Australia I would be the first one to do the policy statement, that was a small compulsory speech we had to give in front of our committee. I was nervous, and this feeling increased even more when the chair pronounced the name of my country. I gave the speech and felt  a lot better. That day I even made another speech in favor of a resolution, which made me realize that I’m more capable than what I think. This is why I feel that was a very important day, because now I’m not that shy when it comes to talking in front of people.

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Maria De La Peña and Marta Fuente listening to the General Assembly and preparing to debate the next resolution

Nicola Dignum, MUN Director:

All the students worked very hard during the conference and all managed to be recognized in the General Assembly to ask Points of Information or to make speeches. Alejandra Garcia was also recognized as a Distinguished Delegate in the DISEC 1 committee. Well done to you all and I am very proud of you.

Maddalen Lazaro, German Delegate in the SpecPol 1 committee:

On Tuesday afternoon, after MUN had come to an end we hopped on the first tram into Croydon to check into our hotel and get the train into London. As we were running a bit short on time the first thing we did when we got to London was go shopping. Next, we took a tour around London starting by going down Carnaby Street into Piccadilly Circus and then Leicester Square, after that we had dinner.

We next took a walk to Trafalgar Square, then to Houses of Parliament passing next to Downing Street on our way. When we got there, we couldn’t resist stopping to take a few photos as we could see the London Eye on the other side of the river Thames, it was stunning. Seeing Big Ben at night was also spectacular. The final place we visited before getting the train back to our hotel was Buckingham Palace.

It was absolutely amazing to visit London, it was particularly beautiful because it was nighttime. We all had a fantastic time and hope to be able to go back some time soon.

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Dinner in Wagamamas

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How many Ayalde Munners can get in a London telephone box?

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On Westminster Bridge

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Oxford Street

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In front of Buckingham Palace

Alejandra Connell, Ambassador for Australia:

This experience was so complete, it’s not just the International Model United Nations, with all the assemblys, committees or resolutions, it’s more than that. Apart from that, is the way we can make friends in a lenguage that is not ours, the way we communicate our country’s opinions in front of lots people. In addition, as we were not very far from London, we could go a few hours to visit it. It was my first time and i found it really amazing, we took many photos in the Big Ben, London Eye and more important places. I really enjoyed this conference.

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Alejandra working in the Environment committee

Marta Bareño, Delegate for Germany in Ecofin:

When we arrived to Royal Russell we realized the astonishing level we were facing to. There were going to be four long days full of debating and learning as much as we could.

During the lobbying session we got to know a lot of different people from different countries and cultures while merging and passing our resolutions. The next two days of debating were great. We tried our best to do our speeches and ask some points of information. Finally, on monday and tuesday we debated the best resolutions in the G.A. In the end only two of them passed and i gave a speech!! I felt so proud about myself because of being able to speak in front of five hundred teenagers with the aim of making from this a better world.

This whole experience has definitely been one of the bests of my life. I am really looking forward to repeating MUN and attending all the conferences i’m able to. I would like to go back to London and try Prague. What i have learnt from this project is something i would never forget. Not only how to get through nowadays problems but also how to speak in public and what do other countries think about this world.

Site seeing in London was an award for us that i think we totally deserved. Nicola has been a great supervisor and i thank her so much for letting me trying Model United Nations.

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Marta Bareño and Marta Fuente working in the Ecofin committee

Christina Connell, Chair in Disarmament and Security 1:

I can’t believe that four days ago I was running into the committee I was chairing and to which I was late and now I’m 30500 feet up in the clouds on my way back from what, once again, has been an incredible conference.

Royal Russell has definitely not let me down this time either and has matched up to my expectations.  The conference has been fun, interesting, enriching… I have met new people and seen others for the first time after a whole year in the same place and atmosphere we met.

The motion to go back home has been objected and therefore should not be in order, and several delegates have seconded the motion to come back as soon as possible as well as to other conferences, including ours.

The MUNer fever is rising up!

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Christina Connell chairing the DISEC 1 committee

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Arriving back, very tired but happy

Roll on MUN Bilbao, 26 – 29 January 2017!

www.mun-Bilbao.com

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MUN Presentation at the British Council´s Annual Bilbao Conference

Last Saturday, our Secretariat Team gave a presentation at a conference organised by the British Council. To kick off the presentation, Nicola gave a complete explanation of what MUN is, how it works and its history (as some people in the audience hadn’t heard about it yet), as well as the relationship between Ayalde, Coas and MUN, including our conference in January. Afterwards, our Secretary General Christina Connell talked about her experience in MUN at Royal Russell, and also about her and the Secretariat’s role in the upcoming MUN Bilbao conference. She also told the audience that we’re looking for sponsors who can provide us with financial help and invited any schools wishing to participate in MUN Bilbao to register. Finally, our Head of Press and Media Leyre shared her experience in the ICJ and the activities her team will carry out before and during the January conference. Hopefully, it’ll help bring new schools to our conference and get some sponsors interested.

Christina Connell speaking about being Secretary General:

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Leyre Tejedor speaking about ICJ:

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Royal Russell IMUN 2016: The Preparation Part 2

Patricia Gomez: There’s less than a month left for our girls to go to Royal Russell School in London, where an IMUN conference is taking place between Saturday 22nd and Tuesday 25th October. Christina Connell is going as a chair in DISEC 1 and Leyre Tejedor is part of the ICJ and will be their Registrar. Representing Germany, Alejandra García is the ambassador and a delegate from DISEC 1, Maddalen Lázaro is part of SPECPOL 1, Marta Bareño is part of ECOFIN and Noelia Vieira is part of the environment committee. Representing Australia, Alejandra Connell is the ambassador and in the environment committee, María de la Peña is part of SPEC CON, Marta Fuente part of ECOFIN and Irati Salcedo is taking part in SPECPOL 1. Finally, I am going as part of the press team.
The girls have been doing research all summer, and now that school has started, they gather one day a week to write resolutions, help each other from one country to another and debate about different topics. They are more than excited to attend this conference.

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MUN Workshop May 2016: The day itself

On Saturday 28 May, Colegio Ayalde hosted the second one-day workshop conference. 61 students from Ayalde, Munabe and the American School of Bilbao attended as delegates, with a further seven students attending as Chairs, Secretaries and Press/Media.

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During the morning session, the three committees produced eight resolutions between them, three of which were then discussed and voted on in the General Assembly during the afternoon.

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The students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it was a great opportunity for new Munners to see what MUN is all about.

Sofia Echezarra: I´m one of the Heads of Admin. for January’s conference, and I’m really excited because on Saturday I attended my first MUN Conference!! It was a one-day MUN Workshop Conference organised by Ayalde and the American School of Bilbao. I participated as a secretary and although at the beginning I was a little bit lost, I soon understood how everything worked.

I found it a really enriching experience as I improved my English, I met knew people, I learned debating skills and what’s more important, we all helped to change our world into a better one. Now, even though I know it’s going to be more work and more exhausting, I’m looking forward for January’s conference much more!! And, in addition, after yesterday’s conference I found myself more prepared for it.

I hope that everyone that participated on Saturday at the conference enjoyed it as much as I did and I hope to see you all in January!

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Carmen Real de Asua: On Saturday, we had the honor of attending and participating in the MUN mini conference at Colegio Ayalde. The delegates were from the American School of Bilbao, Munabe and Ayalde.

We arrived at 9.30 and then we separated in three rooms depending on our committee. In each room, there were debated different topics: Mistreatment of women, the refugee crisis in Europe and the South China Sea dispute. There, we separated ourselves in groups depending what our country thought about the issue and we wrote a resolution. At 11.30, we had a quick break and after that, we continued working and then we went to the txoko for lunch.

At 1.30, the General Assembly started and some parents came to watch. We were separated in tables with our country’s name and a flag. The Chairs and the Ambassadors did a short speech and then we debated the resolutions and we voted on them.

All in all, it was a great experience that I recommend to anyone that likes this type of activity, we had a lot of fun and we learned a lot.

 

 

MUN Workshop May 2016: Preparation

After the success of our workshop with the American School of Bilbao in January, we are repeating it again although we have changed the format slightly. The morning will be spent in three committees:

Human Rights discussing the question of refugees in Europe

ECOSOC discussing the question of the mistreatment of women

Disarmament and International Security discussing the question of the South China Sea dispute

The afternoon session will be the Opening Ceremony with Ambassador speeches and then debate on the resolutions produced by the committees during the morning.

For this workshop, new students who are interested in doing MUN next school year are coming along to observe and Colegio Munabe will also be joining us for the first time.

Carmen Bilbao: I’m really excited to start MUN because it’s a very interesting subject mainly because we will be taught how to debate and also we talk about different topics. It’s a good way to learn how to speak in public and feel more confident while speaking English. Another thing I hope I get to learn is a lot of history and culture from other countries.

Rosie Tregenza: My name is Rosie Tregenza and I am 14 years old. I am currently in 3rd ESO at my school Ayalde.I am English but I live and study in the Basque Country of Spain. In May we were given the chance to choose a new lesson to start next academic year. I have chosen Model United Nations (MUN) because I beleive it can teach me many things. Not only will I learn skills such as public speaking, meeting protocols and organisation but I will also learn about the UN system and the many topics it covers such as economics, politics, health and security. It also gives me the chance to meet new people and to learn about different cultures. On May the 28th I have my first conference coming up and I am very excited. I am counting the days on my calendar.

 

RRS MUN vs PORGMUN, Prague

Sofia Pérez-Sasia and Tadea Lopez: This year we have attended two different MUN conferences. The first one took place in Royal Russell in october whereas the second one was in Prague in april. Even though we found lots of differences between the two conferences we have enjoyed both of them a lot!

We found Royal Russell more professional because there were 500 students and the mayority were native speakers. In Prague, as the mayority of people was chezk their level of english was very similar to ours and it was easyer to participate and follow up. The biggest difference between the conferences was that in Royal Russell we had to prepare a resolution before getting there and it had to pass the lobbing to be presented to all the delegates in the commite. In Prague, the resolution was made by groups of delegates whose countries had the same opinions. We must point out that as we prepared a resolution before going, we felt a lot more confortable there.

About the accomodation, in London we stayed in the school where the conference, the social events and the dinning hall took place. We found that very confortable and easy to follow the schedule. In Prague we stayed in the “Irish Eden Hotel” which was really nice but a bit far away from the conference. We had to take a bus and subway everyday to get to the school or to the center of Prague. We found very interesting that the mayority of delegates stayed in the same hotel so we were able to meet them before the conference.

According to the social events, they were very enjoyable in both places. In London there was a small disco in the school every night while in Prague there were different social events such as the ice-breacking activity, the karaoke and the final party.

We are very thankful for these opportunities that the school has offered us, which have not only showed us an international enviroment but have also made us aware of many problems that are real around the world today.

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Sofia at Royal Russell
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Tadea at Royal Russell