By BRIAN MOORE
STUDENTS from schools across West Cork travelled to Cork city recently to take part in Davis College Model United Nations event at the City Hall.
The four-day Model United Nations conference was hosted by Cork Education and Training Board, Davis College Mallow, and is a student-run simulation of the UN General Assembly.
Pupils from Kinsale, Clonakilty, Bandon and Schull joined over 400 other students between the ages of 13 and 18 from 30 schools across Ireland, as well as 40 students visiting from Portugal, Spain, Germany, Austria, and as far afield as Angola.
‘This is our second year at the Model UN event,’ teacher Dave McCarthy from Schull Community College (SCC) said. ‘We had 15 Transition Year students taking part and we also requested that we represent Lesotho as we have connections with a school out there. The students who have taken part have all said that they really enjoyed the event and I know that it provides them with a way to interact with other students from across the globe.’
The conference included topics such as human trafficking, media censorship, youth radicalisation online, animal rights, mental well-being and reform of the UN. Also attending the four-day conference was president of Amnesty International, Colm O’Gorman, the Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Des Cahill, as well as representatives from a number of embassies to Ireland.
‘Last year Schull Community College was awarded a Global Passport award for our dedication to development education and global issues,’ teacher Karen Sheehan said. ‘I personally believe that the Model UN is the most worthwhile exercise our students can take part in during their school life. Students work on key skills such as public speaking, problem solving and debating.’
There were also 20 students from Coláiste na Toirbhirte, Bandon attending the Model UN for the first time while 14 students from Clonakilty Community College (CCC) were also on hand to practise their diplomatic skills at the Model UN.
‘It is the first time that we have got involved,’ said teacher Mary Lowery. ‘Each student was a delegate representing a particular country and they enjoyed the event immensely.’