On Friday, November 6th, 2020, we organized our annual small version of the Model UN conference on Climate Change with G9 PreAP World Geography students. The conference was the ultimate conclusion of our three weeks’ effort to identify factors that affect climate on global and regional scale, and evaluate their effects.
In pairs students represented five countries or international organizations, which are either key global players in contemporary international affairs, or which will face serious threat if current state of climate change is not addressed soon. In the preparation phase, students’ task was to conduct an independent research and prepare a paper, which would reflect their country’s official position, including projects that the country has been involved in. Crucial part of the preparation were manageable and measurable suggestions that each team made to deal with the climate change, while protecting economic interests of their countries.
Conference continued with plenary meeting. Students, grouped in teams, presented their position papers, so that everyone could share the best practices, find common interests and get familiar with individual priorities. In the second part of the live meeting, students conducted short bilateral or multilateral talks with their peers in an effort to find a solution that would be acceptable for all participating countries. Whether the students would find a mutual agreement was unclear from the very beginning, as the opinions were sometimes contrasting, just like in real diplomatic environment.
Besides applying the knowledge of climate factors and climate change in real-world situations, students had opportunity to experience what the atmosphere at large multilateral conferences is usually like, with all its challenges and peculiarities. They were fostering their team spirit and compassionate personalities while learning how to do a research with trustworthy sources. They had a chance to use their creative thinking and proficient communicating skills to defend their views and convince other partners with opposing interests. In the end, the mini Model UN Conference turned out to be a success and helped students on their way to become truly global citizens.
Secondary History Teacher
Shanghai Livingston American School