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Schools to compete in model United Nations session debate
Monday, 31 March 2008 19:40
The 10th annual Model United Nations Session Debate (MUNS), organised jointly by the Rotary clubs of The Bahamas and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take place between 9am and 8pm on Monday 7 April at the national Police Conference Centre in Nassau.

Last year's winning team from the Dr Dorris Johnson Senior High School received their prize of a free trip to New York where they had a tour of the United Nations and watched the Minister of foreign Affairs, The Hon. Brent Symonette represent The Bahamas. They will not participate this year but will attend to help with time adjudication.

The same prize is offered to the winning school this year. For the first time we have an entry from neighbouring Turks & Caicos Islands making this a truly international event. Each of the sixteen schools competing this year has drawn a country to represent in two debates.

The morning topic to be debated is “Does foreign policy hinder peace and development? If so, what steps should be taken?” and the afternoon topic is “The 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights will be marked on 10 December 2008. Given the fact that this document is not legally binding, and taking into consideration the cultural, religious and economic differences among countries worldwide, is the Universal Declaration on Human Rights universally relevant?”

This is a highly prestigious event which will be attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and numerous other dignitaries.

Chairman of the Rotary MUNS Committee 2008, Kevin Degenhard, said "We never cease to be amazed at the ingenuity, confidence and knowledge which these enthusiastic high school students portray on the day of the debate. The real skill is arguing these issues from their point of views of the countries represented by the school teams. Last year we heard a comment that several of the teams represented their allocated countries so well you could truly believe they were from those countries. They did their research really well and we are proud of them and the teachers who dedicated time to preparing them for this challenging competition." 

What is MUNS?

The Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas, with the assistance of the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, will host the Model United Nations Session (MUNS). This educational and interactive opportunity was established to increase high school students’ awareness and practical understanding of how the United Nations functions. Through the art of debating and skilful presentations the students learn to appreciate the complexities of, and accomplishments gained from, international cooperation. Generally, students of grade 10 – 11 are encouraged to participate.

The three main focuses of the MUNS program are:
• Learning about the country to be represented
• Research and investigation of the issue or subject on the agenda
• Knowledge of the work of the United Nations related to the subject or issue

Each school participating is assigned a country to represent. Through research the team, of four students, is expected to put forward the position of that country with regard to the proposed topic. Each team is also assigned a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who will provide guidance and direction with regard to their research. It is also expected that the school will appoint a teacher or advisor to assist the team with preparation of their presentation. This year 14 to 18 schools will participate in this highly interesting program.

The judges will be individuals from our Bahamian Community who have had ambassadorial responsibilities or persons who have had an intimate working relationship with the United Nations.

C R Walker Senior High School - Paraguay
R M Bailey Senior High School - Yemen
St Paul’s Methodist College - Somalia
NGM Major High School & North Long Island (combined team) - USA
Government High School - Venezuela
St John’s College - Myanmar
Queen’s College - Pakistan
Lyford Cay International School - Israel
St Anne’s High School - Syria
St Andrew’s International School - Sudan
Old Bight High School Cat Island - Guatemala
St Francis De Sales,Abaco - Belarus
S C Bootle High School, Abaco - Ethiopia
Maranatha – Providenciales,  T & C - Zimbabwe
Sunland Baptist Acadamy,Freeport - The Bahamas
C C Sweeting High School - Turkey