The Montessori Model United Nations (MMUN) programme hosted more than 200 student delegates, teachers and parents from schools around the world at its annual European Conference held in Rome from 1st to 4th May 2018.
The Maria Montessori School was represented at the Conference by a delegation of children from both Bayswater and Hampstead Elementary, as well as a few recent graduates from both sites. The delegates worked in teams representing 6 countries: Barbados, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Iraq, Japan and Zimbabwe. As Ambassadors of their selected countries, the children sat on three upper elementary committees of Disarmament and International Security (DISEC), Social, Humanitarian and Culture (SOCHUM) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
As they attended the various meetings, debates and discussions, the delegates truly appreciated the value of all the research and preparation they had to undertake in the weeks leading up to the conference. Many of them felt that sitting on the committees on behalf of their chosen countries helped them to grasp what is means to represent a country, have your voice heard and participate in negotiations to come to an agreement that benefits both your country and the world.
Every delegate was able to give their speech to the committee they sat on. Delegates from each committee were chosen to present their draft resolutions at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). We were proud that 3 children from the Maria Montessori School were chosen by their peers to speak. This was in front of the whole conference, as well as a number of FAO employees and diplomats.
The social aspect of interacting with children from many different countries was considered to be the best part of the conference along with the cultural evening where they had to showcase their home country. The children also enjoyed debating with other country teams, the opening flag ceremony, the buffet and the disco!
Everyone was amazed by how much they learnt in the few days that they were at the conference. The programme provided the children with a platform to start thinking about their role in changing the world for the better and they all left feeling encouraged and empowered that their generation can make a difference.