Our Secondary students taking part in the United Nations Club have spent this week on what is probably one of the most fulfilling experiences of their School life. Two groups representing delegations from Poland and Peru have had the opportunity to take part in the 13th SEKMUN Session. Taking on the role of diplomats, our students were able to discuss some of the most important topics in international relations and to try and negotiate well thought out solutions to resolve international conflicts.
Accompanied by two of our teachers, Ross Francis and Sean O’Donnell, our students participated in the Opening Session in the Senate. The President of the Senate, Pío Escudero, encouraged them to “use their critical thinking and to develop their skills as committed, responsible and tolerant citizens”. He also congratulated them on taking part in such an experience which he said would undoubtedly “make them better human beings”.
SEKMUN is a representation of the United Nations model. Those taking part understand that the best way of resolving problems is through dialogue and negotiation and never through violent means. At a time of full-on globalisation, the educational organisation SEK is supporting this cultural and educational event. As well as learning about current events and international politics, students get a wider vision of the world in which we live in.
SEKMUN is in essence a forum for reflection and debate. Over a few days, more than 500 students from Secondary and Baccalaureate meet at the Camilo José Cela University and assume their diplomatic roles. They follow an established process which goes from representing the position of their respective countries in the debate, to tabling motions, sitting on voting committees, more specific debates and of course presenting and approving draft resolutions.
For this 13th SEKMUN session, students have had to prepare subjects such as providing assistance to unaccompanied young refugees, the relationship between disarmament and economic development, the need to end the United States financial and trade embargo of Cuba or the Declaration of Support in the fight against HIV, amongst others. These are all very topical subjects. Students have to master negotiation and debating techniques, carry out in-depth research on the position of the country which they represent and familiarise themselves with the drafting of official documentation.
According to the educational organisation SEK, the SEKMUN experience enables “students from different backgrounds to feel like part of a family, part of Humanity, which has a common home, Planet Earth and where differences, instead of being a disadvantage, are in fact, an enriching part of our Society”.