During this school year, thirteen ESO3 students have participated in the MMUN online conference. The Montessori Model of the United Nations is the only model UN that caters for primary and middle school students.
Once the students enrol for the programme, they are assigned a country, a United Nations committee, a topic and their research work begins immediately. This year our students represented Bolivia, Guatemala and Nigeria in four different committees: ECOSOC (the economic and social committee), ECOFIN (the economic and finance committee), HRC (the human rights council) and DISEC (the disarmament and international security committee).
The topics assigned to the delegates are questions of environmental and social justice. The organization provides extensive research material and the students investigate their topics with their work culminating in the presentation of their “position paper”, which is a document written by the delegates addressing the topic at hand on both an international and a domestic level. These position papers include proposals for possible solutions and ways to help with the issue that is being addressed.
Once the delegates have presented their position papers, they prepare an opening speech for the actual conference in which they highlight their proposals for solutions. Then they spend four committee sessions negotiating the topic with their fellow delegates from all over the world. During these sessions a draft resolution is worked on with the objective of building consensus so that this document may be adopted as an official MMUN resolution without the need to vote.
Finally, a closing bureau is elected by the delegates to present the resolution at the closing ceremony. This year Montessori Palau had three delegates in these closing bureaus in three different committees.
On the conference days, the delegates had the opportunity to meet up here at Montessori Palau. Most of them came and this created an atmosphere of camaraderie which would be hard to produce if everyone connected from their own homes.
The MMUN yearlong programme also offers the students the opportunity to practice for the official online conference with different working sessions over the year and there are informal student meet ups so that the delegates from all over the world can get to know each other in a more relaxed atmosphere.