The eleventh session of the Canadian High Schools Model UN Conference (CAHSMUN) was held at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, from March 6-8.
It welcomed over 600 participants from over 50 schools across Canada and the United States. The Secretariat and Staff worked diligently over the preceding 10 months in order to provide delegates with the best experience.
The conference commenced with inspiring speeches in the opening ceremonies. The keynote speaker, Karimah Es Sabar, an international pharmaceutical executive with experience in the area of global research, and the current President and CEO of The Centre for Drug Research and Development, emphasized the importance of relationships as a success mantra. She shared her expertise and inspired delegates to be change makers.
Furthermore, the Vice President of the United Nations Association of Canada- Vancouver, George Somerwill also spoke to participants during the Opening Ceremonies and to the Security Council at the conference. He shared his knowledge which stems from his varied experiences with the United Nations. He has worked in Zimbabwe, Somalia and Rwanda, with CARE international, a non-governmental organization, UNICEF in Pakistan as well in countries including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Liberia for a variety of missions.
The conference featured 14 committees in addition to the International Press Corps, in which delegates debated and negotiated on various topics and came up with comprehensive resolution papers that aimed to solve various issues plaguing the world.
Topics ranged from territorial disputes in the South China Sea to Illegal Trade of Small Arms to the Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Control of Arctic Resources and Nuclear Energy Technology in Developing Nations were also issues of heated debate.
CAHSMUN introduced a brand new initiative this year, called the Summit. Committees came together where delegates presented their respective resolution papers to committees, debated to prioritize their committee’s paper and collectively voted on the one that should be passed first by the UN. The summit enabled delegates to understand the resolution papers passed by other committees and enhance their debating skills by seeking prioritization of their respective papers. This initiative was very well taken by everyone as a great addition to MUN.
The National Convention of the French Revolution (NCFR) was a recently introduced committee at CAHSMUN 2015 that acted as a time machine by taking delegates back into the French Revolution era. Delegates represented important figures such as Maximilien Robespierre and Georges Danton and debated on interesting issues of the eighteenth century, regarding the First French Republic and the struggle for power between the Girondins and Jacobins.
The NCFR added a new and valuable addition to committees commonly found at Model UN conferences. The NCFR was one of CAHSMUN’s most popular committees that was appreciated by staff, delegates and teachers alike.
The closing ceremonies on Sunday afternoon featured Heather Evans, a feminist activist and social justice educator, who has worked in crisis areas all around the world and presently works for a non-profit organization for raising awareness about Asian history, including the Nanking massacre and ‘comfort women’ during the Second World War. Moreover, committee awards were presented to delegates.
CAHSMUN, with its professional and friendly atmosphere, was a large success. Delegates thoroughly enjoyed the intensive debates, the MUNsquerade Social with United Nations themed masks, including the photo booth and the overall CAHSMUN experience.
(The CAHSMUN Conference Recap was provided by Prabhroop Chawla)