Celebrating Two Decades of SSUNS

by Sabrina on November 14, 2012

This weekend marked the 20th iteration of SSUNS, the Secondary Schools United Nations Symposium, held in Montreal, both organized and staffed by McGill students. As one of the largest high school Model United Nations in Canada, over 900 students from 50 schools celebrated and reflected on this year’s theme, “Renewing the Past”.

Building on its experience of the past two decades, SSUNS simulated an unparalleled number of historical committees, notably the Glorious Revolution of 1688, while also presenting contemporary cases such as Silicon Valley Tech Summit and the International Atomic Energy Association. As per tradition, the conference honored the city’s bilingual cultural heritage through the October Crisis of 1970, ran both in French and English. Yet steering away from tradition and gearing up for the future, the conference’s Secretariat chartered new ground and for the first time in its history took on the challenge of a Triple Joint crisis on none other than the Soviet War in Afghanistan.

Crisis Director Tom Freeman and delegates in The Iliad

The challenges however did not stop there. The Ad-Hoc staff broke down walls by hosting the most complex committee of its kind at the high school level, with over 72 characters being represented over the six committee sessions. SSUNS committee development also extended beyond sessions when the CBC Press Corps neatly concretized the full weekend’s development through a thorough summary of events, perfectly tying the knot on the exciting debates that occurred.

The 2012 curriculum component embodied this year’s theme of “Renewing the Past” as SSUNS welcomed back three very special emeritus members of the International Relations Students’ Association of McGill, all of which shaped McGill’s Model UN state of affairs as they stand today. The three panelists this year included Niranand Kumar (SecGen, McMUN 2012), Olga Redko (SecGen SSUNS 2010), and Robert Townley  (VP Delegations, IRSAM 2010 & Chief of Operations, SSUNS 2009). Panelists provided insight into the ways Model UN shaped their subsequent career decisions.Delegates and staffers will remember SSUNS 2012 as a conference that celebrated the successes of its past 20 years. As delegates and faculty advisors make their way back home we hope they will reflect on all they have learned these past four days, the friendships they have made, and the experience that is SSUNS.

Don’t miss out on pictures and the recap video of SSUNS 20th edition.

For a French account of events, check out this Journal de Montréal article.

Delegation Awards:
Best Large: Port Charlotte High School
Best Small: Oakville Trafalgar High School

Mike Tong, President of IRSAM, and the SSUNS 2012 Secretariat

Keynote Speaker Desirée Marielle McGraw addressing delegates during the conference’s Opening Ceremonies

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