There’s nothing like getting our students involved and that was just the case for our Law students when they recently had the opportunity to visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in London. The visit was organised by Professor Jon Yorke from the School of Law as part of the LLB International Human Rights module. 

It was a day to remember as students had the exciting opportunity to participate in a ‘Model United Nations‘ (MUN) to experience giving speeches in a UN setting, vote on human rights issues and draft a Security Council resolution. You can read about the visit here on Professor Jon Yorke’s blog. 

But what did our Law students Anna and Nabila think about the MUN?

Anna:

“When you hear the words ‘Model United Nations’ what is the first thing that crosses you mind? Mine was fear and that there is no way that I could ever do such a thing as standing up in front of so many strangers (stranger danger) and represent a country. Turns out I came out of this experience alive. I chose Russia, because of ‘POWER’ that’s why. Writing a speech is not the easiest thing to do but everyone can manage.

Model United Nations, also known as Model UN or MUN, is an activity in which students typically role-play delegates to the United Nations and simulate UN committees.

During the day John Yorke was so kind as to meet us beforehand and make sure we are all smiling and not panicking, because after all, it is a fun experience. Having the chance to wear your fancy clothes and actually get to visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is not an everyday thing. We also had our own fun private tour. This gave us more of an insight into the FCO’s working environment and it made us realise that it’s more exciting than you might think.

The rooms were majestic and the people were friendly. Representing Russia was exciting and made me really want to throw in a joke saying ‘And we like to drink vodka’’. (Don’t panic, I didn’t).

IMG_4708But it is surely, an opportunity that no one should ever miss. We got to grasp how UN works and how they solve important matters. How difficult it is to negotiate with another country’s representative into agreeing with what your country wants and making deals with them without breaking others. Not only do we improve our public speaking abilities but we also get to act like politicians. So if you are into Law, Business or Politics, I would strongly recommend you to attend a MUN. Oh and let’s not forget the amount of free food and coffee, or tea- if that’s more your ‘cup of tea’!”

Nabila:

“The trip to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office was fun and quite educative! From the moment I arrived at the train station in London, I felt a rush of excitement from the prospect of being at the FCO and having the privilege to represent a country like France, although in a mock capacity. The event was somewhat divided into three parts, the first part was when I presented France’s stance on the violations that occurred in ‘Ruritania’ (a fictitious country), the second part was the alliance building, where I tried to sway other countries to vote in a manner that will benefit France and the third stage was when we voted and drafted the resolution. The best parts of the event were the alliance building and the drafting stages. It all felt so real! Like I was actually at the United Nations representing France.

The MUN is an event that I will never forget because I got to learn how international laws are drafted, factors that influence the outcome of a resolution and how difficult it is to come to an agreement on any issue. I also had the opportunity to network and make new friends!

It is surely an invaluable opportunity that I recommend to everyone.”

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