STUDENTS FROM the Nass Valley joined some northern counterparts to debate world issues at the High School Model United Nations at the Prince George campus of the University of Northern BC this past weekend.
Nisga’a Elementary Secondary (NESS) participants included Darrian Mills and Whitney Tait-Morven representing Brazil, Stefanie Haldane representing United Kingdom, and Bretton Morven, Tara Morven and Lawrence Gonu representing South Africa.
During the debate on nuclear disarmament Tait-Morven asked, “Why do we even need nuclear weapons?”
Although the nuclear powers offered no immediate response, this question reveals the important issues debated at UNBC’s High School Model United Nations.
Five schools from the northern BC communities of Tumbler Ridge, Prince George and Gitlaxt’amiks (New Aiyansh) assembled on April 2nd and 3rd to debate issues of nuclear weapons, food security and failing nation-states.
While North Korea was the intended focus, students introduced an emergency resolution to support Japan in dealing with its current crisis, and also turned their attention to Libya and the merits of the no-fly zone.
Debates occurred in a simulated Security Council supported by UNBC’s Model United Nations Secretariat.
Conference Chair Stephanie Leong and her team coached students on procedures so that it was the students leading the agenda.
On Saturday afternoon, the Security Council was faced with a crisis provoked by the hostile actions of North Korea.
Students vigorously debated whether to respond with an act of war.
In the end, cooler heads prevailed and a crisis was averted.
The forum offered ample opportunity for student-to-student collaboration and challenged students to be
solution finders when faced with complex international problems.
The Model United Nations was hosted by the University of Northern British Columbia and supported by a number of UNBC faculty and departments.
The Nechako Rotary Club also supported the event.
Lawrence Gonu and chaperone Pamela Wright provided media services.
The group was accompanied by Social Studies teacher Mark Beardsell and Principal Doug Livingston.