Posted by Alfonso Reina on Aug 23, 2019
On Monday the 12th of August, two of the students from Nossal High School who participated at MUNA 2019 in May were special guests at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Casey and were welcomed enthusiastically by the members.
The Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) is held every year over a weekend at Phillip Island by Rotary District 9820. Several Rotary Clubs in the Mornington/Gippsland area, including Casey Rotary, fund the participation of about 60 senior high school students making up about 30 country delegations. Casey Rotary is also active in helping to organise the whole event. The aim of MUNA is to promote goodwill and understanding by exposing students to issues of international importance.
Mridul Garg and Eamon Somerville teamed up to represent Australia at MUNA 2019. This meant that they had to research 6 UN Resolutions and be ready to debate them on the floor of the Assembly. The resolutions covered issues to do with nuclear disarmament, the situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, protection of global climate, refugees, the situation in Yemen and attempts to salvage the nuclear deal in the Islamic Republic of Iran following the withdrawal of the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPA).
Mridul and Eamon said that they found the experience both challenging and enjoyable. They learned about countries and issues (such as that in Yemen) that they were not previously aware of and that representing their country’s views on these issues made them especially sensitive to the place that Australia plays in international affairs. The fact that elections were being held during the MUNA weekend, with an expectation of an imminent change of government, posed particular challenges for this Australian Delegation.
The boys enjoyed the competition against other Delegates representing countries as diverse as North Korea and Russia, the USA and South Africa, as well as European and Pacific island nations. The policy positions of some of these countries are very different from Australia’s. The friendly rivalries between Delegates were at times quite entertaining. The boys said that they made many friends over the course of the weekend, they gained confidence in their public speaking skills and that MUNA was a very valuable experience for their future studies and subsequent careers.