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Model United Nations (ROYMUN) Conference Host

ROYMUN Report by Mrs Routledge, Director of MUN

At the end of May, our school had the privilege of hosting an exceptional Model United Nations (ROYMUN) conference that ignited minds, fostered critical thinking, and explored the realms of imagination. This two-day event brought together passionate pupils from various schools, immersing them in engaging debates on both "traditional" topics and a Matrix-themed fantasy crisis. 

On the eve of the conference, delegates from RHS and some of our visiting schools gathered in the Jellicoe Room for a glorious 4-course dinner, followed by a fun Jurassic Park-based debate whereby dinosaurs were attacking RHS and different school departments had to rally together to rid the school site of them and save the school body. Suggestions ranged from the genius to the bizarre, with the delegates of the French Department recommending feeding the dinosaurs strong cheese and wine, to the delegate for cross country urging that cross-co be made compulsory immediately so that pupils had the stamina to outrun the dinosaurs. The ice was well and truly broken after this debate and pupils met on the Saturday morning still discussing further options! 


Day 1: Traditional Topics 

On the first day of the conference, pupils delved into the "traditional" MUN topics, closely resembling real-world issues. Committee rooms dedicated to the World Health Organization (WHO), Disarmament, Human Rights, Security Council, Environment, and Political, all buzzed with energy and ideas. 

In the WHO committee, delegates focused on addressing global health, including mental health and euthanasia, proposing policies and initiatives to combat the growing challenges and improve healthcare access for all. The discussions were intense, with delegates representing Finland, Gabon, the UAE, Switzerland, Japan, and other countries providing unique insights and perspectives. 

Meanwhile, the Disarmament committee tackled the pressing issue of autonomous weapons systems and proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Delegates crafted resolutions to curb the rise of autonomous weapons and enhance international cooperation on disarmament. The committee witnessed dynamic debates as representatives from Russia, Brazil, Ecuador, Mozambique and other nations showcased their diplomatic prowess. 

The Human Rights committee engaged in impassioned conversations, grappling with the question of equality and treatment of refugees and the problem of human trafficking in the modern era - highly emotive topics and ones which required delegates to be both pragmatic and empathetic to the plight of those affected by these difficult issues. 

In the Security Council, delegates assumed the roles of world leaders and diplomats, addressing global security concerns, namely the impact of the use of drones on international security and the question of emergency aid following extreme weather crises, which is becoming all too common with the increasing global temperatures. The committee witnessed intense negotiations as delegates representing different nations confronted the growing threat head-on. 

The Environment committee delved into environmental sustainability and explored solutions to the growing issue of fast fashion and ways to protect our planet's biodiversity in a sustainable way going forward as new buildings and settlements are constructed. Delegates represented their respective countries, putting forth policies to limit resource consumption and promote renewable energy sources. 


Lastly, the Political committee engaged in discussions on global political dynamics, analysing power structures and diplomatic relations. Delegates navigated through intricate webs of alliances and rivalries to discuss the cost of living crisis and how to support LEDCs and the implications of rising populism. 

At the end of the day, a crisis was announced… 


Day 2: Matrix-Themed Fantasy Crisis 

The second day started with a talk from former RHS pupil and MUNer Xavy Bull (Raleigh 2018). Having completed his degree in Philosophy, Xavy went on to do a Masters in AI and Coding and is now working in the technology sector. With AI being the theme of the second day and with a lot of talk about programs like ChatGPT at the moment, Xavy gave a really interesting insight into what the possible future of AI looks like; the tremendous possibilities but also the potential downsides of using it in academia, as well as the possible environmental impact of pursuing AI to its full potential. The audience of delegates and staff were enthralled and just wished there was more time for the Q&A section! 

Building on the momentum of the first day and inspired by the rise in concerns about AI this year, the second day of the conference embraced a thrilling departure from reality. Inspired by the iconic film "The Matrix," pupils embarked on a journey into an alternate reality where machines, AI, and robots threatened humanity's existence, but very much using topics which affect the world today such as cyber warfare, terrorism, the ethics of genetic engineering, stripping the world of resources to power the rise in technologies and the abuse of human rights that accompanies it. 

The committees took on new roles and confronted challenges unique to this Matrix-themed fantasy crisis. Delegates explored scenarios such as machines manipulating global events, experimenting on humans, creating alternate dimensions, and controlling human minds. These captivating discussions encouraged delegates to unleash their creativity and analytical skills, proposing innovative solutions to confront the imaginary crisis. 

Throughout the conference, pupils exhibited exceptional research, diplomacy and public speaking skills. They passionately advocated for their countries' positions, developed persuasive arguments, and negotiated compromise to address complex challenges. The Model UN conference showcased the power of collaboration, critical thinking, and empathy in resolving global issues. 

As the conference came to a close, delegates left with a newfound appreciation for the complexities of real-world challenges and the boundless possibilities of imagination. The MUN conference not only honed their understanding of international relations but also fostered lifelong skills in diplomacy, negotiation and problem-solving. 


Rupert, Year 7, said “It was great to come together representing different countries to work towards a solution all together – it was really fun, my favourite part was the MUN Dinner, I just wish it was longer!” 

Delaney, Year 8, said “I really enjoyed ROYMUN because I gained some confidence in front of people I don't know and also made a few friends, but it was also fun meeting new people before ROYMUN at the dinner but also during the debate.” 

Daniil, Secretary-General, stated, “MUN is great because it allows you to explore the experiences of others and get a greater understanding of the world around you. It also serves as a bridge between us and the rest of the world, letting us meet and interact with people of different backgrounds and learn from them.” 

Mrs Routledge, Director of MUN, said, “We are thrilled that ROYMUN has continued to grow once again and it has been fantastic to not only see so many delegates involved this year but also the large number of pupils involved in the press team too. It is great fun to set modern issues in a fantasy universe because it allows pupils to be a bit more creative in their solutions whilst also linking to the real world and discussing what could be possible. It is so important for pupils to have a sense of Global Awareness but also empathy for the troubles of those around them that they might not be aware of. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the delegates, advisers, chairs, press team and organisers who made this conference a resounding success and we are already looking forward to next year’s conference, which we hope to make even bigger and better!”