A group of Benenden girls excelled at the YMUN conference at Yale University, New Haven recently. This was a large US-style MUN conference, with over 2,000 delegates, where procedure is very different to the majority of UK-based conferences that we attend.
The girls represented a diverse group of countries including Ireland, Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and São Tomé and Príncipe. Girls were also scattered throughout various committees and regional bodies, including African Union (AU), Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Each had two topics to debate and all worked tirelessly to ensure their country’s position was adequately represented in the working papers and eventual resolutions which were formulated over the four days.
The conference was very enjoyable and extremely demanding for all involved (committees usually continued until after 11.00pm each day). Nevertheless our girls left the conference having gained huge amounts of experience and with many fabulous memories.
As well as attending the conference itself, on so-called ‘Yale Day’ we enjoyed a fascinating tour of the Yale campus and then the girls enjoyed a very long lunch in conversation with a Yale sociology professor who covered an eclectic mix of fascinating topics. We were all able to sample a wide range of New Haven cuisine, encounter most types of weather, and enjoy a huge amount of interesting experiences.
Overall, all the girls did extremely well at YMUN and coped with the intense and ultra-competitive atmosphere in many of the committees. Well done to all: for speeches, caucusing and coming up with some excellent solutions and compromises.