Boorowa achieves great success at the Rotary Model United Nations Assembly (MUNA) competition

Boorowa students Rhys Smith, Jazmin McMillan and Raquel Foti represented Boorowa Central School with a high standard of debating ability over the three-day MUNA competition last weekend.

The students had spent several months researching ten United Nations resolutions and spent many lunchtimes practising how they would deliver their material on behalf of the country they were representing, Italy. On Friday, over 80 students from 27 teams from all over Australia representing different Rotary regions discussed and voted for or against which of the resolutions should be debated in Old Parliament House (now known as the Museum of Australian Democracy) over the following two days. The resolutions decided by the students using Bloc negotiations included: Violence against women and girls; Nuclear Disarmament; Human Rights and Freedoms while countering Terrorism; and the situation around the world regarding migrants.

On Saturday Rhys debated strongly explaining Italy’s well respected interventions on behalf of European migrants as he offered to share some of Italy’s well planned and successfully carried out solutions. Jazmin joined the very hot debate about Human Rights and Freedoms as teams became involved in debate about whether terrorists can be even considered human and therefore should they have any rights?

The Rotary dinner keynote address was delivered by Mr Gary Quinlan, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He was formerly Australia’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN in New York (until January 2015) and the Australian Representative on the UN Security Council.

Sunday morning Raquel Foti was a strong advocate on behalf of Italy in support of the case for the Nuclear Disarmament resolution on the grounds that Italy is one of several NATO countries who host nuclear warheads for America. The final debate involved Violence Against Women and once again Rhys used his excellent speaking skills to put forward a strong case for Italy using wit and humour that had the General Assembly and the Secretary General laughing along with him.

The students are all to be commended on their hard work, responsible attitudes and mature responses to very involved international issues and willing to be involved as excellent representatives for their school and community.

Boorowa Central School is grateful to the Rotary Club of Canberra Burley Griffin for its sponsorship of four students this year (James Waters for the Rotary Adventures in Citizenship Program and Rhys, Jazmin and Raquel for MUNA). The School appreciates the opportunities to participate in these Rotary programs that are not always available to small rural schools but can have make such big changes in their students’ lives.

* Debra Eustace