Withington MUN Conference

More than 150 delegates from six schools attended the first-ever conference of Model United Nations to be hosted by Withington.

The inaugural event, dubbed ‘WiMUN' was aimed at younger pupils – chiefly Year 10, though individuals from Year 9 also took part – but Withington's MUN co-ordinator and Head of History, Ms Jane Maher, said the standard of debate matched and sometimes surpassed that of more senior sessions.

"We wanted to give younger students a chance to learn what it's all about – you can only learn the ropes at MUN by actually taking part – and they responded magnificently," she said.

View a picture gallery of the WiMUN conference

Withington provided the conference's two Secretary Generals in Sixth Formers Antonia Adebambo and Lizzie Burden. The Sports Hall hosted the General Assembly and committees met in various classrooms during the all-day session.

Issues debated included depletion of the Amazon rainforest, child soldiers and the situation in Afghanistan. An emergency resolution debated by the General Assembly considered the ramifications of the swine flu virus being taken into Pakistan's Swat Valley – at risk of a major humanitarian crisis – where US forces are engaged in combat with the Taliban.

Pupils from Stockport Grammar School, The Manchester Grammar School, Manchester High School for Girls, Cheadle Hulme School and Alderley Edge School for Girls joined Withington girls for the conference.

Joint winners of the ‘Best Delegation' citation – France and the USA – were both represented by pupils from Cheadle Hulme and MHSG's UK delegation was highly commended.