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Manchester High School for Girls

THE UNITED NATIONS COMES TO MANCHESTER HIGH

Over 300 students from across the North West convened at Manchester High School for Girls this weekend (30th and 31st January) for the school’s Model United Nations conference. 

An authentic simulation of UN meetings, the event enables young people to learn about international relations and put into practice their own diplomacy skills.  

This year’s conference was themed around the sustainable development goals and delegates spent two days debating global issues such as hunger and poverty, gender equality, justice and education.

Organised for young people by young people, Manchester High’s management committee consisted of five Sixth Formers, Pooja , Olivia , Leila , Faye and Georgia.

Secretary General, Pooja, said: “While numerous schools joined us on the day, this wasn’t a competition; it was about learning to work with other people and finding solutions to real problems.

Many people have said that Model United Nations is not a model of the UN, but a model for the UN and I truly believe we have showcased that throughout the weekend.”

As well as the delegates from over 18 schools, Manchester High also welcomed back former pupil, Asra Shakoor, who delivered the opening address. Originally from Cheadle, Asra now works in the House of Commons as a Parliamentary Assistant to the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP.

Asra’s interest in politics stemmed from her engagement in Model United Nations after leaving Manchester High. She went on to study Politics and International Relations and recently graduated from the London School of Economics with a Masters Degree in Regulation. During her time at university, Asra participated in numerous National Model United Nations conferences as a delegate and this March will go to New York to act as Director of the General Assembly.

Asra commented: “Empowering young people has been at the front of the UN’s agenda over the past few years. It has been inspiring to hear the delegates at Manchester High’s conference this weekend which iterates the importance of student’s voices.

Asra returned to Manchester High.

“Having been a delegate, I know how important conferences like this are for students to develop. These conferences offer unique platforms for students to actively participate, overcome personal challenges and see discussions in action. Taking part in Model United Nations events will help empower young people to improve their diplomacy skills and encourage the next set of world leaders.”