A 17-year-old St. John’s College student has been chosen to participate in the NZ Model UN (NZMUN) 2020 conference at Victoria University in Wellington later this month.
Louis Gaffaney, a Year-12 student, recently participated in the Wellington Model United Nations organised by the Wellington UN Youth. His success there has led to him being chosen to attend the NZMUN conference in Wellington.
Held over four days from August 27th to 30th, NZMUN offers secondary school students the chance to experience life as a diplomat. Between engaging problem-solving workshops, to simulated committee sessions, students will be given a platform to discuss important topics relevant to global affairs.
Students from around the country apply to take part in the Model UN conference. Each student represents a country and at the regional conference in Wellington in July, Louis represented Turkey.
“As a representative of the country you are given, you put forward a resolution that you discuss and debate among the other countries in your select committee.
“You debate the things that you want to change in that law to suit your country. You have to be objective by not expressing your own opinions but rather those of the country.”
Louis says the national conference will be on a much larger scale and he is waiting to see what country he will be representing. While he enjoyed representing Turkey, he was keen to have some variety.
Once he is assigned a country, he will research the social, political, economic, and
cultural context in order to engage in informed decision making at the Assembly.
“I haven't been to the national one before. From my understanding, we will have more specialised people there educating you on the ins and outs of the UN and you will have workshops throughout the day on specific tasks.”
Louis is the leading speaker on his debating team and this should stand him in good stead at the conferece, which he sees as a stepping stone for future careers in diplomacy and politics.
“I am keen to study economics and law at Uni – a double degree or something like that. I would then look to follow that up with a Master’s degree in international relations and diplomacy or something along those lines.
“I would love to be a diplomat for NZ and hopefully one day work my way into politics. So that’s why I’m so keen on debating and on this,” says Louis.