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Future leaders flock to Gold Coast for United Nations simulation

Ella Glen from Robina High and Charley Ellwood from A.B. Patterson College at Bond University's BUHMUN event.

Students across Australia will converge on the Gold Coast this week as Bond University hosts its largest-ever high school model United Nations event (BUHMUN).

190 students from 20 high schools will be given a taste of what life is like as an international diplomat during a two-day conference which simulates real-life UN proceedings.

Bond University Assistant Professor of International Relations Mark Dinnen said the event takes students away from textbooks and places them at the coalface of international diplomacy.

“BUHMUN is about providing high school students with the opportunity to appreciate their capacity to create change in the modern world,” says Dr Dinnen.

“Too often, young people consider international diplomacy to be out of their lane, but BUHMUN is about showing these students – our future leaders – that they are capable of confronting global challenges.

“The simulation provides students with an introduction to how we can work together to strengthen our international community through institutions such as the United Nations.”

Robina State High School year 12 student Ella Glen said the event sparked her interest in a career on the international stage.

“I participated in this conference last year, and it made me want to pursue a career in the UN,” says Ms Glen.

“We are the next generation that will be responsible for solving the world’s problems, so the BUHMUN event is a great starting point for young people considering a future in diplomacy.

“I knew I wanted to study something law-based, but after coming here and seeing the types of decisions that are discussed, it made me realise this is something I really want to pursue.”

The 2022 conference will be centred on the theme of Life Below Water – UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Students will be assigned a country at random and will be responsible for finding solutions to the broader international issues surrounding ocean degradation. 

This is the first year Bond University has selected a topic which will be addressed by the international community just weeks after the event takes place.

“Sustainable Development Goal 14 will be relevant to the 2022 UN Oceans Conference which takes place in Portugal from 27 June to 1 July,” explains Dr Dinnen.

“Never before have we had the opportunity to compare and contrast the work of our BUHMUN delegates to the work of the international community.”

BUHMUN is Australia’s first university-run high school model UN conference and has been operating since 2017.

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