More than a dozen students from West Hartford’s Kingswood Oxford School will participate in the Model U.N. conference in Russia this March.
Submitted by Jackie Pisani, Kingswood Oxford School
Negotiating their way through visa applications and several bureaucratic layers, over one dozen Kingswood Oxford students will travel to Russia from March 22-30 to participate in the Saint Petersburg International Model United Nations Conference (SPIMUN) held on March 27-29.
Hundreds of students from Armenia, Bahrain, Cyprus, Turkey, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates will participate in a three-day long simulation of the work of the United Nations, playing the roles of delegates as they debate and problem-solve vexing international issues.
SPIMUN is hosted by the historic Gymnasium 157 which is one of the oldest educational institutions in St. Petersburg, Russia’s “window on Europe.” Founded as a girls’ school in 1868, the school achieved deserved acclaim when teachers and students were awarded heroic medals during the 900 day siege of Leningrad in the 1940’s.
The “delegates” are assigned various agenda items ranging from Human Rights, Environmental and Cultural, Disarmament and International Security, and Political. Within each category students tackle issues like protecting children in armed conflicts, countering radicalization and violent extremism among youth for the prevention of terrorism, and the problem of growing far- right ideology in refugee-hosting countries.
Stacey Savin, Kingswood Oxford history teacher and coordinator of Model U.N. said, “The students are really challenged to devise measures to prevent conflict and come up with solutions. These are issues that don’t exist in a vacuum, but concerns that we are faced with today. Model U.N. develops critical thinking skills to confront our biggest challenges.”
Before the start of the conference, students will tour Moscow on a walking tour of Red Square that emphasizes Russia’s dramatic history including the Bolshevik Revolution, World War II, the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. On the second day in Moscow, students will tour the Grand Kremlin Palace Complex which contains several palaces and cathedrals.
The preeminent independent co-ed, college preparatory day school in Greater Hartford, Kingswood Oxford School is located just steps from Blue Back Square and West Hartford Center. Its 502 students come from 62 towns in Connecticut and western Massachusetts as well as China.