PORGMUN: Students Unite for Global Dialogue at NEWTON

In March, NEWTON University hosted the PORGMUN (Model United Nations) conference, drawing over 300 delegates from various international schools, including Irisch, German and Turkish ones. 

The conference comprised ten committees, where delegates discussed pressing issues such as the climate crisis, human rights, and interstate litigation in a special session of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Topics like the colonisation of the moon were also brought up.

In the largest Human Rights Council (HRC) commission, chaired by Marie Kazulina and her colleagues, high school students tackled issues such as AI in education and defending journalists from illegal attacks.

Marie recalls: "It was an amazing experience, I had 80 people in my committee, so it was demanding at times, but that only gave us more reasons to come up with plenty of great ideas. We had a room with a panoramic view of the whole Prague, which made our long hours of debate much more enjoyable."

A simulated international court has delivered two verdicts

In the ICJ, judges and attorneys explored a new format of debate, delivered speeches in defence of their cases, and presented their witnesses, who unfortunately didn't always support their side. The judges successfully determined the winners of two international legal disputes, learning to evaluate cases based on the evidence presented rather than their personal opinions.

Cooperation with UNICEF

The conference also partnered with Czech UNICEF, in honour of which a commission addressing education influenced by religion and the legality of so-called child marriages was opened. The opening ceremony was attended by the Executive Director of UNICEF in the Czech Republic, Pavla Gomba, who presented the organisation's work in countries where humanitarian aid to children is most needed.

For example, in Sierra Leone, where the practice of female genital mutilation of young girls continues under forced and unhygienic conditions. 

At the conference, delegates and guests could also purchase merchandise and postcards from the Postcards for Peace project, with 100% of the income, of course, donated to UNICEF.

Results of the delegates' work

During the conference, delegates drafted and voted on dozens of resolutions addressing the issues of today's and tomorrow's world. Each committee was visited by experts who lectured on topics relevant to the committee's discussions, providing additional insights for the debate.
Speakers included, among the others, Buddhist monk Lapon Kinley Major and Indian historian and journalist Vijay Prashad.

As every year, the closing ceremony was accompanied by a summary video of the conference, which is available on the porgmun.com website and provides a glimpse of the year-long work of the organising team, especially the secretariat, culminating in the four days of March at NEWTON.

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