The British Section of the Lycée Victor Hugo has sponsored a Model United Nations (MUN) club for many years now. MUN is an extra-curricular activity for high school students (Seconde to Terminale) which is essentially a debating club in which students engage in weekly debates on themes chosen from the agenda of the real United Nations Organisation.
Our club meets one evening per week in the Amphithéâtre Shakespeare from 6 to 7 P.M. We often have as many as 30 or 40 students, from inside and outside the British Section, debating timely topics such as human rights, environmental protection, and conflict resolution. Our debates are held in English, though we sometimes switch to French to help newcomers get used to speaking in English on often quite technical subjects. MUN is a fantastic way to learn about international relations, history, economics, diplomacy, and in particular how the United Nations and other international organizations function.
Above all, it is a huge amount of fun. Students come to MUN to learn new and exciting things, to exchange ideas, to gain precious experience in public speaking, and to have a good time.
In addition to lively and educational weekly debate, our club participates each year in an international MUN conference. For the past several years we have participated in ILYMUN, the Lyon International Model United Nations. Hundreds of students from as far away as Kazakhstan, Spain, Tunisia, England—and Colomiers—participated in this conference which concentrated on various aspects of water resources. Lycée Victor Hugo’s MUN team consisted of 13 students from Seconde, Première and Terminale.
The role of the United Nations and other international institutions will be more important than ever as we work together to face the challenges of our times.