Over 400 young people debate in the Senate to reach agreements on the challenges of the world


SEK Education Group held a general assembly this morning in the Spanish Senate within the framework of the 17th SEKMUN Model United Nations, in which 400 students between the ages of 11 and 18 from different schools in Spain carried out a simulation of the UN General Assembly and other multilateral bodies of the UN, in Spanish and English, with the aim of representing the different countries that make up part of the United Nations and thus present their positions on the different issues and conflicts that are happening today to debate, negotiate and reach agreements.

A total of 28 countries are represented in twelve United Nations committees, and over the coming days, they will present their positions –which they have been preparing throughout the school year- in the different committees: Disarmament and international security (regulation of research with genetic engineering to avoid its military uses, the digital space as a tool for the protection of civilians in conflict situations); Economic and Financial Affairs (the commercial value of the South China Sea, the fight against money laundering to reduce inequality between nations); Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs (fight against intolerance and incitement to violence; international cooperation for humanitarian assistance in armed conflicts); Security Committee (artificial intelligence to obtain peace, the conflict in Russia and Ukraine), UNICEF Executive Board (measures to eliminate inequalities and child exploitation, strategies to prevent child crime in the digital space); World Health Organisation (poliomyelitis and poliovirus containment and health, environment and climate change). Likewise, eight commissions will be held in English and in a virtual format.

With the aim of giving students more agency, young people have chosen the topics to be discussed at SEKMUN, having identified as priorities for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, and having been asked to develop teaching guides to help the delegates in the preparation of each of the themes.

Cristina Narbona, the Vice President of the Spanish Senate, opened the session by recalling the enormous challenges facing the world, as well as of course the conflict in Ukraine. She congratulated SEK Education Group “for its excellent initiative” and has encouraged the young participants “to make the most of it.”

For Antonio Herrera, Secretary General of SEKMUN, “SEKMUN’s spirit contemplates each and every one of the young participants, and it is a place where we can develop each and every one’s potential and where we can learn. I ask the new generations to be aware of the world’s problems, and to be capable of putting dialogue and temperance ahead when negotiating. Let’s prioritise dialogue” and he stressed at the end of his speech that “it’s time to be part of the change, it’s time to make history.”

Nieves Segovia, president of SEK Education Group, defended the values of SEKMUN and its importance in the education of boys and girls. “Above all, SEKMUN is for the benefit of your freedom. Because if you know how to defend your ideas and are capable of committing yourself to society, you will be free, and if you respect other human beings in their complexity, this will also set you free. Even if you think your freedom is not threatened, if you don’t defend it, it will be.”

Also taking part in the inaugural session was Jose Maria Palazuelos, vice president of the UNICEF Madrid Committee, who encouraged students to be brave, to be innovative. “I encourage you to get involved, take the initiative at your schools, because that is what will really help development.”

A model that fosters respect, diversity and dialogue

SEKMUN positively reinforces the values of respect, dignity, freedom and solidarity. In addition, it fosters the acquisition of essential skills and techniques for students’ future, such as public speaking, critical reflection, debate, empathy and negotiation.

SEKMUN is the leading model United Nations in our country and for 18 years we have been working to build global awareness in school children through dialogue. In this edition, more than 200 students from International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes will participate, representing the UN member nations.

Also taking part in the session were Candela Sota, director of REDS; Javier Presol, director of the Felipe Segovia Foundation; Mª Cruz Lagar, general director of SEK International Schools and Emilio Lora-Tamayo, rector of Camilo José Cela University.

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