Esteemed Delegates and Faculty Advisors,
It is my distinct honour to invite you and your delegations to the 26th edition of Secondary Schools United Nations Symposium hosted in Montréal, Québec. My name is Gordon Milne, and I serve as the Secretary-General of SSUNS 2018. In this role, I lead a team of over 400 McGill University students who come together annually to present Canada’s premier Model United Nations conference at the High School and Cégep level.
My team and I have are passionate about providing a safe, educational environment for tackling the most pressing global issues of the past, present, and future. To this end, we maintain a delegate-to-staff ratio better than 3:1, and conduct intensive training to ensure that our staff promote an open and stimulating exchange of ideas. We host committees from every region of the world, from the Qin dynasty of ancient China to the Chilean National Plebiscite of 1988. We keep many of our committees small, in order to afford each delegate an ample platform to interact with their fellow diplomats. To this end, we also strictly avoid double-delegate committees, which encourages each delegate to try their hand at debating, negotiating, and writing international policy. Finally, our long-standing partnership with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) means that we can offer the uniquely formative experience of inviting our delegates to debate in the chambers of an official UN body.
This year will feature some key changes to the SSUNS workshops hosted Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Many SSUNS delegates are at their first ever Model UN conference, and we offer a series of pre-conference workshops in order to teach delegates the format, rules, and techniques for being an effective delegate. Our MUN workshops are run in partnership with the McGill University Delegation Team, the top-ranked collegiate delegation in Canada. These clinics are always heavily attended, and this year we will present the same workshops multiple times to accommodate the different interests and schedules of our delegates. We will also continue to offer workshops in professional development, including how to prepare a résumé and how to prepare a university application, taught by counselors from the McGill community.
SSUNS 2018 will also feature a few key innovations. This year, we are partnering with the First Nation’s Child and Family Caring Society as the official SSUNS charity. The Caring Society, led by Dr. Cindy Blackstock, is an organisation committed to raising awareness of the challenges faced by first nations people, especially children, face in Canadian society today. Through this partnership, we hope to expose our delegates to the world of human rights activism and the push for equitable treatment for all people. Additionally, we will partner with the McGill International Review to present our new International Press Forum that will integrate the journalism and reporting features of a press corps with the formal debate of a standard MUN committee. This will allow us to offer delegates an opportunity to try their hand at journalism while still ensuring that they have their own topics to explore and attempt to solve.
With all this, I’m thrilled to invite you to SSUNS 2018, and I encourage you to reach out for more information.
Secretary-General, SSUNS 2018