2021 BUHMUN Conference

The 2021 conference of the Bond University High School Model United Nations (BUHMUN) at Bond University was attended by a delegation of seven A.B. Paterson College students from 11-12 May. Maria Nadezhdina, Bita Mahani, Elizabeth Roberts, Charley Ellwood, Connor O’Neill, Alexander Roberts and Angelina Inthavong were awarded a Best Delegation Award for their diplomacy and negotiation skills during the conference.

BUHMUN is Australia’s first university-run High School Model United Nations conference. The annual conference’s theme for this year was Sustainable Development Goal 5 – Achieving Gender Equality and Empowering Women and Girls. Bond University invited young people to step forward and step up together to change the course for women’s and girls’ rights, and to shape solutions for a gender-equal tomorrow. Diplomacy, negotiation and resolutions addressed inequalities between women and men, and boys and girls that pervade the world today. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, addressed the conference in a video in the opening session. The resolutions of the four committees will be forwarded on and read by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, highlighting the scope and influence of BUHMUN to actively contribute suggestions to the UN for ways to address the refugee crisis that sees more than 26 million displaced people globally.

Connor O’Neill represented Armenia in Committee 1 to discuss ‘Accessibility to leadership education, recruitment and career-development programs to ensure that all women, especially young women, have equal access to managerial, technical and leadership training’. He was a key contributor and writer of the final resolution.

In Committee 2, Charley Ellwood represented Cote de Ivoire, addressing ‘Valuing unpaid care, including care for the elderly and/or infirm of body’. He was a genuine leader in this group, drafting resolutions that tended to stray off topic, but were redirected by him to achieve meaningful change.

Angelina Inthavong (Australia) and Elizabeth Roberts (India) contributed to Committee 3’s resolutions on ‘The effects of armed or other kinds of conflict on women, including those living under foreign occupation’. This was a lively committee that saw many heated moments of diplomacy and negotiation. Claims were made by Communist nations to reinstate the now defunct Soviet Union - a horrifying thought!

Committee 4 was the largest committee at the event with the biggest foci for the event: ‘Gender-Based Violence’, ‘Access to Health Care’ and ‘Access to Quality Education’. Bita Mahani represented (South Sudan), while Alexander Roberts stood for Cuba. There were several issues negotiating suitable resolutions to address the issue of providing externally-displaced asylum seekers with necessary health care, feminine hygiene products and access to contraception.

For the first time, the College sent a journalist to BUHMUN - Maria Nadezhdina was a well-regarded ‘journo’ who gained exceptional insight into the work of a journalist and the challenging demands of covering an ‘international’ event.

BUHMUN was an inspiring experience, particularly considering the scale of the current refugee crisis that is overshadowed by the COVID-19 crisis that only serves to make the situation worse for refugee camps and the management of the centres that process, support, feed and house a growing number of refugees; the majority of whom are women and children.

This year A.B. Paterson College performed extremely well. We won the following awards:

- Multimedia Journalism Award (Maria Nadezhdina)

- Best Delegate for Committee 4 (Bita Mahani)

- Best Delegation Award (A.B. Paterson College)

- First ever BUHMUN Ambassador (Bita Mahani)

Bita Mahani has been recognised by Bond University as a truly outstanding BUHMUN delegate. She has won the Best Delegate Award for each committee that she has participated in the Bond University High School Model United Nations conference for three years running. The conference on Wednesday 12 May was concluded with a special award and presentation that was created specifically for Bita due to her inspiring contributions to BUHMUN. She becomes the first ever BUHMUN Ambassador! Associate Professor Dr. Mark Dinnen has also offered to recommend her to any university for an International Relations university course. 

Congratulations to Bita and all A.B. Paterson College delegates at the 2021 BUHMAN conference.

Anthony Chetter
Head of Faculty - HASS