WICKMUN 2024: Shaping future leaders through diplomacy

Aidan O’Connor, 5th Year student, Educate Together Secondary School Wicklow.

Over the weekend of the 19th-20th of April, ETSS Wicklow held its second in-person Model United Nations Conference, WICKMUN 2024. Founded by ETSS Wicklow’s late principal Colm Kehoe (1952-2022), Model United Nations has gone from strength to strength since the school was established in 2019. Management, staff, and students know that he would be full of pride for what the event has become within the school calendar and the Educate Together Community.

Headed by a team of senior students – Secretary General Aidan O’ Connor, Deputy Secretary General Ayah Mohamed, Conference Managers Sonny Anderson and Lenna Smith, and President of the General Assembly and last year’s Secretary General Hannah O’ Callaghan – the conference was a student-led success!

Day one (Friday April 19th) began with an opening ceremony with speeches from Principal John Maddock, and political representatives Anna Waithira Burke (Labour Party) and Stephen Matthews (Green Party), who inspired all students in the room and expressed their joy at seeing the future generation of politicians before them. Finally, Secretary General Aidan O’ Connor gave a speech encouraging every attendee to do their absolute best, and with a bang of the gavel, the conference was opened, and committees began debate!

ETSS Wicklow buzzed with activity throughout the two-day conference, hosting over 200 students from schools across the country, including Wesley College, St. Andrews, Gonzaga College, Blackrock College, The High school, and several Educate Together secondary schools. With seven committee rooms bustling with delegates representing various countries, topics ranging from “The Question of The Cost of Living” to “The Question of Improving the Quality of Life of Refugees” were rigorously discussed. Each delegate passionately advocated for their assigned country’s perspective, contributing to lively and enlightening discourse.

Day two brought renewed energy as committees reconvened for further deliberations. The press team worked tirelessly on the conference’s magazine, ‘Swagmag,’ capturing interviews, photos, and behind-the-scenes moments. The Admin team ensured smooth operations in committee rooms, while the Security Team maintained order and handled any challenges that arose with skill and tact.

As the afternoon crept in, it was time for the General Assembly. Lead by Head Chair of the General Assembly, Hannah O’ Callaghan, all the attending delegates gathered in the main hall to debate the topics they had been discussing in the committee rooms. Debate was intense and fruitful, with incredible speeches made by numerous delegates in the room.

As the conference drew to a close, awards were presented to delegates who exhibited and contributed to incredible debate over the weekend. Finally, one last speech was given by Aidan O’ Connor, in which he detailed his “retirement plan” of being Head of Security next year. Before he closed the conference, Aidan invited the room to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the lives taken in Gaza since October 6th last year and urged the delegates to put their skills and intelligence to good use, by helping causes around the world by raising support and awareness. And with that, WICKMUN24 was officially closed.

WICKMUN 2024 was not just a conference; it was a testament to the power of youth leadership, diplomacy, and collaboration. Through engaging debates and meaningful dialogue, students emerged as future leaders ready to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.

Catch some of the action from WICKMUN 2024 through this video.