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Of Interest

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On site

A United Nations plenary in the ITER amphitheatre

Speaking and acting as seasoned diplomats and referring to one another as "the honourable representative" of the country they chose to represent, one hundred French high-school students took the stage in the ITER amphitheatre last week to enact a United Nations plenary session. "Model UN" groups have been a staple of American colleges and high schools for more than half a century but have only recently developed in a few secondary schools in France.

In the ITER amphitheatre last week, one hundred students from a nearby high-school took the stage to enact a United Nations plenary session. A staple of American colleges and high schools for more than half a century, Model UN groups have only recently developed in a few secondary schools in France. (Click to view larger version...)
In the ITER amphitheatre last week, one hundred students from a nearby high-school took the stage to enact a United Nations plenary session. A staple of American colleges and high schools for more than half a century, Model UN groups have only recently developed in a few secondary schools in France.
For the Model UN group of Lycée La Nativité, a private school in nearby Aix-en-Provence, ITER was the obvious choice. "The students are quite admirative of the project," explains Anne Moullec, the English teacher who started the Model UN group. "Discussing the session's theme—Nuclear Energy and the Energy Challenge—in this environment added a very realistic dimension to the experience."

There are of course some theatrics when smartly dressed 16-year-olds perform as ambassadors to the UN. But there is a purpose here: "It is important that our students get acquainted with the codes and manners of international civil servants, and remain courteous even when disagreeing or opposing."

In the ITER amphitheatre last week, UN protocols and procedures were strictly observed, with the exception of one: students were required to deliver their addresses in English, the command of which is "indispensable in an international environment."



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