Did you know that the richest eight people in the world have the same amount of money as the poorest 3.7 billion? This gravely consequential fact stood out for our delegates at the opening ceremony of the Middle Schools Model United Nations in Doha. The theme for the weekend was ‘Combating Inequality’ and the keynote speaker began by emphasising the breadth of this global concern, both within and between different nations.

However, it was not all doom and gloom and the speaker concluded with a more positive message, centered on “creating equity” as a solution based approach that would resonate with the aims of the conference itself. With this in mind, it was then the task of 500 middle school delegates, including our own eleven Cranleighans, to collaborate and create resolutions in response to some of the most pressing global issues facing our planet today, from the threat of drones and conflict in Yemen to elderly rights and child soldiers. An impossible task, some might say, especially given the fact that their adult UN counterparts have thus far found some of the challenges insurmountable! However, the inherent compassion, objectivity and creativity of youth prevailed and many insightful solutions were put forward. Witnessing the pupils in action certainly gave us cause to be more hopeful for the future. Our staff team was extremely proud of our pupils. They were all key players in their respective committee rooms with every delegate co-writing or sponsoring a resolution paper. We are in no doubt of the value the Model UN affords our pupils, whether first-timers who are simply coming to grips with the structure and format of the UN, to more experienced delegates whose aim is to one day chair a committee room. Here is what a couple of our pupils had to say about their experience: "This trip was nothing like the trips I've been on before. I would do it again with no regret, without even thinking!" Azamat (Year 9) "It was a lot of fun as well as educational… This was definitely one of the highlights of my first year here at Cranleigh and I would definitely go again" Adam (Year 9)