SSUNS 2015 Opening Ceremony
The 2015 Secondary Schools United Nations Simulations (SSUNS) was gestured into its prime by an awe-inspiring opening ceremonies. As delegates, staffers, committee directors, and executives gathered into the Fontaine Ballroom at the Hotel Bonaventure, they were introduced to a new form of introductions.
Urban Groove, a McGill dance collective, kicked the show off with a piece focused on conflict and resolution. The dancing gave the event a new form of energy that could only be sourced from a rhythmic stomping. Their piece was revitalizing and gave SSUNS 2015 a tone that Model UN has yet to experience. This was followed by a few warm words by Koray Demir.
SSUNS 2015 was a SSUNS of firsts, as it was the first SSUNS to hold a simulation within a UN building. The International Civil Aviation Transport Agency, headquartered in Montreal, has lent the according simulation use of their general assembly auditorium. The Secretary General of ICAO spoke to SSUNS about this groundbreaking partnership. Hopefully, she said, it is the beginning of an unprecedented relationship between Model and Actual United Nations. The honor, she followed, was mutually exchanged in this establishment.
Another new element was the inclusion of a word artist. His words closed the gap between rebellions as violence. The poem worked on formenting understanding that rebellion is a civilian, not violent force. The pointed idea behind his words were insightful. In a room full of conflict-resolvers, hearing about beneficial conflict was cacophonous at first. Some were not sold, but many saw an unsheathed truth in those sentiments.
The keynote speaker was the Executive Director of the Institute for International Development, Patrick Brennan. His words echoed a familiar feeling within Canada – aboriginal policy. His address professed a need to understand that the subjugation of Native Americans in this country is reflective of oppression in other countries. The lack of coverage, he said, is not indicative of an unimportant problem. The issue is weighty, with forced assimilation and prevention of resources for a liveable life. If this problem is not solved, Professor Brennan said, we risk incredible humanitarian crisis.
With that, Secretary General Dan Ton-That gave his commendations for delegates to prosper and learn. The bang of the gavel inaugurated the 2015 SSUNS. And off the delegates were in their quest of the gavel!
Photo credit to SSUNS photography team (https://www.facebook.com/officialssuns/?fref=photo)