Calum goes straight to the top to learn about world politics at the UN

KEVI student Calum Thomson with Simon Pringle
KEVI student Calum Thomson with Simon Pringle

A MORPETH student hopes to have many more overseas experiences after learning about world politics first-hand in the USA.

King Edward VI School Student Voice Ambassador Calum Thomson attended the Global Young Leaders Conference in Washington DC and New York City after his nomination was accepted by an organising panel.

The Hebron resident took part in range of activities which gave the teenagers from across the globe an insight into how the UN operates.

These included scenario-based exercises where they had to deal with a situation as members of its Security Council and General Assembly.

The young leaders were given tours of some university campuses in the two cities and Calum also got to see a number of sights during the visit, including the White House and Smithsonian Institution in Washington, Times Square, a Broadway show and Ellis Island in New York and the Liberty Bell in nearby Philadelphia.

He said: “On day one in Washington, all attendees were put in to a leadership group and each group was given a country. I was put in the India group with 20 others and over the next few days we prepared for the simulation of the UN Security Council.

“Here we had a hypothetical conflict in Cyprus and had to try and get a solution between all the different country groups.

“In New York, we spent two days at the UN where we received speeches from experts on the work of the organisation and how it combats problems. At the General Assembly we tried to get resolutions passed and actually simulated the work of the UN, which was really interesting.

“The Global Young Leadership Conference opened up my mind as it made me think about issues, and myself, and what I can do. It gave me motivation for change and I realise what I want to do with my life.

“From meeting so many people to visiting different universities, it made me want to study abroad and reach beyond the boundaries of the UK.”

The Year 13 student is helping current year 12 pupils who are interested in going next year with their applications.

Morpeth Town Council and Morpeth Lions Club jointly donated £300 towards the cost of his trip and he recently did a presentation about it to the Morpeth Lions.

Its President, Simon Pringle, said: “Having given an accomplished and humorous talk to 22 strangers, I well understand how Calum came to be selected and he still seems to be buzzing from the experience.

“We all wish him well for his future, which seems assured. He is a credit to his school.”