Schools tackle nuclear security
First published 21 August 2012
Countries across the globe will face off this week when high school students meet at the annual Day of Diplomacy at James Cook University on Friday, August 24.
The day, part of the Young Diplomats Program (YDP), is a United Nations-style assembly of Year 10 students, where each school represents a designated country.
Students spend weeks researching and investigating the critical issues and the position of the country they represent on a chosen topic.
Students prepare speeches and tactics for the diplomatic team and deliberate their country’s position on the chosen issue and agree on a ‘protocol’ or ‘treaty’.
This year, nine high schools from Townsville are participating; The Cathedral School, Heatley Secondary Collage, Kirwan State High School, St Margaret Mary’s College, Northern Beaches State High School, Pimlico State High School, Ryan Catholic College, Thuringowa State High School and William Ross State High School.
Their ssue is “Advancing Global Nuclear Security”.
The teams of students will test their research and diplomatic skills in day-long deliberations and be judged by diplomats from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and representatives of the University.
Professor Nola Alloway, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Arts, Education and Social Sciences, will chair the proceedings.
First introduced in the 1990s through a partnership between the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA), Education Queensland and JCU, YDP showcases young people who are keen students of world affairs through their studies in society and culture at school.
Teachers work with JCU lecturers in political science and history and DFAT to choose a current issue of concern on the international stage.
Dr Surin Maisrikrod, forum convenor and Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Political Science at JCU, said while it was a competition, the Day of Diplomacy was an exciting learning event and a culmination of several weeks of events held during the Young Diplomats Program.
“It's a great day and a wonderful display of the sophisticated understanding and genuine passion of youth for what is happening in the world around them,” he said.
“Students are very keen to learn more about the danger of nuclear weapons and nuclear accidents that have happened in some countries like in Japan recently, and they are studying about some ways to prevent them.
“Students are immensely interested in nuclear security. They have made significant