The United Nations came together at Wanganui Girls' College yesterday where the hall was filled with delegates in saris, sombreros and kimonos ready for negotiations.
The delegates consisted of students from Wanganui High School, Wanganui Collegiate, Wanganui City College, Cullinane College, Nga Tawa Diocesan school, Wanganui Intermediate School and Wanganui Girls' College dressed in the national costumes of countries they represented.
Wanganui branch president of the United Nations Association, Kate Smith addressed the delegates and explained that the meeting was to be a simulation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit held in New York in September.
Ms Smith told the students that 2015 is the International Year of Soils and the New York Summit was about sustainable development and climate change but the topic for the delegates in Wanganui would be the Syrian refugee crisis.
"At the real UN conference, there would be a president and a secretary but today I will be both. You will avoid interjection and ask for speaking rights if you have something to say and share it with everyone," she said.
Each country was then given one minute of speaking time and three young men from Colombia stepped up to the podium to have their say.
The event was co-ordinated by Wanganui High School's HOD of history Mary-Ann Ewing who said the simulated conference has been held since 2003.
"It is a good way for all the schools to come together for an event that is not sport and the academic students get to meet and learn from each other," she said.
"I allocate which countries schools will represent and give them a resolution."
Students had also prepared national dishes of the countries they were representing - the Australian team from Wanganui Collegiate had lamingtons on their table and said the Aussie ones are different from the Kiwi version. The United Nations celebrated its 70th anniversary on October 24.