Heavy international politics is nothing a group of high school students can't handle.

About 70 students from around the region gathered yesterday for a mock United Nations meeting at Whanganui Girls' College.

It simulated a General Assembly meeting with each delegation having the chance to speak, debate and vote on behalf of their adopted country.

"They have to maintain that country's opinion, not their own, so they've got to do a lot of prior research," United Nations Association of New Zealand Wanganui branch president Kate Smith said.


Each delegate came decked out in the traditional dress of the country they were representing.

"And they all contribute their national food to the lunch," Mrs Smith said.

The assembly was made up of 24 delegations with three students in each from Wanganui High School, Whanganui Girls' College, Cullinane College, Wanganui Collegiate and Nga Tawa.

The assembly followed the real UN format and discussed real and current issues.

One of the topics debated was how to go about blocking the financing of terrorism.

"They have to debate resolutions and they are allowed to amend them," Mrs Smith said.

"It's been quite a lively debate. It's quite heavy stuff but some of them are doing very well."

Mrs Smith said part of her organisation's role was educating people on the role of the UN along with holding the Government to its pledges.

"I believe that knowledge of the UN, how it works and what it does it sadly lacking in a lot of the population," she said.

"This gives us a chance to at least give some idea of what it does."