The Youth Have Their Say; NORTHERN Ireland and Republic of Ireland Pupils Got the Chance to Experience the Pressure-Cooker World of Diplomacy Yesterday When They Took Part in a Model United Nations Commission on Human Rights at Stranmillis College, Belfast. ROSS McKEE Reports

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THE conference saw 120 pupils represent a variety of countries and non-governmental organisations as they tackled such thorny issues as press freedom, human rights abuse and the threat of toxic waste.

The Council For Education In World Citizenship Northern Ireland (CEWCNI) organised the event to tie-in with United Nations Day this Sunday.

And like the best international conferences it was subject to a flurry of lobbying activity as CEWCNI Development Officer Mary Smyth explained.

''The members are divided into groups and are given a preamble of a resolution, they then have to work out as members of the Human Rights Commission what action should be taken on that topic.

''They start their lobbying before the event which takes the form of faxes.

''Friends' School in Lisburn which is representing Pakistan has been getting edgy about the developing political situation there and have been faxing about 20 schools to get support as they are vulnerable.

''The UK (Glenlola Collegiate, Bangor) will be tabling an emergency resolution this afternoon deploring the coup in Pakistan.''

The various schools were discussing the subject of Press freedom when the News Letter visited the conference, and pupils were keen to highlight their knowledge and opinions on the issue. …