On October 1-3, a group of our MYP4-DP1 students attended the Copenhagen International Model United Nations (CIMUN 2020). One of our students, Omamen, shared daily blog posts from the three-day conference. Thank you Omamen for taking the time to share your experience with us!
Model United Nations is an academic simulation of the United Nations where students play the role of delegates from different countries and debate and attempt to solve real-world issues with the policies and perspectives of their assigned country. This year’s CIMUN conference is taking place online due to COVID-19.
CIMUN 2020, DAY 1:
Today was the first day of our three-day virtual Model United Nations conference. I woke up today excited but also a bit disappointed about not being able to see everyone face to face. This year, the Copenhagen International Model United Nations conference, CIMUN 2020, will take place online due to Covid-19.
After getting up and rehearsing my notes and doing some last-minute researching I got ready. We were asked to dress up and have our cameras on. We were representing ISH – first impressions were important. The conference was held using a browser-based platform called Gatherly, which has a very intuitive virtual display for participants, containing virtual floors in which participants can move their avatars around.
The day started with a guest speaker, Gülçin Karadeniz, Head of Group in Communications Programme at the European Environment Agency, who gave us an informative presentation on Climate Change. We then all split up into our communities, mine being Commission on The Status of Women (CSW). We all introduced ourselves and our country as an ice breaker to start the session. We were then given lobby time: where you get to interact with other delegates in your committee and try to write a resolution together, which would later be discussed. In between we got a 40-minute break for lunch and afterward started debating our topics, starting with the topic: ’Preventing the Use of Date-rape drugs and other paralytic drugs for non-medical purposes’. While debating, things got a bit heated as a delegate misrepresented their country and based its information on stereotypes which triggered everyone in the committee. Eventually I stepped in and confronted the delegate and demanded an apology, because of the disrespect towards a religion. As things progressed the deputy secretary-general got involved and the problem was solved.
The more the things get heated and controversial, the more fruitful the debate.
That was it for today, I look forward to tomorrow as the second day of the conference starts bright and early at 9:30 am!
CIMUN 2020, DAY 2:
On Friday, a couple of friends of mine who were also participating in CISMUN decided to meet up at a friend’s house to spend the conference day together and make our own mini-conference. We divided up the apartment into sections as most of us were at least two together in a committee. My friend’s mom had ordered a ton of food for us to help out her friend’s new food business.
The conference day started with a public announcement with an apology for the previous incident that happened the day before. After that, all delegates had to go to their committees where they picked up the discussion from where they left off yesterday. My committee finished on the topic of ‘Preventing the use of Date-rape drugs and other paralytic drugs for non-medical purposes’. After voting on the resolution as a whole and having it passed, we then moved on to our next topic on gender-selective abortion. We were given 30 minutes of lobbying time where we grouped up with fellow allied countries to come up with resolutions and clauses regarding the topic.
At 12:30 we were given an hour-long lunch where I got to socialize with other international delegates. I can say I have made friends all the way from Italy to Saudia Arabia, as well as some from our neighbouring school Rygaards. After exchanging socials and having a good laugh we were all asked to get to the virtual lobby “floor” and Ms. Kerstin Carlson, Associate Professor of the International Law University of Southern Denmark, who was a guest speaker gave us a speech on human rights which was very informative. After the speech, we resumed our discussion in our own countries, in my case, gender-selective abortion.
The day ended at 4:00, and pretty much everyone was exhausted from sitting in front of a screen for the whole day. In a regular conference, coming home and being able to take your heels off, may just be the best feeling and the sleep you get during the days of a MUN conference is like no other. But since I was at a friend’s house, I didn’t go to sleep, instead, we all exchanged stories about what had happened today at our committees.
CIMUN 2020 DAY 3:
And so, the last day of CIMUN begins! To be completely honest, I didn’t feel like getting out of bed today. As much as I was excited about the plenary session, I was too comfortable. After dragging myself out of bed, I quickly got ready, only changing my top to a button-up and leaving my pyjama bottoms on as I joined the Gatherly server. We headed straight to our committees which were now combined with the ‘Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice’ (CCPJ). Both ECOSOC committees were having plenary together.
Plenary is where both committees combine and debate over one resolution from each committee. It’s easier in person as you can team up with your fellow delegates of your country and the two of you can come up with points together, suiting your country. But I would say it went pretty well and both resolutions were discussed. From the CSW we had the resolution on the topic of ‘Gender-selective Abortion’, and from the CCPJ we had the resolution on the topic of the ‘Issue of Adequately Protecting Whistle-blowers and Witnesses to Guarantee the Carrying out of Justice’. Two very different topics that do share a few similarities.
After voting on both resolutions as a whole and having them passed, we were entertained with an hour break. Here I socialized more, and I was surprised to find out that none of the schools attending except from two was from the IB system. The remaining schools that attended CIMUN followed another system. I also got to hear how the pandemic is developing in the countries where the other participating students lived. Luckily, everyone’s healthy and safe. I was having a very fun conversation with students from a school in Saudia Arabia when we were rudely interrupted by the secretary-general broadcasting which automatically turns all groups off, which meant the closing ceremony began.
The three students that were in charge of the conference: the Secretary-general, deputy secretary-general, and secretary all gave their thank you speeches, thanking everyone that participated, the CIMUN team the school heads, schools communications person and the school finance person, everyone that played a role in the conference. It was clear that the secretary, Ema, was overwhelmed with emotions and she did look a bit teary-eyed. I think she was thinking that all those 11 months of hard work, last-minute planning, and adjusting, was all worth it and they did it! They managed to hold their first virtual MUN conference.
The closing ceremony touched me. I thought that in a few months hopefully, I will be in the same position as the girl Ema, getting emotional in the conference’s closing ceremony speeches. I could see myself standing in front of all the delegates thinking to myself that all the hard work was worth it and that I with the help of my school and its community managed to pull off ISH’s first MUN. Attending this conference has only made me even more excited about the International School of Hellerups model UN conference planned for May 2021. I can’t wait to make it happen!