Before the New York challenge, members of the Freie Universität Berlin (FU) Delegation decided to exercise their negotiation and rhetorical skills in London (United Kingdom). London International Model United Nations (LIMUN) was a very good opportunity to get into the Model United Nations (MUN) mood. It is the largest annual university-level MUN conference in Europe, hosted by King’s College London. This year LIMUN, taking place from 8 - 10 February 2008, has gathered 690 students with more than 85 universities from 22 countries.
|In this conference the FU was represented by 11 students, covering Japan’s and Tanzania’s diplomatic corps. Our students participated in 7 out of 12 existing committees. The range of the themes we found in all of them was very wide, reflecting today’s important international developments in many UN fields of interests: It went from the implementation of the “Responsibility to protect” to discrimination and intolerance against new religious movements and religious minorities.|
The committee dealing with the last issue, the General Assembly Special Session on the Elimination of all Forms of Religious Intolerance and Discrimination, was a complete new LIMUN innovation introduced 2008 together with the UN Global Compact or crisis committee which all gives students new ways to get to know UN system from the inside.
The conference started on 8 February 2008 with a speech of Dr. David Nabarro, Senior UN System Coordinator for Avian & Human Influenza. In his presentation Mr. Nabarro underlined new challenges for the UN mentioned climate change as one of the most important of them. His speech was followed by greetings from LIMUN Secretary-General Jasper Pandza and therewith LIMUN 2008 was officially opened. On the very first evening delegates already met in their committees and set the agenda for the following two days of hard debates and discussions.
The first day was still not over and all junior diplomats were invited to a social event in order to better get to know each other and to experience the thrilling and unique nightlife of London. Location for this event was The Yacht Club on Temple Pier with a wonderful view over the River Thames at night. Although the party ended late in the night, all the delegates appeared on time at 9.00 am in the conference venue on the next day and discussions were started at the point they were finished on Friday. The long Saturday has brought a lot of new developments and progress in all the committees. We all were also visited by professional guest speakers who work on the problems debated in different committees and the delegates had an extraordinary opportunity to ask questions. Afterwards the Delegations dealt with writing resolutions or trying to implement political line of the country they represent.
|After the sessions the whole FU Delegation met on the Tower Bridge to have dinner together, to exchange our experience in the conference and to share our concerns and achievements. We were all very pleased with the exceptional level of debate and new things we learned about the positions of different countries by working together with students from all of Europe. Also the experience of dealing with English native speakers was very valuable as a perfect preparation for the National Model United Nations (NMUN) in New York City.|
The last day of conference was very fertile as all the committees came up with substantial results and adapted numerous successful resolutions. In the closing ceremony it was announced that Natascha Braumann from the FU Berlin representing Tanzania in the First Committee of the General Assembly – Disarmament & International Security – has received an Outstanding Delegate Award. This was great news for all of us.
On Sunday afternoon it was a time for our Delegation to leave and go back to Berlin. We were sitting in a bus carrying us to an airport and enjoying the last sunny moments of a glorious day. Everyone was tired, but happy after such an exhausting and at the same time interesting and impressive weekend.
Ada Jonusyte and Semjon Rens