ILYMUN 2018 begins, and with great enthusiasm and efficiency! The committees formed for the first time on Thursday, January 18th. The organizing teams showed impressive coordination, and were proud to welcome the France 3 regional TV channel, platform on which was published at 7:15pm a news report about the conference.
The delegates arrived on Thursday afternoon, ready to debate. In order to make the atmosphere lighter, ice breakers were organised in each committee. In the ECOSOC committee, the delegates began by learning each other's name, thanks to a game. When it was time for lobbying, delegates presented clauses and tried convincing as many countries as possible to sign them. The chairs were very involved and tried to help the delegates as best as they could. Delegates joined in order to create new clauses. Present in the room were the delegates from North Korea, Pakistan, Arabia, Turkey, Russia, Afghanistan, Libya and China. The global theme was : Protecting cities from terrorism. On this first day, the delegates were at first shy and unsure about their speaking skills. However, it was instantly sensed that there was a lot of potential, and that the debates over the next couple of days would be fascinating.
Before the beginning of the “Human Rights” committee, we were able interview the chairs, Justine (from ISL) and Rachel (from CSI), who expressed their opinion on ILYMUN. Both decided to join ILYMUN as they believed it is an interesting conference that gives us the opportunity to discuss relevant topics while meeting new people. “It’s amazing how students can organize such a big event and debate on world issues”, says Rachel. Even if they were both skeptical about this year’s theme “Cities”, after some research, they’ve come to realize that there is an alarming amount of issues cities encounter that we are not aware of and need to be discussed. On the other hand, they immediately agreed on the importance of their committee’s topic “Human Rights”. Today, many countries fail to take all fundamental human rights into consideration, and they hope they can contribute to making a change. After our interview, the rest of the day went by smoothly as it consisted of going over the rules and icebreakers.
In the Science and Technology committee, the day began with a brief explanation about the important terms and formulations used for debating. It was the first experience for most of the delegates. Then, the chairs introduced themselves and everyone followed up. The chairs pursued with ‘ice breakers’ so that everyone would feel more confident and at ease, with personal questions to get to know each other. Finally, delegates started lobbying and thinking over different motions. The delegates settled down with an enthusiastic and composed atmosphere. Every delegate was very motivated and the chairs Melanie Serre and Thomas Delorme framed the debate efficiently and professionally.
The International Court of Justice began, for the first day of ILYMUN 2018, with an enthusiastic start, regardless of a slight delay due to the absence of several advocates and judges. The President and Deputy president of the ICJ committee started firstly by welcoming all delegates, by familiarizing them to the rules and regulations of the ICJ procedure. Then, in order to set a complacent atmosphere, the Presidents suggested to entertain a few ‘icebreakers’: a great opportunity for delegates to get to know each other and commence on a comfortable start. Once all had arrived and settled, the debating began. During the three days, the primal theme will pertain to the general war crimes which occurred in Aleppo since May 2012. The two teams of advocates - the Applicant Party, representing the International amnesty (Syrian rebels), and the Respondent party representing the Syrian state/government - began with their opening speeches, 15 minutes each, corresponding to their individual views. Both were very convincing! The judges had to attend very conscientiously to the respective arguments, and already began to reflect about whom sounded most plausible. The drama is yet to come!
The Historical Security Council committee in ILYMUN will recreate legitimate, historically important UN Security Council meetings. The first one will be a meeting discussing the conflict between Cambodia and Vietnam, which started on the 30th April 1977. Delegates will not only discuss the conflict itself, but also the Kampuchean “purification process”, which resulted in the abolishment of civil and political rights for the Cambodian citizens. Although newcomers were visibly nervous at first, they quickly relaxed thanks to the icebreakers conducted by the chairs, getting to know each other better, and are now looking forward to start debating in ILYMUN. Following the lobbying stage, in which multiple clauses were submitted condemning the Kampuchean repression, debates are expected to start in the second day, which is shaping up to be exciting.
In Action Assembly, delegates represented cities rather than countries. In this committee, delegates were grouped into five, as ‘experts’ of their designated city. Overall there are six cities: Nairobi, Paris, Tehan, Dubai, LA, Mumbai. This allowed them to elaborate realistic projects as a team which, hopefully, the country in question will adopt in the future. This year, delegates will be debating the notion of ‘Physical and Ideological Integration of the Young Marginalised’. Arthur and Mathilde, Heads of Action Assembly, expressed their view on the committee, “It’s really cool! Problems of the 21st Century have to be first solved on a small scale which is exactly what Action Assembly is about.” A grand commencement, in the perspective of the following days.
Finally, the General Assembly got together at 3:30pm for the customary opening ceremony. The experience can definitively be considered the central event of the day, bringing together all schools in a beautiful combination of music, video clips, and multiple speeches. Both CSI and ISL choirs performed during this occasion, with iconic songs such as “New York” by Frank Sinatra or “Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. The attending members also had the privilege of listening to the speeches of the numerous guest speakers attending: Mr. Pierre Berat, Conseiller Régional of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, thanked all the attending members for their participation; Mme Moulin Civil, Rectrice of the Academy of Lyon, welcomed everyone, and stressed the importance of ILYMUN, particularly the “variety of its sources”, the “youth of the members”, the “strong sense of enthusiasm”, and the “important language exchange” that it brought together. Deputy Secretary Generals of ILYMUN 2018 Benoît de Carlan and Jack Pattinson presented the conference, particularly thanking the “amazing team” and the sponsors that made ILYMUN possible this year once again. Finally, Secretary General of Interpol Mr. Jurgen Stock made an inspiring speech about the cruciality of international connections and the challenges cities face today. “We need to do better”, he states at the end of his speech. In our contemporary, globalized, and interconnected world, crime has progressed in its connections, and he explained that Interpol’s missions grow every day. He strongly encourages international collaboration, whether it be in diplomacy or in the fight against crime, to take action in an effective manner. The ILYMUN press team had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Stock; the interview was recorded by the press audiovisual team and is available on Youtube. You may also access a live of the ILYMUN 2018 opening ceremony on the ILYMUN facebook page.
To watch the opening ceremony video, by Nicolas Rerolle: Click here