Helwan Felappi and Estelle Tromeur
As a new school year approaches, so does a whole new edition of ILYMUN! The organizing team, both from the Cité Scolaire Internationale de Lyon and the International School of Lyon, is set and beginning preparations for the 6th edition of the well-known conference. New students, new projects, and most importantly, new theme. This year, delegates from all around the world will gather to discuss… Cities!
New York by night, photo by Emilie Lapillonne
If ‘global city’, also referred to as ‘world city’, is a term we often and increasingly hear, it may not always be one much developed upon. In the multipolar world that surrounds us, it is generally agreed that globalization is the major force driving our interconnectedness and the main contributor to this new ‘world culture’. Made up of different flows, namely merchandise, people, capital, information and culture, its influence can most strongly be felt in global cities, the supposed 'nodes’ of the global network. First coined by Dutch sociologist Saskia Sassen, the term thus designates cities around the globe that play an important role when it comes to orchestrating globalization.
‘Global cities’ are characterized by a number of features such as a highly developed economy, scientific and technological prominence, and influence in world affairs. Examples include New York, London, Tokyo and Paris, among many others. They can be ranked in importance according to how influential they are in orchestrating the different flows of globalization, with labels going from Alpha to Gamma. In Sassen’s ranking, London and New York come out on the top. They are considered Alpha ++ world cities, for they are the most integrated in the global economy. Just below in the ranking can be found Paris, but also Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, Dubai and Shanghai, considered Alpha + cities.
New York’s prominent skyline, photo by Emilie Lapillonne
In today’s increasingly interconnected world, these cities are more than ever of fundamental importance in the global community, and the challenges they face now and in the coming years will truly shape the lives of billions of people in the decades to come.
Thus, such cities will constitute the main focus of this year’s conference, along with the challenges linked to them, such as urban development, environmental issues, science and technology, and even culture and human rights. Over the span of three days in January 2018, delegates from all around the world will gather at the Hôtel de Region in Lyon to discuss these problems, and explore possible solutions. They will join different committees, ranging from the Security Council to the International Court of Justice, organized as their legitimate counterparts at the United Nations, and each dealing with a specific issue. The conference will therefore engage an organized and critical reflection on how to deal sustainably with globalization and growing populations.
Preparations for the major event have already been initiated and both Lyonese schools have set goals to make Ilymun 2018 realize its full potential. Entries for delegates will commence in October 2017, so make sure not to miss out! A star occasion not to be missed.