On Saturday 22 October, eleven students from Bachiller travelled over to Croydon, England with Nicola Dignum and Beth Boyle to attend the 35th IMUN conference at Royal Russell School. Approximately 500 students attended from schools from thirteen countries. One of our students was chairing a committee, one was the Registrar in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), one joined the RRS Press team, four represented Germany and four represented Australia.
The students worked very hard to prepare for the conference, writing resolutions on topics such as organ and tissue donation, the elimination of racism and racial discrimination, addressing conflict minerals in central Africa, political refugees from Syria and Iraq, combatting plastic pollution in oceans and measures to promote microloans to increase economic growth in LEDCs.
All the students had to make a Policy Statement in their committees and the Ambassadors had to make a speech in the opening ceremony. During the general assemblies, all the delegates were able to make Points of Information and/or speeches in favor or against resolutions. Photos and video links can be found on our Facebook page, MUN Bilbao.
Noelia Vieira, German delegate in the Environment Committee:
I'm super excited to go to Royal Russell as it's my first time I go on a plane! I'm very nervous because I'll have to speak in front of many people but I think I'll enjoy myself and learn a lot of things. I'll make a lot of friends too! I have spent my morning sat on my friends suitcases in order to close them. It has been very funny because the people in the airport stared at us and laughed with us.
Maria De La Peña, Australian delegate in the Special Committee on terrorism in Iraq and Levant:
Having taken a plane at 10:30 I suddenly found myself at the entrance of a big, colorful and homelike school. Badge on, resolution and placard of Australia in hand and I headed to the SPECITIL committee. I admit that the idea of being alone in the new special committee of terrorism frightened me, and even more when I arrived to the enormous classroom. However, we started lobbying and that was a great opportunity to get to know the rest of the delegates who came from all over the world. Therefore, I felt more confident when having to do the policy statement in order to present Australia's point of view, and although later my resolution didn't pass, I was able to make points of information and become part of the debate. However, while listening and watching I realized I had a good deal to learn from experienced people as it became a marvelous event.
Maria De Le Peña in the Spectil Committee
Five days ago we went to Croydon, England, to attend an international MUN conference at Royal Russell School. I couldn't help but feel really nervous at first, as I was going to be part of the press team and had no idea what I was going to do. However, once we arrived and met the people I was going to work with, I realized I was going to have a great time. Everyone was so kind and even though it was really stressful and we had to work really hard I can assure this has been one of the best experiences I've had so far. I hope I can repeat it next year, and I highly recommend it to everyone!
Patricia with the four magazines the Press Team produced during the conference
Maddalen Lazaro, the German delegate in the SpecPol 1 committee:
The day we got to Royal Russell, we had to get signatures for our resolutions or merge them. When I got there I felt really nervous at thought of having to face lots of people I didn't know, however, when I approached the first group of people to whom I was planning on giving my resolution I was taken aback by how kind everyone was. It set me at ease. The more resolutions I handed out the calmer I felt, and without realising it I achieved eight signatures, that meant I could submit it to the approval panel and if approved it would be debated in my committee. The next day we debated four resolutions in my committee, SPECPOL 1. Unfortunately, due to time constraints we were unable to debate my resolution despite the fact that it had been approved. Nevertheless, I had an amazing time at RRSIMUN and I hope my next conference is this fun.
Noelia, Maddalen and Alejandra representing Germany in the General Assembly
Leyre Tejedor, Registrar in the International Court of Justice (ICJ):
My second international MUN conference, held at Royal Russell school, has been at least as enriching, empowering and unforgettable as the last one.
Last year I participated in the ICJ as a judge in the case of the Marshall Islands vs. The nuclear states, and it was my first time ever doing MUN, so for me it was a great discovery and a totally new experience. This year I was the Registrar, and the case we took on was Ecuador vs. Columbia. As I already knew how things work in the ICJ I was able to participate more and understand the case much better, which made my experience very enjoyable.
On the social side, I met many new people I shared interests with, made lots of friends, and reunited with friends I had made the year before. It's always fantastic to be in contact with people from different cultures and countries.
All in all, the ICJ has been a success and I've had a great 3 days yet again, doing what I'm most passionate about.
Leyre Tejedor with the President of the ICJ about to read the judgement
Alejandra Garcia, Ambassador of Germany:
On Saturday all the delegations had to attend the opening ceremony where the ambassadors all have a speech about the problems that concern their countries the most. I was representing Germany and in case I wasn't nervous enough because of the ambassador speech, some members of my delegation were late and I had to give them some material. Luckily they got to the conference on time.
When it was time for me to do the speech I was quite nervous and overwhelmed. However, when I started my speech I was very surprised as I was speaking calmly and clearly, even though my heart was racing.
Germany preparing for the Opening Ceremony: Maddalen Lazaro, Noelia Vieira and Alejandra Garcia (Ambassador)
Irati Salcedo, Australian delegate in the SpecPol 1 committee:
On sunday i woke up really nervous, my merged resolution was going to be debated, and so i was going to speak in front of everyone, for the first time. The main submitter made his speech and he yielded the floor to me. When i finished mine, even though i decided not to answer any points of information, i still was proud of myself. Everyone was really kind and after talking i just could think about preparing the next one.
Australia: Alejandra Connell (Ambassador), Christina Connell and Irati Salcedo in the General Assembly
Marta Fuente, Delegate for Australia in the Ecofin committee:
Sunday 23th October was a pretty exciting day for me. We all got early to the Royal Russell School, school where the MUN conference was held, and everyone went to their committees in which we had been the day before. There was a chair for each delegation with its name in alphabetical order. As I was Australia I would be the first one to do the policy statement, that was a small compulsory speech we had to give in front of our committee. I was nervous, and this feeling increased even more when the chair pronounced the name of my country. I gave the speech and felt a lot better. That day I even made another speech in favor of a resolution, which made me realize that I'm more capable than what I think. This is why I feel that was a very important day, because now I'm not that shy when it comes to talking in front of people.
Maria De La Peña and Marta Fuente listening to the General Assembly and preparing to debate the next resolution
Nicola Dignum, MUN Director:
All the students worked very hard during the conference and all managed to be recognized in the General Assembly to ask Points of Information or to make speeches. Alejandra Garcia was also recognized as a Distinguished Delegate in the DISEC 1 committee. Well done to you all and I am very proud of you.
Maddalen Lazaro, German Delegate in the SpecPol 1 committee:
On Tuesday afternoon, after MUN had come to an end we hopped on the first tram into Croydon to check into our hotel and get the train into London. As we were running a bit short on time the first thing we did when we got to London was go shopping. Next, we took a tour around London starting by going down Carnaby Street into Piccadilly Circus and then Leicester Square, after that we had dinner.
We next took a walk to Trafalgar Square, then to Houses of Parliament passing next to Downing Street on our way. When we got there, we couldn't resist stopping to take a few photos as we could see the London Eye on the other side of the river Thames, it was stunning. Seeing Big Ben at night was also spectacular. The final place we visited before getting the train back to our hotel was Buckingham Palace.
It was absolutely amazing to visit London, it was particularly beautiful because it was nighttime. We all had a fantastic time and hope to be able to go back some time soon.
Dinner in Wagamamas
How many Ayalde Munners can get in a London telephone box?
On Westminster Bridge
In front of Buckingham Palace
Alejandra Connell, Ambassador for Australia:
This experience was so complete, it's not just the International Model United Nations, with all the assemblys, committees or resolutions, it's more than that. Apart from that, is the way we can make friends in a lenguage that is not ours, the way we communicate our country's opinions in front of lots people. In addition, as we were not very far from London, we could go a few hours to visit it. It was my first time and i found it really amazing, we took many photos in the Big Ben, London Eye and more important places. I really enjoyed this conference.
Alejandra working in the Environment committee
Marta Bareño, Delegate for Germany in Ecofin:
When we arrived to Royal Russell we realized the astonishing level we were facing to. There were going to be four long days full of debating and learning as much as we could.
During the lobbying session we got to know a lot of different people from different countries and cultures while merging and passing our resolutions. The next two days of debating were great. We tried our best to do our speeches and ask some points of information. Finally, on monday and tuesday we debated the best resolutions in the G.A. In the end only two of them passed and i gave a speech!! I felt so proud about myself because of being able to speak in front of five hundred teenagers with the aim of making from this a better world.
This whole experience has definitely been one of the bests of my life. I am really looking forward to repeating MUN and attending all the conferences i'm able to. I would like to go back to London and try Prague. What i have learnt from this project is something i would never forget. Not only how to get through nowadays problems but also how to speak in public and what do other countries think about this world.
Site seeing in London was an award for us that i think we totally deserved. Nicola has been a great supervisor and i thank her so much for letting me trying Model United Nations.
Marta Bareño and Marta Fuente working in the Ecofin committee
Christina Connell, Chair in Disarmament and Security 1:
I can't believe that four days ago I was running into the committee I was chairing and to which I was late and now I'm 30500 feet up in the clouds on my way back from what, once again, has been an incredible conference.
Royal Russell has definitely not let me down this time either and has matched up to my expectations. The conference has been fun, interesting, enriching... I have met new people and seen others for the first time after a whole year in the same place and atmosphere we met.
The motion to go back home has been objected and therefore should not be in order, and several delegates have seconded the motion to come back as soon as possible as well as to other conferences, including ours.
The MUNer fever is rising up!
Christina Connell chairing the DISEC 1 committee
Arriving back, very tired but happy
Roll on MUN Bilbao, 26 - 29 January 2017!