Colegio Ayalde started its 2017-18 MUN academic year by attending, as always, the international MUN conference at Royal Russell School in Croydon, UK. We went with our biggest group yet, 22 students, who were a mixture of delegates, Chairs, Press Team and ICJ. This year, as the conference dates coincided with the Spanish national holiday, we also had two days in London sightseeing before the conference started.
Sofia Castaño: When we woke up on Thursday morning we were really excited about going to London and just couldn’t believe the day of the trip had already arrived. After a few hours we got finally into the plane and really enjoyed the flight. We were all highly impressed about the views from the plane window as everything looked so small we couldn't even appreciate anything but a little amount of land below us. We were having such a good time while talking to each other and listening to music that the two hours trip seemed to be just five minutes. It was also quite fun to see our friends asleep while we were travelling. When we arrived to Heathrow airport we took the subway, almost full of people, which dropped us near our hotel. Once at the hotel, we made the chek-in, went to our rooms and organised ourselves into two rooms of eleven people.
Liliana Ortega: We got to the airport at 10.30 am to pass through security. The flight at 12.30 pm we were so excited to travel and visit London. After 6 months preparing the conference finally the time arrived. We took some hamburgers and sandwich to eat it while we were flying. We got to the Heathrow airport at 1.30 pm (the flight was to 2 but as it is an hour later it was only one hour). We went to the underground to go to the hotel located near the Natural and Historical museum. We arrived to the hotel we unpacked our suitcases. Then, we did a sightseeing by a long walk around London, we went to Picadilly Circus, Oxford street. We enjoyed a lot Thursday, London is a very beautiful city, it was really exciting to be there.
Rafaela Bailly-Bailliere: Thursday night we had dinner in a restaurant. It was a kind of Japanese restaurant which served all types of noodles with rice, meats, and vegetables. Almost everything was spicy and we had a great time there. All the assistants were very nice and polite and this was one of the things that most drew our attention. On Friday, as we spent the day visiting London, we found a MacDonnals and had lunch in a beautiful London park. That night, after watching Mamma Mia, we went to Pizza Express. We had a varied dinner, having some of us pizzas and other ones salads. The food was so tasty that we ate everything. On the following four days we had lunch and dinner at Royal Russel School, where we had the best time of the trip. The food was really good there. We spent last night in a hotel located in Croydon, and that day we had dinner in Pizza Express with the boys of Munabe. It was so funny that we wanted to stay in London for some more days.
Mariana Zaballa: On Friday morning we went on an excursion to a museum called The Crystal, specialized in sustainable development and renovable energy. To get there we woke up early, had a big breakfast and went for a walk till the cableway. There were 8 of us more or less in each one, so we took 3, as we were 22 girls. The views were amazing, we crossed the Thames which looked pretty clean. After a few minutes we arrived to The Crystal earlier than expected so we had to wait a few minutes outside in the green zone. We were given a tour of most of the building. I can recall that they showed us a video that stated that the population in cities is gradually increasing. We learned that the building used various renovable, very interesting and non-polluting energies. The 20% of the energy of the whole building came from solar panels. The heat of the building came from a very innovative system. The non-drinking water they used was rain water that followed some processes. In conclusion the tour was great, we learned lots of things about the contamination of Spain, new renovable and innovating energies and in my personal opinion we all enjoyed it and left the building with new information.
Marta Rodriguez: For shopping in London we went to Oxford street which is the best street for that sport. The day that we arrived, we went straight there. We had an hour and a half for visiting the biggest shops and the usually most liked: Topshop and Urban Outfitters. On Friday, we were allowed to see London ourselves so after doing a bit of turism we went again to the shopping area. We went to Carbany where Brandy Melville, Monki, and other famous shops are. After a long day of shopping we were hungry and tired so we had a waffle. The picture below describes perfectly this moment.
Marta Fuente, Ambassador for Belgium: October 14th, 2017 Royal Russell School MUN conference was inaugurated with the opening ceremony. The ambassador of each country had to make an speech transmitting their general points of views on the topics which are going to be discussed and their goals on this conference. This year I was lucky to represent Belgium and, as I was the ambassador, I had to give this speech. For me it was a big challenge, due to the fact that I had never talked in front of so many people. I had the speech already prepared and I knew every word by heart, but still I couldn't control my nerves. When I did my speech I realized people were understanding and I shouldn't worry about being wrong so I finally calmed down. From my point of view it was a successful speech as every one understood the message I wanted to give. Definitely a great experience and one more overtaken challenge.
Blanca Sacristian and Marta Guinea, Ecofin: The first day in the committee we had lobbying, which is to try to merge resolutions, or get enough signatures to send it to the approval panel. At that time we started meeting people and making friends. Our resolutions both got enough signatures for sending them to the approval panel, and both passed the approval panel, so we could debate them in the committe. The resolutions were, one about the question of microfinancing in LEDCs and the other one about the question of exclusion from the labour market on the basis of race, religion, gender or sexuality. The next day we started debating some resolutions that also passed the approval panel and some of them were so good that nearly everyone voted in favour. Those resolutions that were approved in the committe were sent to the General Assembly. The last day on our committee we finished debating resolutions. We thought our resolutions were going to be debated but due to time constraints they were not. Instead of that we participated a lot doing speeches and points of information. We finished our committee journey playing some games to get to know all our committee mates better. In the GA we debated two ecofin resolutions and we did two more speeches in favour of them to they to try to encourage people to vote in favour of them. It has been such a good conference with lovely people and much level.
Alejandra Garcia, Chair of Disec 2: Last year when I went to my first RRSIMUN as delegate I thought no other conference would be better than that one. However, chairing this year was even better, if not the best conference I've ever been to. The first day I arrived wasn't so exciting because most delegates were lobbying, but the ones who weren't came to meet us Chairs and we ended up having a nice time. In spite of being my third chairing experience, it was very intense at first. But as I got the hang of it, it became much easier. The fact that my delegates were eager to debate helped very much, and during breaks we had lots of fun all together. I would say we were the best committee in the conference, we developed a really good feeling at the end of the day, and went to the disco together, a truly great way to close my final conference at RRSIMUN, which I will always remember.
Maddalen Lazaro, Sochum 1: When we got to Royal Russell on saturday afternoon we went straight into our committees to get signatures and merge our resolutions. Despite feeling quite nervous, I met lots of people from plenty of different countries, after introducing ourselves we talked about our resolutions, committee, and we got to know each other. I managed to get 9 signatures, and after Nicola's persuasion I decided to submit my resolution to the approval panel. That night after the disco I went up to my room to prepare my speech in favour of my resolution. The next day came along with fruitful debate and a lot of fun. After lunch my resolution was debated, I calmly came up and made my speech and answered points of information, and then yielded the floor to my allies. Unfortunately, my resolution did not pass but it was still a great experience to speak in front of a large crowd of people. MUN has been a wonderful experience that has helped me gain confidence and be able to talk in public without feeling too uneasy. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Virginia Ayesa, Specpol: During this conference which was the 36th Royal Russel International MUN, in the Special Political and Descolonization Committee II we have been debating four different alarming topics, which were the questions of countering Al-Shabaab, combating cyber crime, a permanent homeland for the Kurds and the question of the Falkland Islands. In this committee there were fifty countries and two of us went representing the delegation of Belgium and the delegation of Kenya. The first day we made the policy statements which are a short introduction of our countries situation and point of view on the issues. Each one of us prepared a resolution, but on different topics. Mine which was of the question of countering Al-Shabaab passed through the approval panel and after to the General Assembly. It was the only resolution that passed and which wasn’t of a native student. We were really proud of our work and willing to repeat this experience!
Maria Bailly-Bailliere: I was part of the Sochum 2 committee, in which we debated the following topics: decriminalizing homosexuality, modern slavery, free press and the use of death penalty. It was very interesting to debate these issues, as I had no idea of the most of them. Since the first day, I tried to make some friends and know people so I could work with them. I merged my resolution with two more delegates, and we debated it the second day. Even I made a speech for it, and I answered 3 points if information, it didnt pass to GA. But the most important thing is that I enjoyed my experience debating the resolution and that I made some friends I wont forget.
Sofia Blanco, Environment: This year Ive had the oportunity of going to RRS IMUN 2017. I was in the Belgium delegation and I took part of the Environment committee. In this committee we discused about some of the relevant environmental issues which are affecting our world nowadays, such as : The management of food waste, the implementation of driverless vehicles, the question of coral reefs and the question of protecting UNESCO world heritage sites. I had written a resolution on coral reefs, however i decided to merge with Portugal and Bosnia to make a new resolution which had 20 votes in favour, 5 against and 5 abstentions!!! I was the co-submitter and I did a speech giving reasons about why all countries should vote in favour of our resolution. Unfortunately, the resolution wasnt debated in the GA, but I was very exited because i fullfilled my expectations. In this conference i have not only learn about the Environmental problems which affect our world today but also about my countrys point of view. I am very proud of what I've done in this conference. I have had a great time!!!
Cecilia González, Sochum 1: On Saturday afternoon each of us went to our committees. When we arrived there were a lot of people so we started talking with them to know from where they came. My committee was Sochum 1 and there was people from England, Norway, turkey, Ireland,America ... Then we started lobbying our resolutions and it took us about an hour. Then we started debating different topics like: the use of human embryos in stem cell research, respecting human rights for prisoners, integration of first generation immigrants and human rights in Eritrea. It was amazing how everyone debated. I had a lovely time and I would recommend MUN to anyone who is interested in our world.
Blanca Gutierrez, DISEC 2: This weekend we were attending a MUN conference in London, I was representing Kenya in the DISEC 2 committee. Although my country was easy to represent, at the very beginning, I felt a little insecure. Then I said to myself, you have came here to succeed, so finilly I entered to my committee and I end up co-submitting two resolutions. I felt proud of my work, but it was just the beginning. After my policy statement, I managed to make some points of information and a speech in favor my resolution, the one that passed to GA. During the committee time, we discussed the topics of chemical weapons, weapons in outer space, child soldiers and tension in the Baltic states. The one I found more interesting was weapons in outer space, it was a very current topic and the dabate was really tense. I had a really good experience in these committee.
Patricia Rocafort and Carmen Real de Asua, ICJ: A few days ago we had the pleasure to attend the Royal Russel international MUN conference were we participated for our first time in the ICJ insted of the normal conference. The ICJ stands for The International Court of Justice. This year's case was Nauru vs Australia concerning Nauru's phosphate lands. In consisted of two pairs of advocates each one representing one of the countries, 12 judges, the register and two presidents. In addition, Robert stern a well-known lawyer was sat in the back controlling that everything was made correctly and helping by giving us tips. They were 4 intense but wonderful days. Firstly, the advocates presented the case while we took notes of everything they said, to prove their evidence the lawyers brought different witnesses and we had the chance to ask any questions we had. Then the judges (us), deliberated for hours on the case. Finally, Australia won the case, as we wanted! To announce the winner we went to the library where Mr. Stern and the president gave a spech and they also read the final resolution. It was a remarkable and incredible experience that we won't ever forget.
Maria Prieto, Press Team: Even though the delegates usually take all the spotlight during the conference, the Press team worked really hard during the four days that lasted. We were provided with our own Press room, with computers and all the equipment necessary to make our magazine the best one so far. We were a team of twelve people and we spent our time writing articles non-stop, interviewing Chairs as well as delegates, producing each one of the issues that were printed every single day and handing them to every student around school. It is fair to say that every day was a new brainstorm, full of new and different ideas. Our issues had to be done and printed by 4 in the afternoon, so our mornings, unlike the rest of the day, were quite chaotic.At the end of the day I can say that all the work and effort put on every day produced the desired effect. We made four great issues, but the best thing is that we got fully involved in our work and always while having a great time.
Leticia Areitio and Marta Lecanda: During this conference we have been able to enjoy the three parties that had been prepared for us. The first day of the conference, after intense lobbying and the opening ceremony we changed to our Neon costumes; a basic white t-shirt and some neon bracelets. Even though there was not a lot of people we had a really good time. And as the Spanish people we are, we encouraged everyone to dance and cheered the ambience up. The second day, the theme was Cops and robbers. We were a bit tired after the long day at the comitees, but still managed to give our everything. As the day before the tuck shop was open, therefore we bought some snacks in order to maintain our sugar levels high. The last but not least day of party was hippie. This day we had three hours of high level dance, from 9 to 12. Although it seems that this is too late it but it left us wanting more because of the good time we were having.