By Stephanie Uribe, IE Master in International Relations (MIR) Candidate
The largest university level Model United Nations Conference in Europe was recently held in London from Friday February 15th through Sunday February 17th 2013. The LIMUN conference, which revolved around the Millennium Development Goals, was a true reflection of diversity and multiculturalism. This year the conference brought together 1,500 participants from over 40 countries, and more than 150 international institutions, including this year for the first time, IE’s School of Arts and Humanities. Speakers in the opening ceremony included: Ms. Anne-Marie Leroy, Sr. VP and World Bank Group General Counsel; Mr. Edward Mortimer, Former Director to Communications to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan; and H.E. Dr. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the United Kingdom.
As IE’s Master of International Relation’s Delegation, we were 10 students in attendance that represented 7 UN Member States different from our own countries of origin or residence, and as a result we were provided with an enriching opportunity to open our eyes to worldviews different from our own. This year, the IE Delegation represented Chile in DISEC, France in UNHRC, France in the WTO, France in UNEP, Brazil in CELAC (in the Spanish Committee), Cuba in SOCHUM, Cuba in SPECPOL, Algeria in AU, Malaysia in UNDP, and Austria in the EU French Speaking Committee. Within each of the committees, we each worked on Committee specific goals and resolutions trying to collaboratively find a solution for a better future, regardless of our backgrounds.
These fun-filled, but busy and jam-packed three days consisted of small and large events that certainly proved very demanding, but the LIMUN conference with all its preparatory phases, learning opportunities, and newly formed friendships was undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. LIMUN provided us a foresight into learning how the “real” UN Committees function typically. Throughout the conference we were allotted bountiful learning opportunities to practice our negotiation skills that at best resulted in cooperation, but at times did not always work out in spite of concerted efforts. Throughout the weekend, we took on the role of world leaders and worked together to find solutions to our world’s most pressing international issues. LIMUN not only proved to be a great venue to gain hands-on practice for future young global leaders, but it provided the opportunity for us to critically think of solutions for real-world challenges.
One delegate from IE University, Naushita Jesing (MIR 2013) from Mumbai, India described her experience within her LIMUN Committee:
“In my UNEP Committee I represented Bangladesh, and after we compiled together two working papers within our committee, we were able to find many overlapping features between the two papers. Using these common themes, we drafted a resolution on ‘the effects of genetically modified crops on biodiversity’ and submitted it to the General Assembly. Since it was understood that most delegates had ‘the same vision about GMCs’, countries pleaded for the draft resolution ‘to be passed swiftly by all delegates’ but welcomed input from those who wished to ‘discuss and make amendments,’ and a final vote was held on Sunday which resulted in a passed resolution after three long days of negotiations.”
Not only was LIMUN an enriching experience for IE’s delegation, but we also honored with the opportunity to meet with Spanish Ambassador in London, Ambassador Federico Trillo-Figueroa. He generously welcomed us into his home, and not only did he dedicate two hours of his time to us, but he also gave us a tour of his lovely home.
All in all, we are incredibly lucky to have had such a wonderful experience at LIMUN, with Ambassador Trillo-Figueroa, and also to simply have had the wonderful opportunity to tour London!