On Friday, November 13th, our OxIMUN adventure finally started. We got up very early and took our flight to London, from where we got onto a bus to Oxford. There, we were welcomed by our last delegate Tim, whom I want thank at this point for all he has been doing for us during the conference. Being an exchange student from Oxford, he shared with us his knowledge of the city, showed us the ways around Oxford and booked delicious restaurants for dinner. We were always thankful to be able to rely on him. After we stowed our luggage at a friend of Tim’s place, the conference could finally begin.
The opening ceremony was held in the patriarchal Sheldonian Theatre. We were warmly welcomed by the secretariat and an insightful speech was given by Sam Daws, a renowned UN diplomat who now works for the University of Oxford and the British government. At the end of the opening ceremony the delegates went into their different committees where we started debating and solution-finding right away. In the evening, one of the highlights of the conference awaited us: the Delegate Reception. It took place in the Ashmolean Museum, a place perfectly suited for this event. The secretariat of OxIMUN spared no expense. Champaign was served, classical and jazz music played, all in the framework of a museum displaying marvellous pieces of art. One couldn’t have hoped for a fancier delegate reception. It was the appropriate end of an intense first day.
The second day of the conference consisted mainly of debating and working on draft resolutions. The two intense four-hour blocks of sessions were filled with moderated and unmoderated caucuses, negotiating and writing clauses for a future draft resolution. During the lunch break, one also had the chance getting to know the other delegates of one’s committee. It is always astonishing to see from where and from what background the delegates are coming from. I believe that this is one of the best things of a MUN conference: getting to know people from all around the world and hearing what they have to say. This day passed very quickly and our delegation was ready to go clubbing with the other delegates of OxIMUN. Even though some of us were understandably tired after an exhausting day of debating and negotiating, everyone was up for going to the Emporium club to shake it off. It was a fun evening where one could forget about the stressful day and just have a good time.
Time passed so quickly and the last day of the conference already arrived on Sunday. We all knew that it would be a tough day as the draft resolutions had to pass, which means amending, amending and once more amending. In the end, all of the committees managed to agree on a resolution and all of the delegates can be proud with what they have achieved. The Geneva delegation was representing Chile in many different committees and had to stand up for its values and point of views. From disarmament over ISIL to how to reform the WTO, we brought in our ideas for a final resolution. Debating was not always easy, as Chile wasn’t regarded as one of the big super powers. Nevertheless the different resolutions we achieved would make Chilean diplomats proud.
All of a sudden, it was already time for the closing ceremony in the Sheldonian theatre. This is the only thing we could criticize about OxIMUN, as they had invited Lee Man Hee, a South Korean leader of a religious sect, and his wife to speak at that event. The interpreter, also part of this organisation, did not translate the speech correctly so the audience was misled. In the end, pictures were taken by photographers, also part of the organisation, of the audience clapping. We now fear that these photos will be misused for propaganda purposes. We will remain vigilant on what OxIMUN has to say on the allegations made by other delegations. According to my source, he was screaming at the end: “I am the Messiah!” The last evening, however, was spent calmly at a cocktail party where we could review the events of the conference.
Finally, I would like to thank GIMUN for making this trip possible, our head delegates Aurore Peirolo and Virginie Beaubien for their great preparation (especially the time table!) and work during the conference, and of course all the other members of our delegation, who made this weekend truly awesome. It was a great experience with great people.