The GIMUN 2016 Annual Conference, held from March 7th to 11th at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, gathered around 200 students for a model UN. In the next few days, we will have the honour of publishing reports on the six committees’ debates, brought to you by the journalists of the GIMUN Chronicles.
By Noémie Stockhammer, translated by John Ryan-Mills
Summing up a week like the one we just had promises to be a complex task, in part due to the sheer number of things to talk about for me to fully cover the week in its entirety. But all the same, I’m going to try.
The debates that took place over the first three days were centred around terrorism’s rise in power, with the aim of finding a resolution that would bring together the highest number of States on blocking its financing, the issue of arms trading, and the implementation of better international regulations. The first topic led to a long discussion about how to define terrorism, even though all were in agreement about the sterility of this debate, such were the number of possible definitions offered up by each State, each managing the issue to their own advantage. The sensitive issue of terrorism set the tone for the week: an active competition between States to have the best one-liner while still taking the proceedings seriously. The subject also caused a division between coalitions formed around the two resolutions, led by China and the United States respectively, with some countries navigating between the two blocs. The topic showed the difficulty of following the politics of the country being represented, as, to quote one committee member, the delegates were “responding with what they felt in their hearts, for worldwide justice and peace”.
The second of the week’s subjects concerned information and communication technologies within the framework of international security. To introduce this subject, we had the pleasure and honour of receiving Mr. Marc Finaud, who delivered a brilliant presentation on ICT, bringing up point by point the important positive and negative arguments, and the concrete impacts on civil society and government from a security point of view. A genuine revolution, information technology is now central, and the risks of using it inappropriately are real and cannot be ignored. This is why the delegates discussed it at length for two and a half days, managing to shed light on several issues that were not to be ignored.
For the less formal aspect of the week, it is worth mentioning the committee’s good-natured atmosphere and each delegate’s motivation. Our president, Bill, and our vice-president, Salam, were no strangers to this state of affairs, and although they were required to respect a certain code of procedure and the time limit, they were consistently present, ready to lend an ear or to give advice. Our interpreters also played a fundamental role over the course of the week, with their incredible work and their permanent presence. The seriousness shown by all participants in the committee was not only limited to Conference Room XIV, where we spent the week. When the meetings were over, they were all more than ready to return to their roles as students who enjoy partying and socialising around a fondue, in fancy dress in the kitschy setting of the Moulin Rouge, or even at Mr. Pickwick’s, where we were able to watch and enjoy everyone’s dancing talents. The committee became a real group which presented a united front all week long, thanks to the habit of loudly chanting “DISEC” whenever possible. Back in the meetings, it must be said that although battles raged, they never overstepped the mark of politeness and diplomacy, an art which reached new heights this week.
During this wonderful experience, the delegates were able to strengthen their exceptional skills in public speaking, argumentation, and even bilingualism. But what stood out above all else and was, in my view, the most important thing, was the human contribution that GIMUN allowed. There were meetings, friendships, and the discovery and rediscovery of people in a magical, multicultural and international setting which fully encouraged cohesion between individuals and nations. I had the luck and the pleasure of following you all week long, and, dear DISEC committee, I thank you and wish you the best. Until we meet again – perhaps next year!