This recap article was written by Jessica Corbett.
The tenth annual Chicago International Model United Nations kicked off Jan. 23, 2014 at the Fairmont Hotel Chicago. This year’s four-day conference attracted nearly 1,200 high school students from all over the world, with representatives from three different continents and seven countries. While CIMUN appeals to many competitive MUN teams in the Chicagoland area, its reach does not stop there. Delegates traveled from as far as the Cayman Islands and Lithuania to take part in CIMUN X.
The conference is organized by the Model United Nations Development Organization, and is staffed by more than 100 university students, post-graduates, and professionals, who are chosen through a highly competitive application process. Through meticulous planning, CIMUN maintains its reputation for excellent customer service, high quality media and the latest technology, and providing realistic and groundbreaking educational political simulations.
Committees, Crisis & Consulate Panels
This year, CIMUN featured nearly 20 committees, including cabinets such as the Soviet Politburo and Chinese Central Military Commission. CIMUN emphasizes fully integrated simulations that encourage critical thinking and cross-committee collaboration. Members of many committees participated in exciting late-night crises.
Committees set in 2014 included the General Assembly, the Security Council, NATO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the International Court of Justice. Additionally, the UN Disarmament and International Security Committee was a novice committee for delegates just starting out with Model UN. They addressed everything from Millennium Development Goals and regulating small arms trade, to terrorism and the War in Afghanistan.
Present day cabinets included the U.S. National Security Council, Security Council of the Russian Federation, Indian National Security Council Strategic Policy Group, and Chinese Central Military Commission. Cabinets, one of CIMUN’s largest draws, are smaller and cater to more advanced delegates. The delegates in each cabinet collectively approach domestic and international issues from the perspective of their nation.
Much of the 1971 simulation focused on the Indo-Pakistani conflict, which allowed delegates from both cabinets and committees to work together on the same topic throughout the conference. Committees included the Historical General Assembly, Historical Security Council, Commonwealth of Nations, and Committee on the Peaceful Use of Outer Space.
The historical cabinets included the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union, the Cabinet of India, the Cabinet of Pakistan, and the U.S. National Security Council, headed up by former President Richard Nixon. While the historical cabinets are based on prior, critical moments of international focus, delegates are given a certain amount of freedom with the simulation. If these delegates were writing history, Nixon would have successfully avoided the Watergate scandal, as he did this year at CIMUN X!
CIMUN’s organizers are constantly striving to promote creative thinking from delegates, and they do so by pulling creative moves of their own. Both the present day and historical crises allowed for multiple cabinets to wake up in the middle of the night, along with the historical and present day Security Councils. Delegates in the 2014 committees had to decide how to handle the U.S. mobilizing its fleet in response to a plane that went missing over Chinese waters. The 1971 committees were challenged to respond to Pakistan launching an attack on India.
Seventeen delegates participated in CIMUN X’s International Press Delegation. Their articles were published online, as well as in the crisis and wrap-up print editions of The CIMUN Chronicle.
Press delegates were encouraged to explore the expanding relationship between journalism and social media. They tweeted breaking new from the @IPDCIMUN account, wrote columns from the perspective of international news outlets, and wrote news articles for The Chronicle. All stories were published online at live.cimun.org and shared on the IPD Facebook page.
A few delegates explored broadcast media, compiling interview soundbites to share on SoundCloud and creating packages with the CIMUN News Network, which is run solely by CIMUN staff and generates news episodes to share information with committees.
Friday morning, three press delegates and a CIMUN staffer took a field trip to Navy Pier, the home of WBEZ 91.5 (Chicago Public Media), to tour the radio station and sit in on a live broadcast. This was the first time CIMUN has offered an off-site trip.
The group visited the station with this year’s keynote speaker, Nari Safavi. Safavi is an Iranian-American entrepreneur who regularly appears on “Worldview,” WBEZ’s longest-running global affairs radio program. He addressed all CIMUN delegates at the opening banquet Thursday evening and held a panel discussion with press delegates Friday, before the WBEZ trip.
Sophie Paine, one of the students on the trip, blogged about her experience for CIMUN Live. “After the show, Mr. Safavi graciously took us on a tour of the entire news station, and explained the process of how news is retrieved and expelled from the Chicago Public Media,” she wrote. “It was surprisingly astonishing to physically see the amount of work, represented by the number of people, that goes into producing a radio segment.”
In addition to the field trip and late-night crises, many delegates also had the opportunity to participate in consulate panels on Friday morning. Representatives from Germany, Turkey, Palestine, Egypt and the Israeli political advisor to the Chicago consulate spoke on their careers in diplomatic and international affairs, and the role personal views play when representing a country’s political views.
The morning consisted of two panels, on “Pressing Security Issues in the Middle East and the Aftermath of the Arab Spring,” along with a social media panel. After the formal discussions, representatives met with small groups of students who represented the countries present on the panel to discuss foreign policy, share personal experiences and answer questions, before heading back into committee session.
This year, CIMUN also welcomed representatives from the Cook County Clerk’s office to give delegates an opportunity to register to vote prior to the upcoming March primaries. A recently enacted law in Illinois permits 17-year-olds to participate in Illinois primary elections, as long as they will be 18 by the November general election.
The eleventh annual CIMUN will return to its regular spot on the calendar, albeit at a new location. CIMUN XI will be held at Dec. 11-14, 2014 at the Hilton Towers Chicago. While the conference is moving to this new location to accommodate growth, CIMUN will maintain its promise to clients of small and mid-sized committees. For more information or to register for CIMUN XI, visit www.cimun.org!