From the 11th to 13th of November 2016, the 14th edition of Oxford International Model United Nations took place down the windy, cobblestoned streets of Oxford. OxIMUN is generally considered to be amongst the most competitive conferences in Europe and the United Kingdom, serving an extremely high standard of debate with chairs and venues.
With a total of 22 committees, 3 crisis cabinets and over 600 students, OxIMUN proved to be an excellent conference for all level of MUNers to enjoy. Serving up committees ranging from OPEC and African Union to old favourites like DISEC and Security Council, OxIMUN 2016 brought delegates together.
The opening ceremony started off at the Oxford Town Hall with a guest speech from Mr. Sam Dawes, a Senior Research Associate in the Centre of International Studies. Mr. Dawes has also worked in a variety of UN related roles for the best part of 20 years, most notably as First Officer to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Speaking on new challenges to the new Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Mr. Dawes noted the large change in the international community and how the UN needs to face these new challenges.
Straight after the opening ceremony, delegates got to work. Committees started debating in the various historic Oxford colleges. As per usual OxIMUN standard, the level of debate was extremely high, fast paced and intellectually challenging. However, despite the rigorous debate, delegates always aimed to enjoy themselves over the course of the conference, even whilst furiously writing working papers and draft resolutions.
The socials for OxIMUN 2016 definitely proved to be a raging success. Friday featured a formal drinks reception at the Examination Rooms and Saturday had by a formal dinner in the numerous Oxford Colleges, followed by a club night, which many of the delegates and chairs enjoyed possibly a bit too much!
In particular, OxIMUN is noted for the extremely high quality of chairing. The chairs at OxIMUN provide a thorough understanding of not only their topics, but also the rules of procedure. These chairs also realise though that Model UN is best when delegates truly enjoy themselves in all aspect of the conference. Therefore, explaining all the rules clearly, being an expert on the topic and keeping a friendly atmosphere in the committee truly ensured that all delegates enjoyed the conference.
On the whole though, OxIMUN 2016 demonstrated that while debate during committee sessions can be intense and highly entertaining, Model UN strives to its best when delegates, chairs, and secretariats alike are able to truly enjoy themselves.
George Mullens (Director of DISEC and Oxbridge Chairing Award Winner): “OxIMUN 2016 demonstrated beyond all doubt that delegates need to enjoy themselves not only during their committee sessions, but during the socials too which are there for their enjoyment! As a DISEC lover, the committee this year was absolutely incredible, I’ve never seen such a high level of debate in the 13 times that I’ve participated in DISEC alone!”
Pedra Rabiee (Director of CSTD): “I was expecting my committee (CSTD) to not have enough scientific background, but when delegates began discussions on CRISPR and GMO plant, I was able to witness a new era of MUN.”
Charles Bonfils-Duclos (Director of African Union): “High quality delegates in my committee and I found it great OxiMUN valued diversity by including a French speaking committee. Good mix and I hope they’ll keep it up!”
Hamzah Sheikh (Crisis Backroom Staff): “The Historical Crisis for OxIMUN 2016 was ambitious and could have went in so many directions, however with creative delegates and a diverse crisis team, it was a thrilling and engaging experience to simulate the world of 1913 Britain. We had quite a few delegates and faculty advisors who told us how impressed they were and I’m happy many of them expressed an interest to return next year.”