London International MUN (LIMUN), Europe’s largest university-level conference, hosted its 18th edition last weekend in London. Around 1600 delegates braved the inclement British February weather to participate in 35 simulations of UN and other supranational bodies.
The conference filled the campus of Imperial College London with lively debate and argument as delegates duked it out in DISEC, caucused in crisis and squabbled in SOCHUM. Linguists were spoilt for choice with committees simulated in the other five languages of the UN: Arabic, Spanish, French, Russian and Mandarin. There was also an assortment of non-UN bodies including the League of Nations, the International Olympic Committee and even a Marvel-universe Commission on the Sokovia Accords.
The opening ceremony was held in the auspicious Central Hall Westminster, the venue for the first meeting of the UN General Assembly in 1946. Moreover, the venue was a stone’s throw away from the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey: delegates could be found throughout the area, taking delegations photos in front of some of London’s most iconic landmarks.
The ceremony itself opened with a parade of flags from selected nationalities attending the conference and some short remarks from the Deputy Secretary-General Emanuel Spahrkas. Delegates were then addressed by three distinguished guest speakers: H.E. Mogens Lykketoft (former President of the UN General Assembly), H.E. Danilo Türk (former President of Slovenia and former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN) and H.E. Kate Gilmore (Deputy High Commissioner for Human Right of the UN). Danilo Turk and Mogens Lykketoft both reflected on their careers in diplomacy while Kate Gilmore delivered an impassioned and wonderfully worded oration on the fight for human rights and rightfully won a standing ovation. The ceremony was rounded off by the Secretary-General, Afolabi Adekaiyaoja, who declared LIMUN 2017 officially open and dismissed delegate to committee sessions.
Both Friday and Saturday saw the conference continue well into the night thanks to the socials. Friday night saw delegates throw out country policy in favour of throwing shapes on the dance floor of Vault, a large London club. This lively unmoderated caucus was conducted to the sound of all the best (cheesiest) pop music of the last 20 years. From Rihanna’s “Umbrella” to Los Del Rio’s seminal 1995 hit “Macarena”, delegates greeted each new tune with renewed vigour.
Saturday night was a nominally classy affair. Delegates changed out of WBA and slipped on their finest dinner suits and evening dresses for the “Royal Reception”. A large number of delegates attended, packing the massive venue. Elegantly dressed delegations posed for pictures on a grand staircase while delegates streamed towards the main dance floor. The formalities didn’t diminish delegates desire to dance and the main room was heaving until early the next morning.
Despite partying hard, delegates were on fine form this weekend while debating the various topics on offer. Of course, some delegations distinguished themselves. Congratulations to all the winners of the delegation awards:
Best Large Delegation: be.boosted
Best Medium Delegation: MUN Society Belgium
Best Small Delegation: the LSE SU UN Society