LIMUN High School Recap

by Elaine Miao on December 12, 2017

Written by former Best Delegate Media Associate George Mullens. Mullens recently acted as Secretary-General of the 2nd Edition of LIMUN: High School, the principal Outreach programme of the LIMUN Foundation, a charity that runs LIMUN, a yearly conference that entertains over 1500+ delegates at Imperial College London and Central Hall Westminster. 

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Opening Ceremony of LIMUN: High School 2017

 

LIMUN: High School 2017

The second edition of the LIMUN Foundation’s school conference recently took place at King’s College London, Guy’s Campus from the 25th to 26th of November. Since its first edition last year, LIMUN: High School has aimed to bring university level debate to schools around the United Kingdom through the use of university level rules of procedure and university students chairing all of the various committees.

With a total of twelve committees, with regular favourites like DISEC and UNICEF along with the addition of a Crisis Committee, LIMUN: High School has principally focused on bringing complex questions like “The Question of UK-EU relations post Brexit”, as discussed in the European Council, to school students who haven’t widely discussed these issues within their school curricula.

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Lord Wood of Anfield speaking on how our international system is currently in crisis

The conference’s theme of Multilateralism in Crisis was highlighted when Deputy Secretary-General Alfie Jenkins stated that diplomacy is more than needed today, as “through diplomacy, states can negotiate their ways to problems rather than fighting towards them, find common ground to collaborate on and realise that their common objectives are only achievable through cooperation and compromise.” The opening ceremony featured two distinguished speakers: Lord Stewart Wood of Anfield, the Chair of the United Nations Association – UK and a former Senior Special Advisor on foreign policy to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG, a former Foreign Office legal expert and Distinguished Fellow of International Law at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Each of their speeches reflected how multilateralism is currently in crisis with Lord Wood focusing on the reasons for why this is the case and Elizabeth Wilmshurst looking at genocide under international law.

Secretary-General George Mullens, a former Best Delegate Media Associate, opened the conference stating that: “while you are debating, collaborating and making friends, think that the topics you are talking about are real and that by discussing them, you are raising awareness for issues that need to be resolved today and now.”

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Delegates in the DISEC Committee

Following the opening ceremony, delegates went to their committee sessions to open debate. Teachers particularly praised the quality of study guides and debating, noting how the quality of chairing meant that delegates were engaged in their topics. Similarly, the university level rules of procedure allowed delegates to be immersed into a more complex style of debate, an aspect of LIMUN: High School which differs in comparison to other school conferences in the UK. However, regardless of the presence of more complex rules of procedure, with the high quality of chairing provided and the organisation of a rules of procedure workshop prior to the opening ceremony, delegates found the rules simple to understand and engaged in debating. Teachers most notably found the crisis committee to be extremely entertaining and different to what most school conferences provided.

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Elizabeth Wilmshurst CMG delivering her address at the opening ceremony on genocide under international law

On the whole, LIMUN: High School proved to be a great success. Delegates and chairs enjoyed the insightful and entertaining debates provided. These aspects along with the smooth running of the conference logistically allowed all participants to look forward to future editions of LIMUN: High School.

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Crisis Delegates and Staff looking fantastic!

 Quotes from Secretariat Members and Chairs

“LIMUN: High School’s objective of reaching as many disadvantaged students as possible is in stark contrast to many MUNs globally which do not cater to disadvantaged students. On the other hand, the provision of high quality speakers, chairs, study guides and rules of procedure has allowed for a high level of debate. Being on the secretariat for two years now and acting as Secretary-General for this year’s conference has been an incredible experience!” – George Mullens, Secretary-General of LIMUN: High School 2017

“Strict structure and deep topics can make it daunting, but are what makes MUN interesting and distinct from other activities like debating. As USG Chairing, my aim was to provide an accessible but still authentic uni-style MUN experience. The feedback was entirely positive, so I consider that mission accomplished!” – Chris Whitehouse, USG Chairing of LIMUN: High School 2017

“The LIMUN: High School initiative brings MUN full circle: by teaching young students (particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds) we are aiming to emulate the values that the UN stands for. We are now teaching a new generation of young people about what the organisation does and stands for. It has certainty been the most rewarding thing I’ve done through MUN” – Tahmid Chowdhury, Director-General of the 1st edition of LIMUN: High School and USG Finance of LIMUN: High School 2017

“Teaching the principles of diplomacy and MUN is a unique experience – firstly, you get to understand that these teenagers are not really kids. In fact, we’ve all been in their shoes, and it’s simply amazing to hear the ideas of so many bright individuals. Secondly, in my committee, we emphasised that MUN is about having fun. We all learn from one another, and what actually matters the most is to enrich yourself with positivity, making new connections, and hearing out various opinions. At the end of the conference, we all left with a bittersweet smile on our face; bitter, because it was over, and sweet, because it was such an incredible experience.” – Petros Pettrikos, Director of the European Council and USG Communications of LIMUN 2018.

“LIMUN HS took me back to my first MUN experience and made me realise how brilliant delegates can be in their first Crisis Committee with the right level of motivation, preparation and the will to face a challenge. Even though these delegates were high school students, they demonstrated more resolve and character than university students in Crisis and their ability to learn more through learning about the topic and themselves definitely impressed me as Chair of the Israeli Cabinet. Even the teachers themselves would stick around fascinated watching students debate social and political issues of the Six-Day war and use that knowledge in their battle plans.” – Hamzah Sheik, Israeli Cabinet Director, Crisis Committee

 

 

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