GIMUN Annual Conference 2018
Geneva International Model United Nations was created in 1999. We are not only a student association but also a non-governmental organization, accredited to the United Nations with consultative status at the Economic and Social Council. For the 19th edition of our renowned Annual Conference in 2018, we can guarantee you a unique and unforgettable experience in an extraordinary environment.
The Annual Conference is not only the chance to spend one entire week at the United Nations headquarter, but also the opportunity to meet people from all over the world, and to debate highly relevant topics in one of the most international atmospheres. In our long history, we have distinguished ourselves as one of the biggest MUN conferences in Europe and we are proud of the high quality of debates and our skilled staff that organise the conference each year. Furthermore, GIMUN is entirely bilingual—interpretation and translation are both provided in English and French.
Our consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations commands us all to produce work of the highest standard. Thus, the resolutions produced at the end of the week will not be written in vain, as they will be sent to the ECOSOC in order to present the perspective of young people on some of the most important and current topics. This is finally a unique opportunity for students to live at the pace of Geneva, an internationally renowned diplomatic center, during one full week, to get to know this fascinating city, and to meet other participants from all over the world.
No words can describe the event that is a well-organised Model United Nations conference. It is not only a professional and professionalising experience, but also the perfect applied complement of academic education. It is a concentration of some of the most motivated, dedicated and educated minds of a generation. It is an eye-opening opportunity to meet young minds from around the world, acquire a universal network of contacts, share culture and ideas, socialise and have fun while putting on paper an innovative framework that will forge the international community of tomorrow.
To conclude, the only way to fully understand what a MUN really is, to grasp the sublime life experience that lies behind this unpleasant acronym, is to step up and take part in one.
The 19th Annual Conference will take place from the 24th to the 29th of March 2018.
The United Nations headquarters in Geneva.
1. What is the GIMUN Annual Conference?
A Model United Nations (or MUN) conference is a simulation of one or several committees within the plethora of United Nations bodies and agencies, that represent a particular Member State, International Organisation or NGO, and debate a pressing contemporary topic with the goal of producing a final policy document. The vast amount of issues that the United Nations cover allow for a wide array of debate topics, that can fit many tastes and fields of study. From the World Health Organisation (WHO) to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), from the General Assembly’s Legal Committee (GA 6thLEGAL) to the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), and from the Security Council (SC) to UN Women, the United Nations have a lot to offer to university-level students from all backgrounds, all cultures, and all interests.
The purpose of a Model United Nations conference is to pass a final document containing key policy recommendations to serve as an example of good practice for United Nations Member States. These documents must be efficient, effective, holistic in their approach to each issue, comprehensive of different cultures and points of vue, and realistic enough to be implementable.
At GIMUN, we strive to achieve the highest degree of realism, in order to make this conference a real pedagogical and practical experience of international diplomacy. For this to happen, we recruit for many diverse positions, all stakeholders with their particular importance and interests.
The realism fostered through Model United Nations conferences can not only be found in the content of the debates, the positions covered and the interpretation, but also in the manner in which sessions are conducted. The complex Rules of Procedure of the United Nations’ bodies and specialised agencies are just barely simplified in order to offer participants a day in the life of a worker immersed within the vast United Nations system.
Past GIMUN Annual Conferences
The delegates are the core of any Model United Nations conference. These are the envoys of each country, International Organisation or NGO to a particular committee. They are there to defend their countries’ interests, and promote the ideas that would be most beneficial for themselves – all in a spirit of mutual respect and diplomacy. Delegates have the difficult role of juggling between their personal convictions, their home state’s needs and restrictions, and their heavy task of convincing other States of the pertinence of their position.
A good delegate will have to have a solid preparation on the topics of his committee, a developed sense of diplomacy and consensus, and visionary analytical skills, in order to assess the complexity of international relations and the innumerable ramifications that each of her/his decisions may have. Delegates perform the most work during the week, debating, writing legal documents, amending them and voting on them.
At the GIMUN Annual Conference, every permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations (“P5” : United Kingdom, United States of America, France, China and Russia) has one ambassador, whose task is to help the delegates of these states and allow a good flow of debate.
Each ambassador is responsible for the delegates of the P5 country he represents – one in each of our six committees. They have to make sure these delegates respect the state’s position and actively participate in the discussions. The ambassador is also in part responsible for their preparation, by providing them with documents summarizing their state’s position regarding the topics of the committees and holding a short introductory session at the beginning of the conference.
This position is mostly intended for students who have already participated in Model UN conferences similar to the GIMUN Annual Conference and would like to hold a more complex position. Being ambassador teaches one to be more versatile, allows to improve leaderships skills and gives the opportunity to see the committee sessions in a new light.
The press is omnipresent in modern society, especially regarding decisions taken on such a large scale. Not simulating them would mean not to simulate the pressure they put on representatives, the appeal to the “general public” and it would thus strip the international community of a key stakeholder. The press corps puts forth non-diplomatic criticism and their own enlightened opinions in a conference newspaper that is distributed on a daily basis. By their wide diffusion of information, the journalists of the conference newspaper make and break resolutions, submit new and innovative ideas, bypass the Member States’ gag rule on their envoys and bring a whole new dimension to a Model United Nations simulation.
This position is intended for all those who are interested in journalism and who would like to voice their opinions in a professional and international environment.
The Presidents and Vice-Presidents
Presidents and Vice-Presidents are the representatives of the Secretariat in each committee. These highly experienced and highly trained participants moderate the sessions, give substantive and procedural advice on the proceedings, report to the Secretaries General on the advancement of their committees, and in general have a supervisory role to help debate move in the right direction. They have the tough position of having to juggle between their authority in giving out recommendations, and the fact that they are still at the full disposal of the representatives. In addition, the Presidents and Vice-Presidents choose the committee topics and prepare all the necessary documents for the debate.
The Translators and Interpreters
The United Nations is in its essence multicultural. This implies a strong diversity in terms of norms and practices, but also simply in terms of spoken language. In GIMUN we try to grasp a portion of that diversity by proposing translation and interpretation in English and French for all official documents and formal speeches. Being students, just like all the other participants, translators and interpreters have in MUNs a unique chance to find concrete and professional experience in the field of their future careers. This professionalism transpires in their job performance throughout the conference, giving a unique atmosphere of authenticity to the conference.
Why GIMUN ?
1) Palais des Nations
GIMUN is held annually at the Palais des Nations, the European headquarters of the United Nations. It is the only Model United Nations Conference in the world that hold its entire conference within real United Nations territory. This gives participants the chance to explore the world of the United Nations, and provides them with realistic diplomatic perspectives that cannot be acquired in other circumstances.
Each year, the Annual Conference welcomes about 200-250 participants from over 60 countries.
In the past years, the following countries were represented at GIMUN: Algeria, Australia, Austria, Benin, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mali, Morocco, Mexico, Moldova, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UK, Ukraine, USA.
GIMUN takes great pride in prioritizing the quality of debate during committee sessions. The Annual Conference is comprised of 6 comittees every year with a maximum of 30 participants per committee. GIMUN’s moderate size creates a pleasant and familiar atmosphere and helps to maintain a high standard of debate and discussion.
GIMUN tries to simulate the workings of UN bodies as authentically as possible. Therefore, we have adapted our rules of procedure. MUN conferences are often run by basic parliamentary rules of procedure. Last year, GIMUN has adapted its rules of procedure, to adapt them to the ones actually used in the United Nations. With our new rules of procedure, we hope to increase authenticity, as well as accord more liberties to the delegates and cultivate the flow of debate. Furthermore, GIMUN has introduced the position of Bloc Representatives for groups such as the G-24. The role of Bloc Representatives is to coordinate the countries within the group, to mediate negotiations and help in the formation of consensus.
5) Parlez-Vous Français?
GIMUN is one of the few bilingual MUN conferences, held in both English and French. Participants are encouraged to use the language of which they have the most proficient knowledge. Speeches in every committee are interpreted by interpretation students; documents such as draft resolution are translated in both languages by a team of translation students.
GIMUN organises a variety of social events throughout the week of the conference, such as an International Night, a Fondue Night, and a Gala. Thus, participants have the chance to get to know each other better, mingle outside of their committee rooms, and explore Geneva.
GIMUN has been reputed to be one of the most prestigious Model United Nations conferences in the world. Numerous important figures have shown their support for GIMUN — including former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Swiss President Micheline Calmy-Rey.