Friday 18th to Wednesday 23rd October 2019, Croydon, UK
Our 2019-20 MUN season has started with our annual trip to the Royal Russell MUN in England. 18 students from 1 Bach travelled to the conference, accompanied by MUN Director Nicola Dignum and Mercedes De La Rica. There were 12 delegates representing Australia, Italy and Switzerland, one Chair, three ICJ Judges and two students on the Press Team.
Friday – Adriana Oyarzabal
On Friday afternoon, we went to visit London. When we arrived at Oxford Street we had one hour and a half of shopping and walking around. Every single street was full of people and you could see the wide range of nationalities within the streets. After this we walked down to Piccadilly Circus. In Piccadilly there was a young boy singing and playing the guitar which was very moving. Finally we arrived at Covent Garden where we were going to have dinner at an amazing italian restaurant. Straight after dinner, we all went back to the hotel as we were all very tired from the journey.
Opening Ceremony – Sofia Tarela
On Saturday evening the Royal Russell MUN began with the opening ceremony. Firstly, the Mun Director and the Secretary General gave everyone a warm welcome with their opening speech. Followed by them, the ambassadors of every country gave their speeches. Ayalde was representing three different countries, Switzerland, Italy and Australia, so three girls approached the podium and gave outstanding speeches. In the opening ceremony hall there could only be three people per delegation, but the amazing facilities of the school gave everyone an opportunity to watch it, as it was being live streamed. On the whole, the ceremony was very interesting and everyone had a great time.
Chairing – Maria Eza
It was my first time chairing, apart from in Mini MUN Bilbao. I was really nervous at first because even though I had an idea of the rules of procedure from MUN Bilbao, Royal Russell was a bit different. I was lucky because my Co-chairs were really nice and helpful. Whenever I got stuck they would help me.
The committee I chaired was the Special Political and Decolonisation Committees and I enjoyed it very much. As in every conference, there were very confident people who raised their placards all the time, however, there were some delegates who by the time the conference was ending they hadn’t yet spoken. That’s why the three of us (Chairs) were urging them to participate.
As a chair, there were three main tasks we had to do and we swapped around in each resolution. Firstly, the expert chair who had to type all the amendments proposed by the delegates in the computer. Next, it was the speaking chair who was the one in charge of running the debate. And last but not least the sitting chair who was in charge of ticking off the name of the delegation on a sheet every time its delegate made a speech, point of information or submitted a resolution. This way we could see which delegate hadn’t spoken.
Overall, it was a very fulfilling experience and I can’t wait to chair in MUN Bilbao 2020.
International Court of Justice (ICJ) – Andrea Montes
In the conference of MUN London at Royal Russell School I was one of the judges in the ICJ. There, we discussed the maritime dispute between Kenya and Somalia. At the beginning it was quite difficult because we needed to take a lot of notes about the case and the three days of conference were very intense. However, everything was worth it when we gave the final verdict and we discovered that Somalia had won the case. For me, the best part of the trial was the interrogation to the witnesses which help us to understand the case more deeply. Thanks to the program of the ICJ that offers this conference, I had the opportunity to learn more about international law and to acquire a new perspective of global issues.
Special Conference on Brexit – Daniela Herrera
It was the first time we ever heard about the Special Committee on the Consequences of Brexit, and at the beginning it seemed quite intimidating as it was the only committee in Royal Russell that took place in an Assembly Hall. However, we finally stood up and dared to make a speech. The delegates turned out to be really understanding and willing to help the inexperienced ones, and among all, we managed to make some very interesting and elaborated resolutions. It resulted to be a pretty fun committee and we got to learn a lot of new things as well as to improve our debating skills.
Sochum 1 – Laura Smith
Sochum 1 is the Social, Humanitarian & Cultural Committee. The questions we debated were the rights of indigenous peoples, the decriminalisation of same-sex marriages, child brides and the right to die with dignity (euthanasia). Since I entered the library (where our committee took place) for the first time I felt very comfortable, but what really made it enjoyable were the other delegates. They all were very nice and I had the opportunity to make friends, which in the end was what I was most happy about. Finally, I would even go as far as to say that SOCHUM 1, in my opinion, was the best committee.
Disarmament & International Security (Disec) 1 – Maria Fernandez
DISEC 1 has been a fantastic committee. We laughed, we debated and we made unforgettable friends. Four topics were debated: cybercrime and cyber attacks, the future of the Iran nuclear deal, the return to an arms race of nuclear weapons and autonomous military vehicles. I need to admit that at first I was not excited for the topics I had to work on. however, they turned out to be much more interesting than what I had thought.
The first day, I was a bit scared because everyone’s first language was English, but all the delegates were so kind and willing to help whenever anyone needed it. That is why all of us got on well very easily and had a really great time debating together. Also, during the breaks everyone was trying to know each other and we discovered amazing people I will never forget.
The Royal Russell 2019 conference has been an incredible experience and I could not have asked for a better committee with such marvellous delegates – I miss them already.
Disarmament & International Security (Disec) 2 – Maria Barcala
Having participated in DISEC has been an incredible experience as people were so nice and the topics debated in the committee were really interesting.
When I first entered in the committee I was so scared as I knew people would have a very good level of English. Nevertheless I made some friends and I instantly felt so comfortable and ready to present my policy statement in which I explained a bit my country’s situation on each topic. After policy statements were over, the first day at the committee was all about lobbying and meeting new people which whom we were about to share the next three days. There, the delegate of Australia (me) along with other six delegates more or less, we all together made up with a constructed resolution that talked about “dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapon capabilities” which ended approved and we were so happy that our work was worth it.
On the second day at the committee, everyone was so tired but some incredible delegates were able to keep hard thinking and every resolution was deeply revised and debated. As the previous day we constructed a resolution, and when it was time to debate it, I felt confident enough to make a speech and so, I raised my placard as high as I could. I ended up chosen and my speech tried to convince other delegates to vote in favour of that resolution. As it ended up approved, I felt so happy that my speech could have made some delegates change their mind and rethink about their position in that topic. The rest of the day was all about more resolutions and points of information from time to time.
Last but not least, the third day arrived. We had committee only in the morning and we did two resolutions. When all the resolutions approved were finished, we did friendly debates. One of the debates had to be “pizza with or without pineapple”, a classic, and the other was “ cats vs dogs”. When the time was up, although at some parts I felt like I couldn’t do much, I felt so sad that the committee was over and I was going to miss so much the friends that I made there.
Thinking about the committee makes me think that when I came to Royal Russell School I was looking forward to having a great time, and thanks to the nice people and funny moments I had the great time I was hoping for.
Economics & Finance Committee (Ecofin) – Lucia Marijuan-Requeta
In the EcoFin committee, four topics were debated: the question of protection from fraudulent medicines, the question of state ownership of key enterprises, the question of international aid programs in LEDCs and the question of measures to tackle corruption and organised crime in sports.
The first day of committee, even though we did not debate any resolution, we were able to make new friends as we had to lobby to get our resolution debated. Furthermore each delegate made their policy statement and we had time to talk with each other.
During the following days we managed to debate some resolutions from which two passed to the General Assembly. However, the most interesting resolution was the one presented by Denmark, because as it was the last day, everyone was a bit tired and the amendments proposed were quite funny. For example the delegate of Croatia wanted to create an organisation named CATS to organise a fantasy football league, and the delegate from USA disagreed because she wanted to be a soccer league.
Finally, the last day they organised some joke awards and the delegate of Iceland from Munabe won the joke for the best dressed male delegate.
Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Specpol) 1 – Ana Gomez
It was the first time I had ever heard about this committee. Having my classmate María Eza as a Chair was really helpful as she explained to me the procedure of the debate.
On the first day, each delegate had to take the floor to make their policy statement, but before that we all had to introduce ourselves and say a fun fact to break the ice.
During the two following days, all the resolutions submitted by the delegates were debated. And even though only two of them passed to the General Assembly, most of them passed in the committee.
On Monday, as we finished earlier than expected, we got to do a fun debate which was based on the question of eating pizza with or without pineapple. All delegates were passionate about this topic.
Overall, it was a really exciting committee. Everyone was very nice and the topics were very interesting.
Special Political and Decolonisation Committee (Specpol) 2 – Beatriz De Almeida
At first, I felt a little nervous to be at Royal Russell because of how huge everything seemed. Then I realised that it was the same as any other conference I had been at. I began to talk to the rest of the delegates, they were very prepared for the conference. As the days went by I became friends with many people from different parts of the world. The people that chaired in my committee were very nice, one of them was from Bilbao! In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with the other delegates at Royal Russell.
Environment Committee – Patricia Sabin
Sincerely, at first I wasn’t very keen on participating in this committee as there was no one from my school in it and furthermore it was the only committee which took place in a different building which meant being far away from my friends. Before I arrived to the committee I was very nervous, I even made one of my friends take me there. Nevertheless, everyone turn out to be very kind and I managed to make a lot of friends. Moreover, the topics we debated were all very interesting and among all we managed to have a very fruitful debate and elaborate resolutions which helped to tackle the issues.
Furthermore, in the second day an expert on the subject of plastic pollution came in and gave us a very inspiring speech about his experience in the great garbage patch which made us realise the seriousness of this topic. Finally, and even though I didn’t expect it, I was really sad to leave the committee, and in my opinion, the environment committee was by far the best one.
Press Team – Anna Lazaro
Marta and I are part of the MUN Bilbao communications team, therefore we went to be part of the press team at Royal Russell. When we got there we were greeted by a lovely group of people. We met Erika and Tess the editors of “The Delegate”. They were very friendly and helpful and answered all of our questions. Overall, everyone was very welcoming and made it an amazing experience.
Mass – Lucia Zumarraga
On Sunday we went to mass at the St Mary’s Cathedral. It was a beautiful building and everyone was kind and respectful, specially the priest who even shake hands with almost everybody. We noticed that some children helped the priest with his work. The atmosphere was nice and pleasant throughout the mass. Unfortunately, once we left the cathedral, one girl from another school suffered from a food intoxication so her supervisor had to send her to the hospital. Nevertheless it was great to experience an English mass.
Disco – Judith Gonzalez
After a hard day in the committee, the most awaited moment arrived: the disco. The first night we couldn’t go because we had to get up early the next day, what a pity! However, we were able to go to the second and third night discos. We all had a great time dancing and the music they played was great, they even put Spanish songs!
Tuesday evening, London – Rocio Gomez and Marta Uribarri
Tuesday was our last day in London and we couldn’t wait to spend our last evening there going shopping and walking around the city. So after spending some time in the hotel once the conference was finished, we went to the city centre. We had half an hour to spend in Oxford Circus, and we could enjoy ourselves going to some shops which can’t be found in Spain. For example, when my friends and I entered the M&M’s store we were amazed at how many types of m&m’s there were and how colourful the shop was.
After that we we went to the novello theatre to see the musical of Mamma Mia which we all loved and enjoyed very much. At first we were all very tired after so many days of conference and we did not go with much desire but finally we all ended up standing singing with all our heart. After the theater we went to a restaurant called pizza express where we met the munabe boys and had dinner together, the place had very good food and we had a great time with our friends!
Wednesday – Nerea Gandarias
On Wednesday we woke up 9 o’clock and we had the typical English breakfast in the hotel. After that, we packed our suitcases, did the checkout and left the hotel. As we had free time we went for a walk in Croydon and did a bit of shopping. I bought some souvenirs for my family. At 1 o’clock our driver picked us up from the hotel and drove us to Stansted airport. There we went through security and had lunch. Later, we got into the plane and arrived to Bilbao. In conclusion this experience has been a great opportunity to practise our English, also debate about alarming issues affecting the world and to know new people