From January 30th to February 1rst, students from all over the world will gather to debate water issues, United Nations-style, at ILYMUN; an annual conference organized for students, by students. ILYMUN will be hosting the debate around water with the following committees: Security Council, Historical Security Council, Science and Technology, World Health Organization, Environmental, UNDP, Human Rights, Territorial, Action Assembly, International Court of Justice, Special Conference: focus on islands, Youth Conferences, and naturally, the General Assembly.

This event necessitates great coordination, hence the size of its organizing team. Spawning from the executive team (MUN directors, Secretary Generals and Deputy Secretary Generals), the organizing team is divided into different sectors, usually with two Heads from each organizing school (CSI and ISL). Each Head ensures a crucial function in the conference’s preparation and execution, such as Heads of Logistics, Heads of Housing, or Heads of Public Relations. Some Heads have a team to manage, such as the Press Heads (Written and Audiovisual), the Heads of Chairs, Heads of Admins, and Heads of Youth.

This year, over 400 delegates will attend the conference. To prepare for this, delegates and organising team members from CSI and ISL attended Training Day on November 30th. On this day, the Heads briefed their teams and prepared for the conference. Press wrote interviews and reports, and filmed the Heads videos. Chairs and delegates got experience during the preparatory debates in the following committees : Human Trafficking, Zero Hunger, Freedom of Speech and Press, Public Health Epidemics, Sustainable Cities, and the ICJ (International Court of Justice). In these committees, delegates started by lobbying, which means creating resolution proposals.

For example, in Public Health Epidemics, AIDS was discussed and, since they are representing their assigned countries’ opinions, the delegates of Russia and India voted to criminalize homosexuality. However, the motion didn’t pass due to an overwhelming majority.

The ICJ (International Court of Justice) differs from the other committees, being comprised of judges, witnesses and advocates rather than delegates. The debates are presented as trials, with the prosecution and defense usually represented by two countries. On Training Day they entertained witnesses of both Egypt and Ethiopia about a renaissance dam.

In these committees, the admins passed notes and ensured their technical success while the Written Press members reported on the debate.

Regarding both schools, a Model United Nations club occurs weekly.

On December 12th, CSI’s MUN entertained a guest speaker on the topic of the situation in the Middle East, more specifically the impact of “Operation Peace Spring”, a Turkish military operation in northern Syria. The meeting started out with the guest speaker outlining her three main points: humanitarian impact, regional stability and the resumption of the political process. Before launching into her points, she gave a brief explanation of the situation, breaking down that the operation began on the 9th of October 2019, just three days after the Trump administration gave the order to pull troops from Syria, leaving their Kurdish allies with essentially no support. The Turkish Air Force then launched a series of airstrikes and land combat operations in order to create a 30km “safe-zone” in north-eastern Syria to eliminate any Kurdish rebels in the area.

The speaker then described the humanitarian impact, stressing that the operation left over 180 000 people displaced, 80 000 of whom are children. Meanwhile, in north-eastern Syria, 1.8 million people were left in need of humanitarian assistance in addition to a number of civilian casualties and unstable infrastructure. Actors providing aid were temporarily suspended. She concluded that the strongest resolution is an “inclusive, Syrian-led political process” in order to meet the need to protect civilians and cease hostilities.

After the guest speaker was finished, delegates began a debate on the proposal “This motion condemns and rejects Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria, demands the retraction of Turkish troops and obliges Turkey to respect the territorial integrity of Syria.” The motion was voted in favor of once all delegates wishing to speak had had their say. Following the discussion, the guest speaker gave the participants feedback on their arguments, talking about the importance of diplomacy and commending everybody’s presentational skills.

Isabel Beurois and Clara Larsen

Training Day articles, Behind the Scenes, MUN reports and more!

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ILYMUN- International Lyon Model United Nations

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