“Awards are made for a moment, memories are made for a lifetime,” was the MUNtra of this trip. 17 students and 2 teachers, all ready with suitcases full of clothes, creativity and clauses were waiting to board the flight, on our way to RIMUN 2016. Brimming with activity and amendments, we had prepared long and hard for 8th – 14th April’16, since even Rome was not built in a day. Our group comprised several first time MUNners who surpassed all expectations by winning awards. Our delegation had three countries: Greece, Libya and Lithuania. All of us were distributed amongst the committees of the HRC, SPECPOL, ICJ, Commission on the Status of Women, Administrative and Budgetary Committee, Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Economic Commission for Africa and Social Humanitarian and Cultural committee. What made our trip even more special was viewing Rome through a local lens, as we lived with Roman students. To say Rome is beautiful would be an understatement.
The intricate artwork of the Vatican City and Sistine Chapel took our breath away; we were speechless after seeing the vastness and majestic splendour of Saint Peter’s Basilica and Trevi fountain while the layers of history resonating from the walls of the Colosseum left us dumbfounded. Missing our families back in India was out of question, as our hosts treated us as one of their own. As unbelievable as it sounds, we did get tired of eating pizza-pasta every single day, although the daily gelatos made up for it. However, not to forget the main purpose of our trip: MUN. Not only did it raise our awareness about global issues, but also gave us the opportunity to interact with students from 12 countries all around the world as its theme was ‘Refugees and migrants: Europe’s past history and the world’s future challenge.’ RIMUN assisted the development of skills such as research and public speaking. Even though our delegation made India and our school proud by winning awards, for us it was more about winning confidence, skills and experience. This trip to Rome was definitely educational and life changing. As they say, ‘All roads lead to Rome,’ we all are definitely going back.
- Nainika Pansari, Ishita Bagri and Aditya Gandotra
The International Court of Justice at RIMUN 2016 was my very first international MUN and I was really excited, and I wanted to do well. The judges received robes (they were the best things I’ve ever worn) which had been rented from either the Hague itself, or the Italian Senate! The ICJ kicked off with the Security Council requesting an Advisory Opinion on legal violation in terms of the Civil War in Syria and use of chemical weapons in the conflict in specific. After taking a really high moral standpoint where the committee debated how to save refugees from Syria, better sense prevailed. So, a few international treaties, a chemical weapons convention and a lunch break later, we managed to put down some recommendations for the SC to work with.
The Rome International Model United Nations (RIMUN) was my third MUN conference and my first international MUN. I went in as the ambassador of Lithuania and was expected to make a speech at the opening ceremony, however I didn’t receive that chance and I was disappointed. The disappointment was swept over by the following day which consisted primarily of lobbying. I had written a resolution and paired up with another delegate to perfect it. There were a number of first timers in the committee and I was extremely impressed to see that they all displayed a lot of participation, initiative and intelligence. Committee time was quite tiring, all my efforts, points and amendments were thwarted by other delegates. In the end the committee had debated 5 resolutions, passed 4 and failed one. Mine. I realize that we do not win all the time and a disappointment spurs more learning. The closing ceremony was extremely nerve wracking right to the end where they were about to announce the Best Delegate award of my committee, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. I still remember the grinding feeling inside me in those last few moments with my legs turning to jelly. And then... my chair called out my delegation’s name and the ecstasy descended upon me. I stood up unsteadily with my friends cheering loudly as I walked towards the podium. I guess all roads do lead to Rome.
- Viraj Puri
The following day, both advocacies of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia spoke on the application of the Interim Accord of 13 September 1995, which was a provisional binding treaty that established relations between the two countries. The naming dispute of FYROM was solved as Greece disapproved of the name Republic of Macedonia as they felt it implied territorial claims on the region. For me, the most fun part was asking witnesses pretending to be, for example, the Foreign Minister of Greece ‘What is the name of your Prime Minister?’ and receiving silence or a ‘It’s classified information’ as a response as this destroyed the credibility of four out of our six witnesses. There were other such humorous antics by other delegates.
By the end of the third day, we had evidence and witnesses, which had been deemed credible ready to be analyzed so that a verdict could be delivered. On the final day, the venue of the conference shifted to the Luiss University in Rome. After closing speeches from the advocates the judges sat down to deliver a verdict. We debated violations of the Interim Accord from both sides and gave some further suggestions to solve the naming dispute as a whole. At the closing ceremony, all the judges and advocates, were called to the stage for the verdict. I was declared Best Judge, and it was a really happy moment for me. While my brain was feeling five different emotions at the same time, I could hear our Registrar reading the verdict in the background. And if you are asking what it was, you will never really know. It’s classified.