Date: 4th – 6th of November
# of delegates – 500
# of committees – 12
Cost: Delegate fee £40, social pack £30
During the first weekend of November, University of Cambridge hosted its 22nd Model United Nations conference: Cambridge University International MUN (CUIMUN) is, in short, a great conference for all levels of experience. CUIMUN is on the pricier side of conferences reviewed by this website but managed to offer value for money nonetheless.
The committees were catered for various levels of MUN experience: WHO allowed delegates to get comfortable with what a MUN conference feels like, whereas the Security Council provided a rigorous and fast-paced for delegates who felt confident in their MUN skills. The European Council had an extra twist to it: EU Council delegates had a chance to be a part of a special Joint Regional Cooperation Session with the African Union, providing an opportunity for both committees to work on their diplomatic and debating skills.
One committee of particular interest to some delegates was the Emergency GA, which discussed the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Spicing up the nature of the General Assembly, many enjoyed debating a historical topic with news updates throughout the session. Eugenie Ferrier, the delegate of Austria, said, “it was exciting to receive various news about the war in Afghanistan, and then try to integrate them into the Draft Resolution.”
Overall, the topics for most committees were broad yet thorough. Position papers were compulsory, and the feedback was provided shortly after the deadline. The study guides were sent out in good time, and were informative, and laid out in a professional manner, thanks to the excellent organisational skills on the part of the Chairs and the CUIMUN Secretariat.
For the perhaps the first time in MUN history, both opening and closing ceremonies were concise and enjoyable. The opening ceremony had two speakers and was held in a modern lecture theatre in the centre of Cambridge. The theme was ‘gender equality’, which was reinforced through the speeches made during the opening, including by the Secretary-General, who noted the gender bias sometimes displayed at MUN conferences.
The closing ceremony, however, was held in a different location, which was not so central and perhaps the same lecture hall that was used for the opening ceremony would be an easier location. Some delegates also felt that the Chairs perhaps did not get enough time during the closing ceremony to discuss their committees and everything that happened during the 3 days.
Overall, the socials were of high quality. On Friday, there was a ‘secret’ social, a very sweet idea put together by the Secretariat. Each delegate received a personalised invitation which allocated them to a Harry Potter house. Unfortunately, this great idea meant that delegates were spread across four venues, and delegates did not get an opportunity to hang out with their committees and delegations. The Hufflepuff social was too far from the city centre, and so the walk there was an unenjoyable journey in an inhospitable British winter night. Ravenclaw ended up being everyone’s favourite: it was held at a cosy bar in the city centre with fairly priced drinks.
On Saturday, we once again were separated out for Formal Hall, but this time delegates were able to sit with their committee and get to know them better. The only downside to this wonderful Oxbridge tradition was that alcohol was not served at dinner, a shame given that wine had been served at previous conferences. Although, the Secretariat did successfully negotiate for delegates to bring their own wine and pay a small fee. Overall, the dinner was well received, as was the Tiki-themed club Lola Lo’s, in the centre of Cambridge.
Logistics and Communication
The Secretariat was helpful prior to the conference, as well as during the conference. Delegates reported that requests for water and WiFi logins were fulfilled quickly. Furthermore, thanks to the organisational work prior to the conference, delegates received discounts at local pubs and on punting. Several chairs have also noted that they were helped out by the Secretariat and that there were no major problems from their side. Overall, it is safe to say that CUIMUN’s Secretariat was efficient and friendly.
Right of Reply
The Secretariat has chosen not to use its right of reply.