Dates: 13th – 15th January
# of delegates: 40
# of committees: 6
Cost: delegate fee £25, social pack £20 (optional)
WarMUN, organised by the UN Society of the University of Warwick, has reached its Tenth Anniversary and has worked to expand its specialisation in crisis committees. Based in the historic town of Coventry and delivering the overarching theme of “Peace in the Middle East”, the conference was an engaging experience for delegates new to Model UN.
WarMUN hosted two Joint Cabinet Simulations with three committees each, along with a UNSC committee for delegates looking for a traditional MUN experience. With a Contemporary Crisis on the Kurdish question and Historical Crisis on the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict, both simulations had respective UNSC committees to diplomatically engage with the cabinets. The simulations were conducted very well and kept an active pace, which was impressive as most members of the Crisis Backroom were facilitating for the first time using the Deus crisis system.
Many of the delegates were new to Model UN and Crisis, quickly grasping a sense of the Rules of Procedure and the dynamics of their committees. The chairs of each committee were very experienced and were helpful in informing delegates on how they should approach their crises, to the point where one delegate had become concerned that her peers “were drunk with power”. This didn’t stop the delegates from having fun in their committees and there were no reports of anyone feeling left out.
The opening ceremony was hosted at a lecture theatre on campus in the Warwick Arts Centre. The guest speakers were both lecturers at the host university, Dr Oz Hassan (Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies) and Dr Raza Saeed (Teaching Fellow at Warwick Law School).
The speakers had condensed the issues of international relations and law from an academic perspective in the context of the Middle East, which benefitted the delegates in thinking about their topics from different approaches and theories. As the speakers were informed of the committee topics and delivered knowledge on these issues, it was useful for delegates new to international affairs of the Middle East.
The closing ceremony was hosted in the newly-built Oculus building which was another lecture theatre. While the Secretariat had little option in this as Warwick is a campus university and quite far out from the city centre, the choice of lecture theatres was a convenient option. The closing ceremony was light-hearted, with awards given to delegates who distinguished themselves and the efforts of backroom crisis and logistical staff acknowledged, making for a nice ending at the conference.
There were two socials provided in the pack, with a Friday formal dinner at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon and a Saturday club night at Kasbah in Coventry.
The Secretariat acknowledged the difficulties of delegates travelling to Stratford-upon-Avon for the dinner and had organised a bus to pick up delegates staying at the university and Leamington Spa, dropping them off in the same locations afterwards. The dinner was a two-course meal in the restaurant section of the Royal Shakespeare Company with an easily accessible bar and had made for a nice opportunity for delegates to meet each other before committee session.
The club social at Kasbah was a fun night and offered plenty of variety, from the main room being your typical student club night to another which had a live metal band. As the club was open to the public, the wristbands provided to delegates entitled them to a queue-jump which was useful for delegates arriving close to midnight. Moreover, the drink prices were cheap! Unfortunately, most delegates did not attend due to the extortionate cost of taxis.
Venues, Logistics and Communications
It was widely agreed by delegates that the conference materials were of high quality and useful for committee procedure, as they were provided with a classy leather folder, paper notepad, pens and placards. The committee rooms were in roomy individual classrooms and there were no shortages of tables, chairs, or breathing space. The Wi-Fi was easily accessible for all delegates with or without an Eduroam account and tables had electrical plugs implanted for easy access.
Many Warwick students had volunteered to assist in the communications of the conference as well as the crisis backroom teams to ensure every directive was processed and responded to. The Secretariat and UN Society Executive Committee worked well together in organising room bookings to the point where they had little to worry about at the time of the conference and assisted in the communications for the Historical Crisis when they had free time.
Right of Reply:
Thank you for the honest evaluation of our conference. We agree with many of the insights provided in this review. We highly appreciate the constructive feedback and will communicate it with our Secretariat. We will consider the suggestions for improvement in order to make WarMUN 2018 even more successful. We further hope that all delegates enjoyed the conference and thank them for their participation too!
– Behram Khan, Secretary General, WarMUN X