Zamun 2024

From April 10th to April 14th, seven LMRL students travelled to Žilina in Slovakia to participate at ZaMUN, an international simulation of a UN conference. Participants were Alexis Neu Arend, Victor Fola, Emma Cadivel, Ilenia Pietrantuono, Lara Özen, Seohyeon Choi and Pol Keup. Each LMRL student was hosted by a local student from the Gymnázium Bilingválne, our school’s bilingual partner school just outside of the city centre of Zilina. Having attended the MUN conference during 3 days for 6 to 7 hours per day, we had the opportunity to improve our English skills and got involved in relevant political discussions. The MUN conference was split into two parts, the committee sessions and the General Assembly, where all delegates came together to discuss a new topic and look for the best possible diplomatic solution. Besides the MUN conference itself, there were also some organized activities for the participants such as a two-hour stay in a local, ancient Greek-style spa, a party and on the first day a city tour around the Centre. But now let the different participants of ZaMUN come to a word, telling us about their own experiences.

Alexis: I, Alexis, am so glad to have had the possibility of participating at ZaMUN. Being my third MUN conference, I already had some MUN experience before attending ZaMUN. Being aware of this, I chose the ECOSOC committee, which had as a subject the South China Sea dispute, an issue that is extremely relevant due to its connection to international sea trade. I represented the Republic of the Philippines, one of the main actors in the South China Sea dispute, having several claims on different islands. Overall, I did very well in the committee debates, having even received an Honorable Mention for my engagement. Having represented the main interests of my country, the committee concluded by creating a resolution which was advantageous for most countries, mainly those around the South China Sea. The committee decided to establish a tax-free zone, which boosts international trade. Additionally, we decided to demilitarize the South China Sea to prevent an armed conflict in the South China Sea. In the General Assembly, the subject was internet freedom. Having not done enough research to being able to actively participate in the heated debates, I must admit that I could have done much better at representing my country in the GA. Overall, my ZaMUN experience was great. Something most people do not realize is that MUN conferences are not just about debating, they are about so much more. When attending an MUN conference, you get the opportunity to get to know so many new people with diverse cultures and different views, forming new friendships. Especially my stay with my host family was extremely pleasant. I really liked my host family. They taught me so much about their culture and what is going on in Slovakia. I am convinced that international educational projects such as MUN conferences can strengthen international bonds. I was extremely sad when it was time to go home after four days.

Ilenia: What an experience! At ZaMUN, I, Ilenia, represented Iran in the HRC. At this MUN conference I learned how to best represent my country’s positions and I became even more confident in engaging myself in political discussions. I’ve met some amazing people that made this experience even greater, knowing that they will always stay in my heart. Obviously, my English-speaking skills improved as well. My host family was the best one I could’ve wished for, having taught me a lot about the Slovakian culture and their way of living. The SPA night was just magic and so relaxing. I’ve also had so much fun at the party. I ‘m so grateful for this experience and I believe that everyone should try to take part in this type of experiences that make you grow as a person.

Lara: The first question I got asked after coming back home from the conference was: What did you like the most during your visit? If I am totally honest, I couldn’t state one moment that stood out or that I didn’t like, because the whole time of ZaMUN was memorable and fun. Getting the opportunity to participate at the conference, talking about different topics, viewing diverse opinions and meeting new people who’ve become friends of mine was the highlight of my year. In my view we all learned a lot during this experience that we’ll remember for a long time. What I take with me of ZaMUN 2024 is the understanding of divergent perspectives, the ability to quickly improvise speeches or resolutions, the capacity of enjoying the moment and to not forget the power of speaking in front of people. ZaMUN 2024 made me realize that it is politics or law that I want to pursue later in my life as a profession.

Seohyeon: When I, Seohyeon, got the opportunity to attend the ZaMUN 2024 conference, it was my first time ever in Slovakia. Being both excited to debate with other people but at the same time also very nervous about being alone in a foreign country, I had some worries before leaving Luxembourg. But now I know that my worries were for nothing. My first worry was about my stay in Zilina, more precisely my host. I was scared that they might not like me, but contrary to my worries, I met a lovely host. Her name was Shanti and I had a pleasant four days with her. Her family was extremely kind to me. I still have the white wine that they gave me as a gift! My second worry was whether I would be able to challenge myself and talk in front of people. Even now I think that it was a big challenge to talk and participate in the conference, but I am very proud of myself that I spoke much more than at my first MUN which was in our own school. It was such a valuable experience that I can't really put it into words, but one of the most memorable memories is the time I spent with friends in Slovakia. I was so happy to meet my friends again from my last MUN. Not only did I spend my time with people that I already knew before the conference, but I also met lots of new people. ZaMUN also gave me the opportunity to get closer with the other MEGA Club members. In the beginning, we didn’t know each other very well but in Slovakia, we spent a lot of time together and got to know each other better. Spending time with them made me laugh a lot and taught me lots of new things. It was such a funny and amazing time! For me, ZaMUN was a special experience. I can only encourage those who hesitate to participate at a MUN conference to overcome their worries as the experiences I made were unforgettable. My English talking skills have improved to the point that my friends around me recognize them. My confidence was never higher than now. I met so many amazing people and I had a wonderful time with them. This experience has made me a better person and I hope that everyone can one day make the experiences I did and feel in such a way!

Emma: I am just so grateful to have had the chance of participating at the annual Zilina MUN conference in Slovakia. I was a delegate in the FRAC committee, which was simulating the UN Security council in the French language. Overall, this experience has not only given me the chance to gain more MUN experience, but it has also taught me to speak more confidently in front of other people, as well as to express myself like a diplomat. I also got to discover Slovakian culture through my host family and all the amazing Slovakian people that I met during my four days' stay in Zilina. I made a lot of new friends and saw my friends from my last MUN conference again. I hope that one day everyone gets the chance to participate at a MUN conference in their lifetime! Overall ZaMUN has been an incredible experience that has taught me so many things. Thank you so much to Mme Galli, Mme Droste and Mr. Brücher for choosing me and those six other amazing people for this incredible experience!

Victor: It is difficult to put into words how truly amazing ZaMUN2024 was. The previous year’s conference, ZaMUN2023, was my first MUN and a breakthrough for me, because it opened my eyes on the world of geopolitics and debating, but also on the importance of networking and friendships. I was looking forward to this conference for months, because I could nurture the friendships I made back then and also measure the improvement of my debating skills on the same committee floor. I represented the Republic of India in the Security Council, tackling the issue of the Myanmar Civil War. I am very glad that the committee sessions turned out to be dynamic, and I raised my placard numerous times to cooperate and hold my country’s ground, for which I even received an Honorable Mention. The topic of this civil war grappled with complex facets, like refugee crises, economic and territorial competitiveness, military interventions and conflict de-escalation. Ultimately, I submitted a resolution and cooperated with countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia to assure the security of refugees and advocate for peaceful negotiations under the UN's supervision. Overall, I am truly glad to have taken part in ZaMUN2024, an event that not only brought me closer to my schoolmates, but also gave me the opportunity to increase the value that I can offer to the world. Thank you!