By Lucille Milligan for MedMUN
On November 21st, Reims Model United Nations and MEDMUN embarked on a unique challenge in forming the very first Model UN Hybrid Committee in COP26, a conference designed to address the global environmental crisis.
The global health situation and French lockdown could have meant the stop of all Model United Nations activity; instead, these new challenges inspired ingenuity and created unprecedented opportunities for inter-campus collaboration. For the first time, members of the Reims and Menton campus were able to participate in the same committee.
In an online format, delegates from both campuses joined the ECOSOC Hybrid Committee and attempted to address the problem of “Impacts of Climate Change Disproportionately Burdening Developing Countries.” In place of normal Model UN procedure, unmoderated caucuses became breakout rooms, passing notes became private chat messages, votes became digital buttons.
Within the debates, delegates discussed energy efficiency, land-use management, and protection of biodiversity, with each committee member representing the needs of their assigned country. Before the debate, many of the delegates had never participated in any form of a MUN conference; and yet by the end of the day, multiple resolutions had been written, voted on and passed.
The day’s schedule also included a comedic break with the Reims Campus SPK’s satiric presentation, and a closing ceremony bringing together all committees.
Moving forward, Menton’s Model UN organization has already begun preparing digital alternatives for their yearly conference MEDMUN. With these plans, they have found a way to ensure that everyone will have a chance to participate no matter what the future holds. If the conference is anything like COP26, then it is sure to be not only educational, but fun in this new online environment.