Belgrade, 13 March 2014 - Belgrade International Model United Nations (BIMUN 2014) has opened its gates to MUNers from all corners of the world for the 11th time. More than 300 students delegates and distinguished guests gathered at the Palace of Serbia to mark the beginning of the four-day conference. In some of the most representative city edifices, delegates from 44 countries are going to discuss key aspects of defining the post-2015 Development Agenda.
President of UNA-Serbia, the organizer of BIMUN 2014, Milorad Kondić welcomed the delegates and reflected on the first 10 years of BIMUN, as well as the future of the oldest MUN in the Western Balkans.
“Behind us are ten BIMUN years and we are especially proud of this fact. At the very beginning, the project was very modest and it represented a pioneering step in this part of Europe. It has continued to grow over years and each year we have strengthened the educational level and the number of committees and participants. I believe that BIMUN connecting successful and ambitious students from all continents has been the most important result BIMUN has achieved so far”, Kondić said. Speaking about future plans, he said that BIMUN “should be affirmed as an important means of learning about the ways to solve international problems”.
BIMUN continues to be a true international experience. In the past 10 years, 1843 delegates from 58 countries walked through the committee chambers and coined dozens of resolutions and thousands of friendships. This year, the organizers addressed special welcome to the delegations from Hungary, Italy, Togo, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Ambassador Dragan Županjevac greeted the participants and presented the message from Serbian foreign minister Ivan Mrkić.
“Gathering of such a group of young people from all continents with joint interest in creating a better, fairer and more equitable world confirms the significance of the strengthening of the understanding among the people, while at the same time maintaining our identities and cultural uniqueness”, Županjevac said.
A message from the UN Secretary-General served to inspire the future leaders to take the opportunity and learn about ways of dealing with pressing political, economic and security challenges in the world:
“...These plans are ambitious. We need more people to make them real. That means you. I count on you to use the negotiating skills you learn in this Model UN exercise to help navigate the real-world challenges we face. I encourage you to join with like-minded individuals and groups to generate change and promote mutual tolerance, understanding and respect”, reads the message from the Secretary-General.
Speaking about human security, Graham Tyndall, UN Resident Coordinator for Serbia underlined the importance of “core values” such as solidarity, personal responsibility and integrity for development..
“And really, over the next four days this is the core of what you are addressing - personal responsibility, ethics, good governance and personal integrity. People have to change at individual level, and we believe that can be done at the social level as well”.
After a brief cocktail in the Palace of Serbia lobby, the delegates went out on a sunny afternoon to find their respective committee rooms downtown. Yet another BIMUN begun.
If you want to hear some live impressions from the conference, follow the reports from MUNPlanet’s Vlado Damjanović who is in Belgrade.