Once upon a time, not so long ago, a group of young, intelligent and ambitious people realized the world needed a change and that they had to be the ones to make it. Back in 2009, Bucharest, Romania, these people decided it is high time they took action. They realized their contribution was crucial to the world, so they gathered and put their minds to work. Undoubtedly, this attempt had been difficult to fulfill and some others could have said the effort invested might not have been worth it. Not everyone can be up to such a demanding challenge, but these people were different from others. Despite their age, these young people were truly aware of the problems the world faces, but, more importantly, they understood their duty and responsibility not only towards the entire planet, but also towards their own selves, to make tomorrow a better place. However, their contribution may appear insignificant – what can a small group of people do?! The answer is simple: they can open their minds and improve our world! And this is how Bucharest International Student Model United Nations was born!
BISMUN is an academic simulation of several bodies of the United Nations and other EU or international organisms, held in English and organized by the UN Youth Association of Romania. In Romania, as in most East European states, such Model United Nations conferences have become popular during the last decade. Therefore, the BISMUN Conference became not only the biggest simulation of its kind, but also the most important one in Romania, currently being at its ninth edition. Like any other big success, BISMUN is the result of a big idea: its founding members will to organize an international Model United Nations Conference in Bucharest. ‘Why an MUN in Bucharest, Romania?’ one might ask. As it is known, MUNs have a long tradition in numerous prestigious universities across the globe, being recognized as important forums for debate. It is important to provide the Romanian youth with a context in which they can interfere with the diplomatic and academic environment. Through all the debates, negotiations and discussions, the participant Romanian youth has the opportunity to face current issues on the international agenda and they have to find viable solutions for them. By participating in simulations such as the BISMUN Conference, they prepare themselves for the challenges they might face in the future. Why international? The main goal of UN Youth Association of Romania is to promote and encourage the UN values and activities among the Romanian youth and society. Therefore, through its debates and activities, BISMUN Conference encourages the intercultural dialogue and promotes multiculturalism and accepting differences for a common goal. Young people from all UN member-states are welcome to participate in this conference and experience a multicultural environment.
In order to understand how BISMUN became the main simulation of its kind in Romania, we must take a closer look to the roots of BISMUN. Let’s travel back in time and stop in March 2009, where it all began. Even though now the first conference seems small in comparison with the most recent editions of BISMUN which gather 250 participants,120 participants sounded promising for the first edition of BISMUN, which took place at the Faculty of Law in Bucharest. Most of the participants were at their first MUN – it was a start for both participants and the organizers. However, the event was such a great success that they organizing BISMUN became a tradition for the members of UN Youth Association of Romania. The second edition was broadly similar to the first one, but the major change has been made at the third edition: changingthe venue. Since 2011, all BISMUN editions have been taking place at the Palace of Parliament, which is the most important institution in Romania. The Conference has been gradually improved and each edition brought something new, giving BISMUN a different dimension each year. First of all, the Conference increased its number of participants, more and more young people not only from Romania, but also from all over the world willing to join this kind of event. The themes approached each edition have ranged through years from “Human Security and Positive Liberty” to„Just and Unjust Wars: A New Approach in a World of Turmoil” and “United against terrorism, reaching global consensus”, giving the participants the opportunity to understand and discuss various issues the world faces and to experience different levels of analysis. To challenge even more the delegates, there have been stimulated various committees.
It all started as a simple Conference and it became a community: the BISMUN community. The will for improvement and the enthusiasm that were the foundation of BISMUN are also what keeps it alive. Delegates, chairpersons and organizers – after all, they all share the same goal: to open their minds and improve our world!