MUNPlanet: MUNPlanet community is looking forward to meeting you. Could you introduce yourself and your conference?
I’m currently doing a Master’s program in International Relations, specialized in Intergovernmental and Non-Governmental Organizations. I participate in conference such as Model United Nations since 2014, and I just fell in love with the concept. Lyon MUN 2016’s edition will be about “Pursuing peace to restore stability and security”. This year’s general theme has been chosen because of contemporary issues, and we will similate 9 committees: Security Council, Historical Security Council (1967), SPECPOL, DISEC, UNODC, UNHRC, OSCE, International Criminal Court and the Kaamelott Committee.
MUNPlanet: In one sentence, tell us, for the ones in a hurry, what makes LyonMUN special compared to some other MUNs in the region?
This MUN is a bit special because we chose a general theme, which means we had to choose topics related to this theme, to make something clear and consistent. And I think that’s what we managed to do. Also, we really wanted to give the opportunity to Law students to experience a Model UN with committees they would feel more close to, such as UNHRC and the ICC. And obviously the French touch of this MUN: the Kaamelott committee, which is a simulation of a French show, made by a producer from Lyon (Alexandre Astier). In fact, we just wanted everyone to feel concerned about the world’s current issues, and we wanted them to gather in our beautiful city of Lyon in this special MUN framework !
MUNPlanet: LyonMUN was actually created in 2011 which makes you a veteran in the MUN world. Tell us a bit about your history.
It is our 4th conference, one year the Lyon MUN’s executive committee managed to have a great partnership with INTERPOL. Last year there were about 120 people in total, and this year we’re hoping for 300 delegates !
MUNPlanet: LyonMUN is famous for its simulation of Interpol committee whose headquarters are in Lyon. Will it be simulated this year and what are some of its main goals?
This year has been a bit special, especially for INTERPOL who has been facing internal changes; that is why we did not decide to simulate an INTERPOL committee. However for the 2017’s edition, we will definitely try to do so, and we hope the institution will be cooperating with us once more ! Anyway we have close links with INTERPOL which headquarter is in Lyon, and they invited the Lyon MUN’s team to come and visit their premises, and we attended there amazing conferences.
MUNPlanet: One of the most interesting committees this year is the simulation of Kaamelott, based on King Arthur’s legendary kingdom. Can you explain to us what this will look like and what are the issues that this committee will deal with?
The Kaamelott committee will be full of surprises. It will be a mix of a historical and legendary aspect, military negotiations between Federate States of the Kingdom of Britain; they will have to face barbarian invasions. Delegates will have to manage the Lancelot’s seizure of power that is threatening the Kingdom’s security, the popular uprisings…etc. In fact, it will be a real-time crisis committee, with murders, military decisions, betrayals. It will be an amazing committee !
MUNPlanet: The Kaamelott committee is exclusive to French speakers this year, but what about the coming years? Do you plan to keep it, and will it be available to English speakers?
We don’t know yet what the future executive committee will choose so we cannot really talk about that now, we don’t know yet so.. stay tuned ! ☺
MUNPlanet: One of the bonuses of this conference is that it is taking place in Lyon, one of the most beautiful cities in France. What will participants get to see of the city, and what would you say is something they shouldn’t miss?
There are a few places they don’t have to miss: Fouvière disctrict, Croix-Rousse district, the famous Bellecour Square, our beautiful Town Hall district, and obviously… THE place to be: the Old Town of Lyon, that is absolutely fantastic to go for a few drinks or to eat in really good French restaurants !
MUNPlanet: MUNs are very valuable for students to put in their CV’s. What are some other reasons that every student should attend an MUN?
Participating in MUN is something really important especially for those studying International Relations. Indeed in the field of political sciences, it is really hard to get internships in intergovernmental organizations or embassies. That is why it is so important for us to have such experiences, so we can learn from current issues, and improve professional skills, such as oratory skills, analysis skills, general knowledge, technical knowledge…etc.
MUNPlanet: Social activities are one of the most exciting parts of any conference. What do you have laying in store in this department?
We organized 3 social events, because we do think diplomacy is also something more informal. Indeed, once delegate work a whole day together, there is a maximum pressure, tensions…etc. They do need to have a break and see each other in other circumstances. Night 1: meeting with the other delegates at the Selcius that is a classy bar in the new commercial area of Lyon (Confluence district). Night 2: restaurant per committees in the famous Mercière Street, where there are a lot of traditional restaurants from Lyon ! Night 3: The awaited Delegates’ Ball at “La Cour des Grands”, that is a little castle turned into a night club !
MUNPlanet: What are the three words you want participants to leave LyonMUN with?
Friendly – Quality – We’ll come back ! (let’s hope they’ll say that)
MUNPlanet: How can the role of new technologies and new communities such as MUNPlanet affect the future of MUNs?
They can help smaller MUNs to get bigger, they can also create a real network between MUNers. The first time delegates meet, they mean nothing to each other. In the end of the conference, they become friends. That is really important to strengthen these links that are so strong. We are all passionate of the contemporary issues, we all believe that the United Nations can be a useful tool in the International Relations. We do need these communities to build that network.
MUNPlanet: It is not easy to organize an MUN, especially one with impressive 9 committees! Could you share some organizing tips with our community?
I do think you need a team you can count on. That is definitely what happened to me. Well, we can say I’m lucky. Also, you need to be 100% focused on this conference, and maybe the President or the Secretary General must not be too busy because it takes a lot of time. Like…24/7 ! But it’s a wonderful experience, and I would definitely do it again!
MUNPlanet: Aside from providing an insightful experience for students to become involved and familiar with contemporary events and diplomacy, MUNs also help with students’ intellectual development. What are some skills that students will be able to improve or acquire at your conference?
This year we emphasized the importance of the rules of procedure, and the quality of the chairs. Indeed a good delegate is a delegate who respects the procedure; that is why an experienced chair is needed.
MUNPlanet: Once LyonMUN 2016 is over, what is the one sentence that you would like every delegate to leave with? ‘LyonMUN 2016 was … (complete the thought)
Lyon MUN 2016 was a quality conference.
Mélanie, thank you for devoting your time to MUN Spotlight and telling us more about you and your conference. MUNPlanet is looking forward to your event and strongly advises all MUNers to check it out. Good luck and we wish you all the best!