BIGMUN is back!
Finally, after three years, the BIGMUN conference is up and running at BG
After a three-year break, BIGMUN is finally back at Birkerød Gymnasium! Wednesday the 22nd of February was the start of Birkerød Gymnasium’s yearly Model United Nations conference, BIGMUN, which is finally back in its full form after a three-year-long covid break. Students from all over the world are participating in the conference. Throughout the next five days, they’re going to lobby, write and debate resolutions and vote for them. This year's theme is “Power In Unity", which is probably more relevant now than ever before. The participating students have a long program ahead of them, where they will attempt to find solutions to some of the world's biggest conflicts.
The conference is colliding with the one-year day for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This will further be marked at a panel discussion, where anthropologist and researcher Vera Skvirskaja, senior analyst at “Tænketanken Europa” Jacob Kaarsbo and lecturer at the academy of defense Jørgen Meedom Staun are participating. Together they will discuss the different problems regarding the war in Ukraine.
BIGMUN is one of the biggest events of the year at BG, and this is clearly reflected in the impressive opening ceremony. BG’s principal Claus Campeotto opened the ceremony with the message that this generation's upcoming work with MUN shows how young people really can contribute to changing the world.
Conference Coordinator Andrew Archer welcomed the many schools that came from all over the world and described how BIGMUN finally has been possible again, especially because of the hard work the students at BG have done. The highlight of the ceremony was the two guest speakers: General Secretary for Danish Red Cross Anders Ladekarl, and former Danish ambassador for NATO and experienced diplomat. Michael Zilmer-Johns. Anders Ladekarl just returned from a visit in Turkey that was ravaged by the earthquake and managed in his speech to focus on the countless challenges there are awaiting ahead of the young delegates.
Ladekarl spoke about how the Red Cross as an organisation is the symbol for “Power In Unity”. This collaborative work amongst the 193 organisation members, is the key to the Red Cross having a massive global presence. This is the power of the community, which is a part of securing civil rights across conflicts. Ladekarl ended his speech with with a special nod to Birkerød Gymnasium, Denmark's first Red Cross Gymnasium, noting that BG shows the way forward.
Ladekarl’s speech was followed by a video with pictures from the war in Ukraine and a song from the BIGMUN choir, to highlight this conference’s special collision with the one-year day of the invasion.
Michael Zilmer-Johns’ speech made many of the present people attentive to the special role that The United Nations has, including NATO, in the world’s political context. In a sharp analysis of the world situation, Zilmer-Johns charted the many factors that make the basis for the new order of the world, which was a consequence of the chaos and instability that created several new challenges. But Zilmer-Johns did end his speech by expressing the hope created by seeing so many engaged and curious students, who might have a future career as a diplomat.
The last speaker was BIGMUN’s Secretary General Katherine Cavestany Noriega. Noriega encouraged her fellow students in her speech to be ready to collaborate, and to have an open mind when they in the next following days will be participating in lots of debates and discussions.
All five speakers emphasized the importance of young people’s engagement and ability to see beyond themselves, and to participate in discussions about a more free and peaceful world. This sense of engagement is strong around the hallways at BG, when students from all over the world together will attempt to figure out the global crises and challenges.