RIMUN Opening Ceremony

By February 20, 2018 No Comments

By Molly Long


This weekend, the Reims International Model United Nations held its seventh conference. Friday evening saw the association members host its opening ceremony at the Centre des Congrès.


It was an evening of appreciation and thanks – each member of the executive team took to the stage to express their gratitude and recognize the efforts of those who helped to make the weekend possible.


Secretary General Juliette Briey used her speech to highlight the importance of Model United Nations simulations. Speaking to a room filled with this year’s delegates, she said: “This may only be a simulation, but the impact of your presence and your debates will go far beyond RIMUN.”


Juliette Briey, Secretary General of RIMUN. Picture: Pierre-Ulysse Gorzkowski// The Sundial Press


Guest speakers for the evening were former ambassador Jean Lévy and diplomat Bernard Miyet. Both men gave passionate speeches about peace and compromise in politics. Whilst not all of the international delegates may have understood their French, the room was held, and guests were silent.   


Ambassador Jean Lévy. Picture: Pierre-Ulysse Gorzkowski// The Sundial Press

Diplomat Bernard Miyet. Picture: Pierre-Ulysse Gorzkowski// The Sundial Press


Antoni Gruca, Secretary and Head of Communications for the RIMUN association, closed the speeches for the evening with a thoughtful, short remark about the importance of listening and tolerance, not just at RIMUN, but in the wider world. He urged delegates to “s’entendre bien” and to enjoy their time in Reims. Quoting Pope John Paul II, he ended: “The future starts today, not tomorrow.”

After a lengthy evening of speeches, the opening ceremony closed with an energetic performance from Sciences Po Campus of Reims’ acapella group, The Vibes. With the audience sufficiently impressed, Juliette Briey officially declared RIMUN 2018 open and invited delegates to enjoy the best of what Reims has to offer, a champagne reception.


Acapella group of Sciences Po “The Vibes”. Picture: Pierre-Ulysse Gorzkowski// The Sundial Press.


Champagne cocktail at the opening ceremony. Picture: Pierre-Ulysse Gorzkowski// The Sundial Press


As delegates mingled with Sciences Po and RIMUN staff, sponsors and each other, the true international nature of the event became apparent. With 17 different nationalities represented and delegates from as far away as Japan, this year’s event was truly a global affair. What’s more, RIMUN 2018 attracted young people with hugely differing experience with Model United Nations events.


Delegates of RIMUN 2018 at the opening ceremony. Picture: Pierre-Ulysse Gorzkowski// The Sundial Press


For some, this was their first MUN event, for others it was the latest in a long personal tradition. Omri Rozen, an exchange student, is a first time MUN delegate. When asked what he was expecting from the event, he said: “I have no idea what I’m expecting, just fun debates, fun socializing and good times.”


For many first year Sciences Po Reims Campus students, this was also the case. Discussing her previous experience with smaller MUNs, Ingrid Ravnanger, a first year student, explained, “I’m not very fond of just talking during debates and I’m much more solution-oriented so I hope my committee can be efficient like this.”


Siddharth Abraham is a student at Sciences Po, Le Havre. A seasoned MUN delegate, Abraham can count RIMUN 2018 as his 23rd MUN conference. “I was scheduled to come to RIMUN last year, but had to pull out when I broke my ankle, but all my friends who went said they had an amazing experience.” When asked what he was expecting in Reims, he said: “I’ve heard the level of debate at RIMUN is really high, so I’m looking forward to seeing it for myself.”


Other delegates came from farther afield to be part of this year’s conference. All the way from Canada, Bryan Buraga attended last night’s event with high hopes for the rest of the weekend. “I’ve never been to RIMUN before. I’m really looking forward to meeting people from different backgrounds. It’s going to be a long weekend of debate and sharing different perspectives on the world’s problems.”


Each year, the executive team brings something different to the table, and RIMUN 2018 is certainly no exception. Treasurer and Head of Logistics Valentine Truchot explained: “For the first time, RIMUN is going to have crisis sessions in most committees so that delegates get a chance to experience diplomatic exchanges under pressure. The whole RIMUN team is excited for a weekend of intense negotiations and debates!”

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