There was a hint of excitement in the air, as all delegates, guests and organisers crowded in the Cultural Centre for the opening ceremony of the 13th annual MEDIMUN Conference. This is the biggest conference so far, with approximately 300 delegates joining the event, coming from numerous schools around the island, as well as from countries as far as Israel, Jordan and China. They are all seated, faces shining with determination, as they are now more ready than ever to tackle some of the greatest challenges of the modern time, such as the question of maritime refugees, and the question of autonomous weapons systems.
The ceremony commences with one of the most prestigious MEDIMUN traditions, the flag parade. Spectators watched in awe as the flags of countries and the UN gracefully marched down to the stage, walking to the slow and calm rhythm of music.
Following the parade, was a speech by senior director of the MEDIMUN conference, Mr. James Lodge, who spoke about the importance of issues to be discussed during the conference, such as the question of gender discrimination. Remembering the attacks on the Twin Towers on the 11th of September 2001, he underlined the vital role of the Security Council during that time, which gave the delegates of the Historical Security Council a better image of this event that is to be re-enacted during this conference. Furthermore, he briefly introduced the brand new Bioethics Committee, which is to be discussing the question of the future of organ provision for transplants, bio-engineering the human genome and the question of human enhancement through non-genetic methods.
Moreover, he highlighted the educational skills that the delegates are to obtain by undertaking their roles, skills which, he said, cannot be learned in a class room. He specifically said that he would:
“like to put forward to you some of the education values that I believe you will be getting from this conference. Already, you delegate, would’ve completed individual research into your assigned country, gathering knowledge.”
Later on, the English School choir performed an acapella edition of the song ‘Let It Be’ by The Beatles, which provided an excellent interlude, before the introduction to honourable guest speaker, Mrs. Egli Pantelaki, who took the opportunity to highlight the importance of learning outside the classroom, stating that knowledge acquired during such methods of learning is oftentimes deeper and more long-lasting. She additionally spoke about the role of the MEDIMUN conference in creating active citizens, who fight for a better tomorrow, one without any extremities.
After a captivating performance by the English School string quartet, the Secretary General Penelope Ioannou delivered a touching and inspiring speech, which emphasised that discussing world issues can be a deeply personal experience, which allows delegates to realise just how many opinions they have about how to change the world. On that note, and with her mighty gavel, she marked the beginning of yet another fruitful and exciting weekend, the beginning of the 13th annual MEDIMUN conference.