by Annabell Werner with additional reporting by Denny Cheong
After an exciting opening ceremony the previous day, the first day of the ZYGMUN conference turned out to be a success for delegates, chairs and members of the secretariat.
Starting from 8:30 in April 13th, the first official day of debate of the ZYGMUN conference officially began, the first official debating day in ZYGMUN history.
In the Human Rights Committee, the day started off with icebreakers in order for people to know each other better, such as “this or that” (a game where you choose to go to a side of a room depending on what you prefer from the 2 things that the chair chose, Adidas vs Nike) and rock-paper-scissors.
Afterwards, a guest speaker came and spoke to the human rights committee about her story. She talked about the history of Kyrgyzstan and about child marriage, the main topic of debate in the Human Rights Committee.
In addition to this, she talked about the story where she nearly got deported out of Poland, but due to the efforts and the petition signed by the high school that her children went to, they were able to stay in Poland.
During the time where the ZYGMUN participants could ask questions, she asked questions in return to test the knowledge that we had on Kyrgyzstan. “What is the capital of Kyrgyzstan?,” she asked. A question that none of the people in the conference room were able to answer. (Bishkek, as it turns out.)
After these guest speakers, the Human Rights Committee began the conference by presenting their opening speeches, creating resolutions to help solve this issue, and were able to debate about one resolution of the three created, which was passed.
The Political committee had a similar, beginning, they too started with a speaker and a fun icebreaker where two delegates had to leave the room and those remaining had to choose one person that everyone else would mimic, the delegates that were outside now had to find that person.
The committee then proceeded to punishing two delegates that were late, the loser of an icebreaker and one that lost his badge, by singing. “I think I nailed it!” said Ian W. one of the chairs of the PC, who joined in.
The official debate than began with opening speeches by the delegates representing their countries policies and thoughts about the topic of “Addressing the territorial claims in the Gaza strip”. After a lunch break the committee than went on into several moderate and unmoderated caucuses in order to proceed to drafting three different resolutions .
In the end of the day after amending the resolution several times and a tight vote that resulted in splitting the house, the resolution failed.
Security Council too started with an ice breaker and a guest speaker. They then moved on to debating this resolution. According to Defne O. one of the chairs of the Security Council they were able to complete 7 out of 9 clauses in the resolution, but in the end most didn’t clauses did not pass due to veto power.
“The debate got the most heated when delegates were questioning the VETO power of the P5,” said Defne. “There were plenty of questions every time a delegate used their VETO power, which provoked a lot of interesting discussion.”
According to Tomek D. the head Secretariat the went pretty well “The chairs did a great job, we had to improvise with the crisis for HRC since they were going too fast, but I think it was the right choice.”
“I’m extremely proud of our students for whom ZYGMUN is the first conference,” Tomek D. continued. “Many of them are shining right now. Despite the fact that they had zero prior experience, they’re doing great. They are debating, making speeches, asking insightful questions and I couldn’t have asked for better delegates.”