The weekend from Feb.6 to Feb.8 was quite a busy time on the AUBG campus. Two major events were taking place at the same time – Startup Weekend was taking place at the ABF Sports Hall while last preparations were being made for Blagoevgrad Model United Nations 2015 (BLIMUN 2015) Conference at the Balkanski Academic Center. At the BLIMUN Conference, international and AUBG students drafted resolutions to the most relevant problems on the political scene today and practiced their skills in diplomatic negotiation and persuasion.
Going into BAC was different on the day of the conference. Even though this year was the seventh time the conference took place, it seemed like the organizers were nervous, as if it was their first time. Some participants were cautiously looking around, not quite sure what to expect – I later learned that those were the international guests, many of whom traveled a long way to be a part of the conference. “We had the highest number of participants in general and the highest number of international participants ever in our history,” Anna Golub, one of the organizers, said. “It was also the first year when we opened applications for journalists.”
Registration and picking up the identification badges was the next step. The participants were appointed to one of the three councils – Human Rights Council, ECOSOC Council and Security Council. As soon as the delegates received their badges, they started looking around, trying to spot other members of their council. There was one more group among the major three: journalists. This year was the first one when you could register not only as a delegate, but also as a journalist, representing a medium of your choice. I chose to be a journalist.
Former Deputy Minister of Finance Kiril Zhelev, a keynote speaker at the conference, gave a speech and answered a variety of questions about the current state of Bulgarian economy as well as its international affairs. With last words of encouragement and motivation, BLIMUN 2015 was declared open. The debates started on Feb. 7 and continued on Sunday, the second day of the conference.
The team building, which was organized to help participants develop team spirit and know each other better, showed once again the diversity of people attending such conferences. The spirit of friendship and mutual respect that developed during the team building lasted throughout all three days of the conference. It played a crucial role in heated debates, when discussions were taking unexpected turns and helped Honorable delegates handle all disagreements with dignity. For many participants one of the most memorable parts of the conference will be the passion of the delegates from the Security Council. Their firm and loud statements could reach even the ears of those who were busy debating on their own topics.
At the Closing Ceremony, which took place in the Andrey Delchev Auditorium, the participants got the chance to see their hard work recognized and to assess the work of their colleagues from other councils. All three councils came up with innovative ideas that were relevant to real world situations. Outstanding participants received honorable mentions and gifts. Even though it was just a three-day conference and many people met each other for the first time, it felt like saying “goodbye” to old friends. The more noticeable feeling was the feeling of comradeship which developed in the process of trying to solve the world’s biggest issues.