The OLMUN 2021 with its slogan “Progress and perspective - United Efforts for a brighter future” officially started on Tuesday at 1pm with the Opening Ceremony. After last year's session had to be cancelled, this year the 20th International Session can finally take place as the first online edition. The Opening Ceremony went overall smoothly and without any technical issues worth mentioning!
The Opening Ceremony started with the Roll Call by President of the General Assembly Tristan Leoluca Farinella in order to check if all delegations are present at the conference. It was followed by the Opening Speech of the Secretary General Anne zur Horst, who talked about how COVID-19 had not only affected the OLMUN, but also almost every other aspect of our lives. She further spoke about how we now have to find ways to cope with the consequences and that we have to look forward to a future that is certainly susceptible to more crises such as climate change, hunger or poverty with hope, enthusiasm and zeal to improve our world. Moreover, she gave an impression of the general work of the UN in the past, present and the future and declared the OLMUN 2021 for officially opened!
Following her speech, the OLMUN 2021 started with an Opening Video, touching on subjects concerning current world politics such as climate change, hunger or racism and introducing this year's motto as stated before.
After the delegations of China, Malaysia, Japan, Brazil and Nepal had the possibility to give their Opening Speeches and an introduction of the OLMUN Morning Show, David McAllister – a member of the European Parliament in Brussels – gave the first Guest Speech, in front of a nicely arranged background consisting of the European flag and a very lovely green plant. David McAllister started by acknowledging the development and growth of the OLMUN since 2001 and the importance of the conference for young and inspired people like you! He mentioned this year's motto and quoted Secretary General Antonio Guterres, as 2021 would be a year to change gear. The speech was structured in three subjects of current world politics: climate change, COVID-19 as well as security and safety; and many delegates then took the chance to ask him more questions about topics concerning his speech or their delegation.
After a midday break the mayor of Oldenburg, Jürgen Krogmann, gave a short speech and addressed the cancellation of the session last year and the importance of connecting and interacting with other people, especially digitally.
Next the delegations of Australia, the USA, Portugal and Armenia were also able to give their Opening Speeches and after that, the last guest speaker Roderick Kiesewetter (the Chair of the Parliamentary Oversight Panel of the German Bundestag) presented his Guest Speech. He started off emphasizing the importance of diplomatic dialogue and exchange, then spoke about the current situation in Europe and in the world. In his speech he primarily focused about European and German diplomacy, about technology and climate change as well as coping with COVID-19. Just like McAllister, he patiently answered all questions asked by the delegates concerning, amongst other topics, the state of the European Union and the Arctic.
The official OLMUN week will now continue until Friday and will consist of committee sessions and evening activities.
Lastly, if this article about the Opening Ceremony was not yet enough for you, the whole ceremony can also be watched again on the OLMUN YouTube channel!