Updated: Jun 20, 2021
Every year the preparations for the OLMUN start months in advance to the conference taking place in June. Since the OLMUN 2020 had to be cancelled and the efforts of last year’s organizers couldn’t be carried out, the whole 2021 organizing team is hoping those plans and ideas might at least partially become reality in 2021.
The main responsibility of planning the OLMUN lays with the Secretariat of 2021. Among the five-member Secretariat of the OLMUN 2021 there are familiar faces. Secretary General Anne zur Horst and Deputy Secretary General Hendrik Ebel were part of last year’s secretariat as well. Having already planned a conference, which couldn’t take place in the end due to the pandemic, Secretary General Anne zur Horst expresses her excitement to “let the plans become reality and host a conference again.” She hopes that the team will be able to work out a concept and make it possible for delegates to participate while being influenced by Covid19. The President of the General Assembly Tristan Leoluca Farinella has also been a member of the 2020 Secretariat. He states that he is “looking forward to finally being able to lead the conference and having many fruitful debates with delegates from all over the world.” Meanwhile, although he is familiar with his tasks, the Deputy President of the General Assembly Caroline Renz is new to her duties. Besides being the only new member of the team, she is looking forward to taking over the responsibilities coming with her position and working alongside Tristan Leoluca Farinella to create debates about meaningful topics. The last member of the Secretariat is the Treasurer Joanna Grave, who is the financial head of the OLMUN and helps the team to prepare the OLMUN.
A group of around 20 students is assisting the Secretariat in planning the conference. The so-called Inner Circle (IC) has been preparing this year’s conference since September 2020. In contrast to the past years, the meetings of the IC couldn’t take place in person due to the pandemic. Instead, all meetings were arranged online. Because meeting new people and getting to know other members of the IC have become more difficult this year, the Secretariat has hosted several online Socializing events where the members could spend time together and talk with each other.
As early as in the first meeting the Secretariat had already several plans in their minds on the formality and scope of a conference they could provide, depending on the COVID19 situation in June 2021. The main goal of the Secretariat has always been to organize an in-person conference whenever possible, even if it has to be a small one. Therefore, the smallest achievable solution was inspired by the very first OLMUN conference in 2001, where only delegates from the hometown of the OLMUN, Oldenburg, were attending. But knowing that a conference like the one in 2001 wouldn’t be attainable for foreign delegates, the possibility of online committees such as the Special Conference and the Human Rights Council from last year’s OLMUN@home was considered as well.
Meanwhile the matter couldn’t be decided at such an early time, the first mayor decision of the OLMUN 2021 focused on what committees should be available for the delegates and what specific issues should be dealt with. The debate took place at the yearly IC-weekend at the end of November 2020. Following on, in January 2021 the Student Officers as well as the Chairs and Presidents were selected and made public. Resulting from the online meetings of the Inner Circle the traditional IC picture with all members of the IC couldn’t be taken in person. Instead each person took an individual picture and all one-person pictures were added to a collage of the IC. The Chairs and Student Officers started getting familiar with their tasks and took on their preparations for the upcoming conference. To meet one another and to exchange experiences both Student Officers and Chairs and President planned socializing events.
The Secretariat provided a Q&A with frequently asked question by MUN Directors, Delegates and IC members about the OLMUN 2021, which can be found on the blog or Instagram.
As the conference drew closer, the Secretariat decided that their original solution to provide a small in-person conference for Delegates living in Oldenburg could become reality. The Secretariat and IC are working tirelessly to additionally provide an online conference via Microsoft Teams. Throughout two simulations at the beginning of June all features and handlings with Microsoft Teams were tested and everyone could familiarize themselves with the procedure of the online conference.
Every member of the Inner Circle and the Secretariat is trying their best to carry out the plans of the 2021 OLMUN conference and to provide a great time for the in-person delegates as well as those participating online from all over the world. The future development of COVID19 is unknown and meanwhile an in-person conference is planned, the team is in constant awareness of the situation and possible changes, which would cause the cancellation of the in-person conference once again.