RhodesMRC has been innovative from its very conception. Models of the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe or NATO existed for decades. They were specialized to these very respective organizations and their bodies, or some EU, NATO and the Council of Europe organs were usually just committees in larger MUN conferences.
Rhodes Model Regional Co-operation was conceived as an annual meeting totally dedicated to International Organizations with mandate to a specific region. It even pushed further the envelope, having the Union for the Mediterranean and the Black Sea Economic Co-operation as its first simulated committees. It was the first time these two organizations were ever simulated. In 2013, it included to its program the first ever international simulation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. In 2015, it simulated for the first time ever the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council of Europe, and created a unique ad-hoc body, the Middle East Peace Conference, a crisis committee. The same edition greatly expanded the scope of regional co-operation beyond the usual interests of Europe and the Middle East, with one of the first european simulations of the Organization of American States.
In 2016, the African Union was added, also one of the first european simulations of this major African regional institution. Furthermore, NATO’s North Atlantic Council was included in the conference, but with the unusual practice of dual delegation, providing an almost experimental experience to its participants, as this practice is considered highly unusual for such European conferences.
In 2017, the League of Arab States and the Asia-Pasific Economic Co-operation were added to the conference, covering all geographical regions of our planet. It also introduced a total of 4 crisis committees, as the MEPC, NATO’s NAC, OSCE and the new LAS all convened to deal with the same simulated crisis, with events deploying through the whole preparation of the participants and the climax set during the conference for the aspiring diplomats to solve. A digital platform was installed and facilitated the deployment of the crisis live, across any delegate with internet access, and also provided private chatrooms for delegations to confere online while being in a different committee, in a different building. Furthermore, the High School Edition was totally separated from the University Edition, and included two committees of the Council of Europe, and for the first time, the European Council of the European Union.
For 2018, the University Edition will keep its committees as is, and we will try to maintain the number of delegates to the 2017 record levels of 350. For the High School Edition, since 2017’s conference doubled in size, a totally new committee will be introduced; an ad hoc world environmental summit, Our Planet Summit, that will provide a forum for countries to discuss on climate change and the actions required.
Each step of RhodesMRC’s evolution was a major challenge on its own, but what else innovation and pioneering are other than winning over all obstacles and conventions?