On Wednesday, 22 February, Her Royal Highness Princess Marie of Denmark opened the BIGMUN – Birkerød High School Model United Nations at the Birkerød Gymnasium with students from around the world. This location, just 25 minutes outside the Danish capital of Copenhagen, has hosted the Model United Nations every year since 2011.
The Model United Nations puts students in fictional scenarios to debate important social issues as would take place in a real United Nations debate in the General Assembly. This year’s BIGMUN will take place from 22nd February through the 26th of the month. Students are there representing Germany, Denmark, Spain, Netherlands, Scotland, Sweden, Lebanon, and the United States.
Part of the mission statement of the BIGMUN states, “Birkerød Gymnasium’s Model United Nations (BIGMUN) is committed to embracing and spreading the spirit of Model United Nations. Through simulated UN conferences, students are able to debate numerous international issues in the manner of the actual parliamentary procedures of the real UN, which promotes international awareness and understanding, as well as being a platform for forming friendships through educational and cultural enrichment.”
During the opening, the Princess told the assembled students, in English, “We must ally ourselves with patience, energy, and determination, when we bring our best weapon in the game: Education!”
She then added, “Enjoy these days and build strong friendships, for it is your personal network, which the world needs.”
Her Royal Highness also emphasised how important it is for the students to have international debates and express themselves.
One of the students, David Ellebye, told Danish news BILLED-BLADET regarding the Model United Nations and Princess Marie’s participation, “Of course it is good that our conference has generated interest in our monarchy. I myself am very active in politics, and it is important that young people show an interest in politics.”