Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony of the 3rd London International Model United Nations: High School, 2018, is an opportunity to celebrate the commencement of the conference. It will be a time to reflect upon the value of international cooperation and the United Nations to world affairs, and to hear from experts in foreign policy, humanitarian relief and development share their insights and experience.

Our keynote speakers for this year's Opening Ceremony are as follows.



Dan Plesch is a scholar of international affairs, with a focus on security, human rights and the United Nations, based at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Dr Plesch is the author of several books, including, most recently, Human Rights After Hitler: The Lost History of Prosecuting Axis War Crimes (2017) and America, Hitler and the UN: How the Allies Won World War II and Forged a Peace (2010). He is co-editor of Wartime Origins and the Future United Nations (2015) and has published an array of articles and book chapters on related subjects. Dr Plesch convenes the master's in International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, and teaches on the UN's history and future prospects. He is frequently invited to advise the governments of the United Kingdom and United States, media organisations like the BBC and CNN, private firms and non-governmental organisations. He has moreover written for newspapers ranging from The New York Times to The Guardian.

Previously, Dr Plesh has been associated with Bradford University, Birkbeck College, Keele University, the Royal United Services Institute and the Institute for Defence and Security Studies. In 1986, he founded the British American Security Information Council, which he directed from Washington, D.C., until 2001.

Dr Plesch holds a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Nottingham, and received his doctorate from Keele University.


Claire Barnett is a business strategy consultant and gender equality activist who currently serves as interim executive director of UN Women UK, an independent non-governmental organisation that advocates on UN Women's behalf in the United Kingdom. In this capacity she oversees all of the organisation's operations.

Ms Barnett joined UN Women UK in January 2017 as Director of Strategy and Partnerships. She was instrumental in the launch of a campaign to end violence against women and girls, called DrawALine. From 2015 to 2018, Ms. Barnett was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, a management consultancy, where she supported multi-billion dollar companies with commercial strategy and talent management, among other areas. Ms Barnett specialised in gender and diversity, having co-authored several publications and led on the administration of leadership training through the McKinsey Women's Initiative.

Ms Barnett holds degrees in Modern Languages and in Spanish and History from the University of Oxford.