The LIMUN Foundation traces its roots to 2000, first known as LoMUN (London Model United Nations), having been conceived by students from the University of London who had attended a conference in Cambridge in 1999. "Sitting in Pizza Express, they decided to set up one in London, so half a year later we had the first LIMUN" recalls a long-time LIMUN associate. The aim became to organise an annual Model UN event in the cosmopolitan city of London, a fitting place for the ideals that embody the United Nations and where the world organisation was first based.
The first conference in 2000 involved about 200 delegates over 5 committees. By 2002 attendance had diversified to attract more participants from overseas, hence LoMUN was renamed LIMUN. In 2007, participation figures grew to about 500, and later to 700 over 12 committees in 2008. In 2009, LIMUN held its first milestone conference at King's College London, celebrating its 10th anniversary with 800 delegates spread across 12 committees. New committees were further introduced, expanding to about 16 in 2011. 2012 marked a new peak, as about 1,200 delegates were spread over 20 committees at Imperial College, which rose to 1500 participants over 25 committees in 2013. Our opening day venue became the prestigious Central Hall Westminster, where the very first session of the UN General Assembly was held in 1946. By then our ceremonies had also been attracting eminent figures and foreign diplomats. Since then, LIMUN conferences have maintained participation above 1500 people, and introduced a range of new side-events on the opening day from our Careers in the UN session to the Diplomats' Meet and Greet.
Concurrently in 2014, the London International Model United Nations charity was superseded by the LIMUN Foundation, structurally different to underline the diversification of our activities. More stress has since been placed on developing and sustaining outreach programmes. In 2015, attendance reached a new high of 1800 participants, which was again matched two years later. In 2016, the first ever London International Model United Nations: High School took place, attracting 100 students. It has continued to grow as part of LIMUN's initiative to increase access to MUN for students from state/state-funded schools and under-represented communities. In 2019, we celebrated our 20th anniversary, discussing ‘Change in the Modern Era’.
The 21st Edition of Europe's largest MUN conference took place from 21st to 23rd February 2020, with this year's theme being Challenging the Dilemmas of Progress. With participants from over 100 different nationalities (the most internationally diverse MUN globally) gathering in London to discuss the challenges and opportunities that we collectively must confront, LIMUN continued to offer an unparalled platform for public speaking, negotiation and the pursuit of knowledge. New committees, new venues and the introduction of an open bar and chocolate fountains at our famous Saturday Ball only added to the experience of our delegates!
We enjoyed addresses from Rory Stewart OBE, former UK Secretary of State for International Development and Deputy Governor for the Coalition Provisional Authority following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and Michael Keating, Executive Director of the European Institute of Peace and a former UN Under-Secretary-General with decades of experience in the UN System. We also welcomed several diplomats, including ambassadors, and social impactors who all shared their wisdom with the next generation of future leaders and change-makers.
Other notable previous speakers have included: Lord Malloch Brown, former Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Honorary President of the LIMUN Foundation; Mogens Lykketoft, former President of the United Nations General Assembly; and Ahmad Alhendawi, the first-ever United Nations Secretary General’s Youth Envoy and currently the youngest ever Secretary General of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Meanwhile, guest chairs have included Angelina Jolie, a humanitarian and actress in receipt of three Golden Globe Awards, and William Hague, a Conservative MP, former Leader of the Opposition, and at the time of chairing, Foreign Secretary for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The expertise and caliber of our speakers is unique among MUN conferences, and LIMUN has a consistent reputation for encouraging such conversations between the leaders of today, and the leaders of tomorrow.
Interested in our history? Visit the LIMUN archives.