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Our WorldMUN 2016 Experiences in Rome

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The twenty-fifth session of the Harvard WorldMUN conference was held in Rome, Italy, from March, 14th to 18th. Over 2500 students from over 110 countries came together in this truly unique venue in order to shape the future of tomorrow. Our delegation represented the Republic of Namibia in three of over 20 committees, in the Disarmament and International Security Committee, in the United Nations Human Rights Council and in the Committee on African Union.

The Eternal City offered a spectacular environment for all the participants to discuss politically relevant issues of our world and to find approaches to problems that affect all of us nowadays. Moreover, the memorable and fascinating opening and closing ceremony have to be mentioned, where we got the possibility to assist to speeches inter alia by Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi, as well as Nicola Zingaretti, President of the Region of Lazio, and Maria Elena Boschi, Italian Minister of Constitutional Reforms and Relations with the Parliament.

2016-03-17-PR-105Furthermore, another highlight of this week in Rome was the audience on Thursday with His Holiness, Pope Francis in the Vatican City where he addressed us in a memorable speech followed by a standing ovation. After meeting Pope Francis, we took part in a breathtaking Parade through the ancient part of the City of Rome: through the Imperial Fora, the Via Sacra, the “Holy Street”, before entering the Colosseum. Due to the fact that during the Parade every student was showing off the flag of his country, it was a really colorful and international Parade where the WorldMUN spirit could be felt in a unique environment.

Although, there have been some critical aspects as well, especially regarding the chosen hotel and the location where the conference was held. The Sheraton Parco De’ Medici didn’t meet the expectations of the Organizing Team and the participating students. The venue wasn’t conceived as a conference venue for so many people and therefore wasn’t able to comply the requirements necessary for such a huge conference.

With the following remarks, we would like to give an overview over the committees we took part in, the topics that were discussed and the strategies that our delegates followed; besides the experiences we made during the conference.

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Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)

Although our delegates in DISEC, Lena Stránská and Elisa Calzolari, tried to push for the topic of Occupation of Disputed Territories, the majority of the 198 represented states decided to vote in favour of discussion concerning Violent Non-State Actors. This topic being rather a new one, definitions of these actors and the position of the international community towards them portrayed the majority of content of all draft resolutions, regardless of their authors.

 

2016-03-15-PR-047After a split in the African group, our delegates joined Uganda, Cambodia and many other countries from all-over the planet in an attempt to draft a resolution that would attract a majority and pass. Although the number of supporters for their efforts was high, at the end turned up to be insufficient. This was also the case with two other draft resolutions, leaving thus DISEC without any final adopted document.

 

 

United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
Venimus, vidimus, vicimus!

2016-03-16-PR-006It was a tough job, but in the end – we came to Rome, we saw the opportunities and we won. But what had happened? Our first impression was one of confusion, since our conference room was labeled as „UNHCR“, which is the acronym for the „High Commissioner for Refugees“ and not the „United Nations Human Rights Council“. Not only the letters were swapped, but the number of committee members as well. We took part in a committee, with much more member states, than in reality.

2016-03-16-PR-030The UNHRC consists of 47 member states. The UNHRC of WorldMUN 2016 had approximately 70 member states. Still, working in this committee was way simpler, than compared to the DISEC with its 400 delegates. On day 1, the committee members decided to discuss the topic „The Right to Health“ – unfortunately, since our focus was more on the topic of „Poverty and Equality“. Yet, this was another unfortunate swap for us. Ulrich Schmid was mainly outside, negotiating, while Gunnar Hamann was inside, following the debate and giving speeches himself.

2016-03-15-PR-076In the first two days of the committee, he held four speeches on different issues with regard to the topic, such as „Women and the Right to Health“ or „The African Union and Health“. Meanwhile, Ulrich Schmid tried to merge the different working papers with respect to the national position of Namibia and sometimes didn’t even go for a lunch break. After days of negotiating, holding speeches and withstanding a simulated crisis (a sexually transmitted disease, also affecting the Republic of Namibia), we were ready to vote on two different draft resolutions. Finally, our common draft with Argentina, France, Ghana and Greece passed with a simple majority, as well as our very own draft amendment on the resolution. It was a very close call, since another draft resolution, supported by the United States of America, Russia, China and Great Britain, was voted upon first. After all, we managed to celebrate together – be it „winners“ or „losers“ – since these categories are in the end truly swappable.

Committee on African Union

Cynthia Möller and Christina Gerantoni represented Namibia in the African Union Committee. The work of our delegation in the African Union had us in a special position: since Namibia has been a very stable country of Africa and a member of the SADC, chances were high that we would be able to work on this influential basis. The committee soon agreed on working on the topic of “China in Africa”. Our aim was to figure out a policy to have African and Chinese actors work together, on equal terms and not Chinese determined terms. The first day of discussion ended with the establishment of working papers. Due to the shortening of time for committee work, Wednesday demanded a lot from all participants since working papers and already draft resolutions were called for. This intense working atmosphere was stressful and motivating at the same time. Some of our strongest partners were Lesotho, Angola and South Africa. During the day a crisis hit the committee calling for response and the division of working on drafts and statements condemning a violent take-over of the Chad by terrorists who were equipped by Chinese weapon manufacturers. On Friday the drafts were discussed and a resolution adopted. Unfortunately it was not the resolution we worked on, on one hand because of the rules of the voting procedure and on the other hand because of the time pressure leading to a massive confusing at the end. All in all our work in the African Union was an interesting challenge in a small venue which called for many personal discussions and an in-depth involvement with the topic.


All the members of our delegation have had a splendid time in Rome, during the conference as well as during our Thursday activities and social events. We were given yet another opportunity to test our diplomatic and negotiation skills and at the same time a chance to meet people from all over the globe. We would like to once again thank all of our sponsors for making our study trip and all activities connected to it possible. We believe we will benefit greatly from the experience we had.

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„The High School of Diplomacy“ – Interview with Deutschlandfunk

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Christian Forberg from DEUTSCHLANDFUNK interviewed our delegation, as well as DR. MARTIN WELZ – representative of the professorship for International Organizations and Globalization at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.

You can listen to it right here, or at the side of Deutschlandfunk, by clicking THIS LINK (German only).

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Report about our study trip to Berlin

Keeping the upcoming Harvard World Model United Nations Conference in Rome on March 14th to 18th in mind, our delegation from the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena undertook […]

Keeping the upcoming Harvard World Model United Nations Conference in Rome on March 14th to 18th in mind, our delegation from the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena undertook a special study trip to Berlin on February 16th. The aim was to get the best possible preparation for representing of the Republic of Namibia. The trip started at 07.30 AM at train station Jena Paradies and we arrived to Berlin at around 10 o’clock, perfectly on time for our first meeting of the day. In the German capital, our delegation got the opportunity to meet the Counsellor of the Republic of Namibia as well as the Italian Envoy and Mr. Kroll from the German Foreign Ministry.

During our first meeting, at the Embassy of the Republic of Namibia, Mr. Simeon Uulenga, gave us several valuable information about the country’s politics as well as a more general overview about Namibia and an insight into its most important issues. In addition to that, enough space was given to answering of nearly all of our questions we had prepared to gain better understanding of Namibia´s position towards the topics that are to be discussed in Rome.

Afterwards, we were given the chance to meet Mr. Alessandro Gaudino, the Italian Envoy, who received us in the beautiful building of the Embassy of the Italian Republic. Our delegation had an informative talk with him and the meeting elucidated us, inter alia, about various aspects of the Italian foreign policy.

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Alessandro Gaudino (3rd from right) and our delegation.

The next and last stop of our study trip before returning to Jena was at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We were welcomed by Mr. Clemens Kroll from the Department of Southern Africa and Country officer for Namibia, who offered us a profound insight into the German-Namibia relationship including the reappraisal process of the colonial past.

aaUpon our arrival to Jena 10.20 PM we were full of lots of precious experiences and eventually a whole new perspective on issues regarding the country we will be representing during the upcoming Harvard WorldMUN.

Our delegation would like to wholeheartedly thank the Embassy of Namibia, the Embassy of Italy and the German Foreign Ministry for the opportunity to get to know these institutions, have a fruitful exchange of ideas and gain new experiences.

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Heidelberg National MUN Conference 2016 – Our experience

On the weekend of January 9-10 2016, our delegation took part at the 6th HEIDELBERG NATIONAL MUN Conference. Our delegation was present in two out of the […]

On the weekend of January 9-10 2016, our delegation took part at the 6th HEIDELBERG NATIONAL MUN Conference. Our delegation was present in two out of the three committees, representing five countries. We had delegations in the Third Committee of the General Assembly (SOCHUM) on the topic of forced migration, as well as one delegate in the European Council, dealing with future migration crises. Here follow their respective reports:

A. United Nations General Assembly, Third Committee (SOCHUM) – Forced migration – a global solution to a global problem

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„Lena Stránská and Elisa Calzolari were assigned to represent Namibia, the country the delegation will also represent during WorldMUN in Rome. During negotiations they joined a group of delegates representing predominantly the African Union and their draft resolution which was highly influenced by their co-delegates representing Angola, Gunnar and Ulrich. Sadly, at the end, the resolution wasn´t adopted with just one vote missing.“

 Lena Stránská and Elisa Calzolari, representing Namibia at SOCHUM

 

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„Gunnar Hamann and Ulrich Schmid represented the Republic Of Angola in Heidelberg. Gunnar had the task to hold speeches in the SOCHUM and report back any new developments. Ulrich was occupied with the task to negotiate with the other countries outside of the Neue Aula.

For their hard work (they stayed awake until at least 1 AM each day, to work on draft resolutions and working papers), they were commissioned the best delegates award as newcomers in the end, together with three other delegations at the General Assembly.“

Gunnar Hamann and Ulrich Schmid, representing Angola at SOCHUM

 

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„Cynthia Möller represented the country of Turkey in the GA/SOCHUM at HeidelbergMUN. Debating refugees was of special interest for the country of Turkey in this committee, thus the involvement was not only appreciated but also necessary. Turkey succeeded in contributing a clause to the resolution as well as giving several speeches. HeidelbergMUN created an atmosphere of a creative working environment along with many socializing opportunities.“

Cynthia Möller, representing Turkey at SOCHUM

 

 

 

 

 

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„The most important requirement was to get to know the country I represented in a way that allowed me to act independent and confident in every possible issue area.

Unfortunately the position of Iran in behalf of our agenda (forced migration and a global solution) was meticulous, because Iran still supports the homicidal Assad-Regime, which actions is one of the main root causes for forced migration in the Middle East.tmp_002

Therefore, I considered my duty to find any possible solution, that doesn’t affect the sovereignty and the integrity of any Middle Eastern state, which of course was meant to protect the Assad regime. Later, negotiations started with Syria, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela and China, that I considered to be good partners due to the content of their speeches.

We considered our hardline-positions not to be capable of winning a majority, but indeed, we had a group that could affect one of the bigger groups only because we were many. We found that group, integrated our claims and gave them our votes, and finally won the resolution-polling over one vote.“

Peer Bosse [2nd from left on the last photo], representing Iran at SOCHUM

 

B. European Council – Preventing future migration crises

image003„Tom Niepage represented the Kingdom of Sweden in the European Council at HeidelbergMUN. The aim of this council was to reach a unified strategy to prevent future migration crises. Sweden, as the European country with the most asylum seeker number per capita in Europe, has a great interest to come to a binding distribution quota. In cooperation with states such as Germany, Greece, Italy and Luxembourg, Sweden can reach a comprehensive resolution. Itincludes a quota system to share the burden between all member states against the opposition of especially East European countries like Poland and the Czech Republic. Furthermore it includes increased EU boarder controls to register all refugees, more resources for humanitarian aid in the conflict zones and more EU wide resources and programs to improve the integration of refugees in the national societies.“

Tom Niephage [mid], representing Sweden at the European Council

 

Summary

We’d like to thank the staff of the Heidelberg National MUN for their efforts, that made our great experiences possible. Especially the two young ushers, that transmitted our communication through the Neue Aula with a lot of honest passion. It was an exciting event with a splendid MUN spirit and a place to meet interesting people with common goals. And it was most definitely not the last time.

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News article by the »Thüringer Allgemeine« | 01/08/2016

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Our delegation was mentioned in the »Thüringer Allgemeine« (Date: 01/08/2016):

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Namibian Embassy | Press Release

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Since today you can see and read about our delegation on the welcome page of the GERMAN EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA. We thank the staff of the Namibian Embassy and look forward to our appointed meeting in Feburary.

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Welcome page of the Namibian Embassy in Germany

The original press release is HERE (German only).

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Pressemitteilung der Universität Jena

Studierende der Universität Jena fahren 2016 zu internationaler UNO-Simulation in Rom

Jenaer Studenten vertreten Namibia

Jena (06.01.16) Sechs Studieren­de der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena wer­den bei einer internationalen Konferenz-Simulation das Land Namibia vertreten. Sie repräsentieren das Land im südlichen Afrika während der kommenden „World Model United Nations“ (WorldMUN), die vom 14. bis 18. März 2016 in Rom stattfindet. Der WorldMUN ist eine Si­mu­lation der Vereinten Nationen (UNO). Vier Tage werden die Jenaer Politikwissenschaftsstudierenden Elisa Calzolari, Lena Stránská, Christina Gerantoni, Cynthia Möller, Ulrich Schmid und Gunnar Hamann in unterschiedlichen UNO-Gremien die Interessen Nami­bias vertre­ten.

Wie in der „echten“ UNO diskutieren bei dieser Simulation etwa 2.000 Studie­ren­de aus über 80 Ländern über realpolitische Probleme der Weltpolitik. Dabei wollen sie u. a. sowohl über Abrüstung, den Schutz der Menschenrechte und über die Entwicklung in Afrika diskutieren und Lösungsansätze erar­beit­en. Ziel ist es, am Ende der Konferenz Beschlüsse auf den Weg zu bringen.

Jena hat Erfahrung mit der UNO-Simulation, nahmen doch bereits acht Mal De­le­gationen der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena teil. Nach Tansania, dem Süd­sudan und Algerien haben sich die Jenaer auch in diesem Jahr wieder für ein afri­kanisches Land entschieden. „Gerade in der heutigen Zeit ist es für die Studie­renden immer eine gewinnbringende Erfahrung, die Perspektive eines nicht-westlichen Staates in der internationalen Politik einzunehmen, um die Po­litik dieser Staaten nachvollziehen zu können – auch wenn man sie persönlich nicht immer teilen muss“, sagt Patrick Rosenow vom Institut für Politikwis­sen­schaft der Universität Jena, der das Jenaer Team auf die Konferenz vorbe­rei­tet.

„Namibia ist auch dahingehend ein sehr interessantes Land, weil es bis 1918 eine frühere Kolonie des Deutschen Kaiserreiches war und damit eine enge his­torische Verbundenheit zwischen Deutschland und Namibia besteht“, erklärt Rosenow. „Die historische Aufarbeitung der Kolonialzeit ist jedoch noch längst nicht abgeschlossen, gerade was den deutschen Völkermord an den Herero und den Nama betrifft“. Aber auch aus anderen Gründen ist Namibia ein sehr spannendes Land für die Studierenden: Es ist der erste Staat, der den Schutz der Umwelt in seine Verfassung aufgenommen hat – so gesehen ein Vorbild für Deutschland und andere Staaten. Darüber hinaus ist das Land sehr stabil, de­mo­kratisch und gilt als „Musterknabe“ für eine erfolgreiche „Entlassung“ in die Unabhängigkeit 1990 durch Südafrika unter Vermittlung und mit Unterstützung der UNO.

Für ihre Aufgabe bereitet sich die Jenaer Delegation gezielt vor. Seit Herbst neh­men die Studierenden an einem Seminar zum Thema teil, werden mehrere kleinere Simulationen besuchen und recherchieren Informationen zu „ihrem“ Land. Außerdem ist eine Exkursion nach Berlin zur namibischen Bot­schaft und zum Auswärtigen Amt geplant, sowie zur Botschaft des WorldMUN-Gast­geber­landes 2016 Italien.

Während der Konferenz erwartet die Studierenden aus Jena auch noch ein ganz besonderes Ereignis: Papst Franziskus wird zu den Delegierten sprechen und die internationale Jugend dazu aufrufen, gegen die globale Ungerechtigkeit und für die Menschenrechte sowie für den Schutz der Umwelt einzutreten.

 

Weitere Informationen unter: http://www.worldmun.uni-jena.de/

 

Kontakt:

Patrick Rosenow
Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Universität Jena
Carl-Zeiß-Straße 3
07743 Jena
Tel.: 03641 / 45406

E-Mail: patrick.rosenow@uni-jena.de

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We wish you happy holidays!

Frohe Weihnachten wünscht die Jenaer WorldMUN-Delegation!

The WorldMUN delegation from Jena wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

 

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Head Delegates

elisaElisa Calzolari
elisa.calzolari@uni-jena.de

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lenaLena Stránská
lena.stranska@uni-jena.de

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WorldMUN 2016: Our preparations for the conference have started

In the last few weeks we’ve been practising for the WORLDMUN 2016 IN ROME. After writing and  performing written speeches, we practised holding improvised speeches, since these types of speeches are more common and thus essential for our tasks at the upcoming MUNs. This was followed by a crucial exercise in applying the RULES OF PROCEDURE. We gained a better understanding for the difference between procedural and substantive matters, the general work sequence and structure of committees at WorldMUN (from agenda setting to a resolution) and – more specific – the use of points and motions for strategic purposes.

2vaBnNpo2HwE00Nbbtu3QLHlEC6XXKGz2sOsLpWMHsoWe are currently (as can be seen in the picture right below) working on our negotiation skills, with the help of a role play, regarding consultations between three fictional companies (Neptune, Pluto, Venus). The results of each of the three different groups can be seen on the blackboard and are proof, that bargaining power depends on more than it meets the eye, since the basic configurations were equal for each group. In the upcoming weeks we will shift our focus on how to write working papers, draft resolutions and amendments.