WorldMUN News 2016 Archive

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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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Erfurt MUN – Politics put in practice

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On the third weekend of January (15. – 17.), our delegation took part in EfMUN 2016, the annual Erfurt University Model United Nations conference. The conference stimulating the two most important bodies of the United Nations, the General Assembly and the Security Council, was held in the picturesque townhall of the city. Our delegation consisted of nine delegates, two in the Security Council and seven in the General Assembly.

 

In the Security Council2016-01-15-PR-034, the topics for discussion were: 1.) Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Security Sector Reform and 2.) The Situation in Iraq. After the debate on setting the agenda the body decided to go forth with the second topic the situation in Iraq. Our delegates representing Nigeria 2016-01-16-PR-043and New Zealand then spent the weekend actively drafting resolutions and participating in the debate. In the a compehensive resolution passed that both of our delegates supported.

 

2016-01-15-PR-022In the General Assembly the two topics up for discussion were: 1.) Prohibiting Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems and 2.) The Impact of Migration on Development. The debate was strong but it was clear from the beginning that the Assembly in the wake of recent event was more interested in the second topic. With almost 90 delegates present our students had the opportunity to experience first hand and join in multinational negotiations and form coalitions for a common position on the issue. The resolutions produced in this body were evident of the hard work the UN delegates put in and the three resolutions that were finally adopted by the body were prime examples of well studied positions and successful negotiations.

 


 

Some of our delegates reported their experiences from the conference:
„As a delegate of Sri Lanka, or in general, as a delegate of a s2016-01-16-PR-037mall country it is highly important to give a memorable opening speech, where you communicate your core values. Unfortunately many caucuses had taken place before I spoke, but due to the speeches of the other delegates, I identified positions I could imagine to be compatible with mine. I started with bilateral negotiations and formed a small group of people.

I recognized, that most of the draft working papers were nearly the same, so it doesn’t seemed to made any difference which group was going to win at the end.

So I decided to go “all in” to actually gain something. By building an embellishing argument line, that puts an unrealistic plan into a status, where other delegates actually thought about integrating it into their paper. Sadly it failed due to one of my group-member gave that point free to be changed and after that, it wasn’t recoverable. Lessons to be learned: choose your partners wisely.“

Peer Bosse, representing Sri Lanka in the GA

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„Lena Stránská represented the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Together with a diverse group of countries from all over the world including among others New Zealand, Norway, Canada, Israel and Romania focused on promotion of business environment in countries of migrants´ origin. Their proposals, which were in the end merged with a larger resolution drafted by countries of the EU and other Western oriented countries such as Japan or Australia, also included aspects of circular migration that would decrease the negative impacts of migration through involvement of emigrants in development projects and benefiting from their knowledge of their country of origin. During the final voting procedure, the draft resolutions belonged to the approved ones.“

Lena Stránská, representing the Netherlands in the GA

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„During the Efmun conference, I represented the State of Kuwait in the General Assembly.
Due to same interests and geographical proximity, all of the represented golf states (Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) became allies and drafted a position paper on the topic “The impact of migration on development”.

Amélie Bohlen, representing Kuwait in the GA

2016-01-15-PR-045„Gunnar Hamann was representing the Democratic People’s Republic Of Korea (DPRK) at EfMUN. He brought along his position papers and a lot of preperation and enthusiasm, as well as a picture of the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un. He was able to support the resolution of China and Iran, by adding information on the topic of remittance corridors. As his picture was taken from his place, without being asked for approval at first, he left the conference room, to show his disappointment over the handling with the delegation of the DPRK. Unfortunately, he got sick and couldn’t represent the DPRK any further on Saturday and Sunday.“

 Gunnar Hamann, representing DPRK in the GA

2016-01-15-PR-061„Tom Niepage represented the Republic of Yemen in the General Assembly during the EfMUN conference. Since he was not recognized by the chair for his opening and agenda setting speech he instead focused later on a working paper with the neighboring Gulf States. The main aim for a country with a small economy such as Yemen was to attract funding for the integration of migrants. Sadly this working paper was later not accepted by the General Assembly.“

 

Tom Niepage, representing Yemen in the GA


Overall, the EfMUN conference was a positive experience for our delegates as they had the chance to lay out their position papers and skills and negotiate with many other countries on these two crucial topics. The conference was also important for the delegates from the Friedrich-Schiller-University because of a different set of Rules of Procedure, similar to those followed in the National Model United Nations in New York. It is important that our delegates became acquainted with different Rules of Procedure than the WorldMUN conference as to be able to understand the diversity with which one can run a UN conference. Having returned back to Jena, our delegation is now looking forward for our next MUN conference in Rome.

Additional Photos of the Delegation:

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The FSU Jena delegation at the opening ceremony

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Cynthia Möller and Elisa Calzolari representing New Zealand and Nigeria in the SC

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Christina Gerantoni and Ulrich Schmid, Iraq and Australia in the GA

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Cynthia Möller, representing New Zealand in the Security Council

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Ulrich Schmid, representing Australia in the GA

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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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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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Delegation Rome 2016

As the Harvard WorldMUN conference is slowly approaching, it is time to meet the FSU Jena delegates that will be representing Namibia in one of the biggest model UN conferences in the world.

The delegation of six, consists of three double delegations in the Disarmament and International Security Committee – Elisa and Lena, the African Union – Christina and Cynthia, and the United Nations Human Rights Council with Ulrich and Gunnar.


The Delegates

elisaElisa Calzolari, 25 years, student of the MA program Political Science at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, with focus on International Organizations and Globalization. Her main interest, besides of the United Nations and their organizations, lies on German Diplomacy. It is particularly import to gather an overarching understanding of International Diplomacy in order to succeed in this area. Therefore, she already gathered several international experience, inter alia studying abroad in Brussels and Salvador, Brazil, as well as doing internships in political institutions and organizations in Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Brussels. Since she spent great part of her adolescence in Rome and also has the Italian citizenship she is looking forward particularly to the WorldMUN in Rome with excitement and great expectations. Furthermore, she is convinced that the WorldMUN will give her a better understanding of diplomatic actions and handling in an international environment as well as strengthen her and the teams communication and negotiation skills.

lenaLena Stránská, 24 years, student of International Relations and European Studies of the Palacký University in Olomouc has come to Jena for her Erasmus year. During her studies she focuses predominantly on African politics, international conflicts and security and external relations of the European Union. She is a multiple Model United Nations conferences participant who enjoys very much the art of diplomacy and hopes to broaden her skills during the WorldMUN 2016. Especially since she has not been a part of such a large conference before. She also cannot wait to visit the eternal city of Rome. Ever since she visited Zimbabwe many years ago her biggest dream is to become a career diplomat. In order to understand the world of diplomacy better she already fulfilled an internship at the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the Department of Sub-Saharan countries. In her free-time she enjoys time spent outside, regaining her energy from the nature. She likes to read, listen to music and jog. She also aims at knowing as many languages as possible, currently speaking and understanding on various levels six of them – English, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Slovak.

christinaChristina Gerantoni, 20, is a Bachelor student on an Erasmus exchange in Jena.  She is trilingual in Greek, English and German, is learning Spanish and studies a tri-partite degree of Politics, Philosophy and Economics in the University of Warwick in the UK. Her degree examines each discipline separately but also studies the interactions between the three of them and she is currently looking into critical theory and feminist epistemology. She has been taking part in MUN since high school and has so far attended more than 20 conferences in various positions, starting from delegate to even President of the GA. Her personal highlight has been the WEMUNC conference in Beijing 2011. She has also participated in debating competitions and interned at the Ministry of Finance exercising a profound liking to politics and diplomacy. In her spare time she enjoys reading and watching movies as well as meeting up with friends. She believes that academic devotion should be accompanied with appropriate social interaction, both of which components MUN does in her experience cover satisfyingly.

 

cynthiaCynthia Möller, 24 years, currently studies Master of Education – Culture – Anthropology in her third Semester at Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena. She completed her undergraduate in Cultural History, European Ethnology and English also at this university. As a participant of Toronto’s York University’s project “TfTf“ (“learning from the past – teaching for the future“) her interest in human rights, genocide prevention and international politics started out. Political science with a special focus on international relations and the United Nations serves as the field of study for her to pursue these interests further. She sees her participation in WorldMUN conference in Rome as a chance to grow on a personal and also on a professional level outside the academic space. Since this is her first MUN experience, she considers this experience both as a challenge and an exciting venture. She aims to be a worthy representative of the Friedrich-Schiller-University and a good diplomatic partner in multilateral discussions.

 

ulrichUlrich Schmid, 24 years old, is a first semester student of the MA program political science at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. His main focus lies on International Organizations and Globalization and International Relations. He completed his undergraduate studies in political science and sociology at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena as well. Once he gets his master’s degree, he plans to work as a diplomat at the German Foreign Office. While doing an internship at the German parliament he made his first practical experiences in this field. He has a strong interest in the United Nations and their work and is an active member of the United Nations Association of Germany. Two years ago he participated in a smaller UN-simulation (UNIGA Jena) in which he was a delegate of France and learned much about diplomatic etiquette and negotiations. The WorldMUN 2016 in Rome offers him a chance to collect new experiences in a wider international context with a variety of students from all around the world.

 

gunnarGunnar Hamann, 26 years old, completed his bachelor’s degree in German language and literature (major) and Political Science (minor) at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena in 2015 and is currently in his first semester of the MA program Political Science. He focuses on International Relations and Foreign Politics, but is also taking courses in International Organizations and Globalization. Although at first glance disconnected from political issues, he dealt with the construction of internet pseudonyms from a social identitary point of view in his bachelor thesis. But finding connections between apparently disconnected matters is what drives him, since it is his dream to work as a radio journalist, preferably in the political sphere. He is a member of the »United Nations Association of Germany« (DGVN) and of the improvisation theater group »Rababakomplott«. Two seemingly different areas, which may join together at WorldMUN 2016 (also since Italy is the homeland of improvisation theater). He also participated at the university-internal UN simulation in Jena (UNIGA) and helped out as an usher two more times. At the WorldMUN his main interest is in understanding the dynamics of bargaining in practice and how cooperation is facilitated by the delegates.

 

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The official WorldMUN 2016 delegation of Namibia with the delegation advisor, Patrick Rosenow
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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.