WorldMUN News 2017 Archive

0

Our WorldMUN 2017 Experience in Montréal

The twenty-sixth session of Harvard World Model United Nations conference was held in Montréal, Canada, from March 13th to 17th. Over 2000 students from about 115 countries attended WorldMUN this year. Our delegation represented the Republic of Sierra Leone in three of twenty-one committees – in the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC), in the World Health Organisation (WHO) and in the African Union (AU).

The city of Montréal and especially the Palais des congrès de Montréal, located at the heart of downtown Montréal, offered us a unique environment for debate and discussion. The Palais de congrès represents the modern and innovative spirit of the city and offered us the perfect setting for the committee sessions.

Our trip started with an exploration of the city. We saw the Mont Royal which gave the city its name and had an amazing sunny view from the top of the mountain. Another highlight of Montréal is the Saint Joseph’s Oratory that we visited afterwards. After this first impressions of the city, the opening ceremony was the next point on our list. The ceremony took place in the Palais the congrès, so that we could have a first insight in the definite conference venue. We got the possibility to hear some very interesting speeches that were completed by musical interludes and a special act of the dancer and motivational entertainer Luca „Lazylegz“ Patuelli.

All delegation members had a very special time in Montréal, during committee sessions as well as during our delegation activities and the social events. The trip ended with the closing ceremony, that was the last highlight of the week and let us feel the unique spirit of Harvard World Model United Nations.

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.

Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)

The delegates Antonia Rausch and Lukas Syskowski discussed the second topic „Women in Armed Conflict“ in the Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC). This topic wasn’t the preferred one of the delegates, who wished to discuss the topic „Global Mass Surveillance“. Nevertheless, both tried their best to represent the interests of Sierra Leone during debate. The second topic was chosen at the first committee session on Tuesday. The main interests of Sierra Leone concerning this topic were related to the sovereignty of nations and the integration of women in the army and police. Moreover, women in terrorist groups reflected a main issue, especially the prevention of terrorist groups.

On Wednesday, working papers had to be handed in to discuss them in public. Sierra Leone worked on a working paper together with Latin American countries like Honduras, Chile and Ecuador, that were also supporters of the mentioned aspects. From this day on, they mentioned delegations together for the next few days.
Thursday was mainly affected by the discussion of the Draft Resolutions that were developed versions of the working papers. The delegates of Sierra Leone worked closely together with their negotiation partners to present a Draft Resolution that included all important aspects.
Finally, Sierra Leone provided the fourth Draft Resolution together with the other delegates. The Resolution passed and therefore the delegates of Sierra Leone were satisfied with the past days of discussion.

World Health Organization (WHO)

Marike Seusing and Marcel Sommer represented Sierra Leone in the World Health Organization (WHO).  On the first day, the committee members decided to discuss the topic “Reforming the Global Pharmaceutical Industry”. The second topic, “Combating the International Obesity and Diabetes Epidemic”, was found to be too specialized and could even be discussed within the first topic.

From Sierra Leones standpoint of being a West African country with a precarious medical reliability of supply and infrastructure, Marike and Marcel decided to look for allies among countries with a comparable background. Therefore, the first exchange of information took place with the delegates of Guinea and Kenya. The Sierra Leonean delegates pursued a strategy with two aspects: On the one hand, they tried to find an agreement with regional partners which would encompass the fight against counterfeit medicine. On the other hand, our delegates approached to the People’s Republic of China which play an essential role in the supply of cost-effective generics in West Africa.

As the topic was verbalized in such a general way, many countries could join each other to claim theirs interests. As representatives from Sierra Leone, Marike und Marcel worked collaboratively with China and Kenya among others. But due to the emerging differences during the debate which referred mainly to the expansion of intellectual property rights hampering the production and transport of generics, the negotiations with those partners stagnated.

Consequently, Marike and Marcel preferred to work on a working paper together with South Africa and Chile. This working paper included the implementation of a monitoring system to fight counterfeit medicine. Moreover, other aspects which represented the interests of Sierra Leone, like the medical education of local actors to help the so called Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to develop from inside, could be included. Although the required majority lacked for this draft resolution, both tried their best to add the most important issues and bring them on the table for further discussion. Finally, another draft resolution passed, but Marike and Marcel were more than happy to have experienced such unique days of discussion and fruitful debate.

African Union (AU)

Sebastian Witte represented the delegation of the Friedrich-Schiller-University in the African Union. The committee decided to discuss the daily topic „Rise of Radical Islam“. Due to the comparatively manageable number of delegates, rapid progress could be made both in the plenary and in the informal discussions. The almost confidential working atmosphere encouraged an „outside of the box“ thinking, so that even unusual solutions, like the integration of social-media to combat radical groups could be discussed.
From the point of view of Sierra Leone, the adopted resolution could also be seen as a success, because some points relevant to the delegation, such as the institutionalization of interreligious dialogue, were taken into account.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

All of us had an amazing time in Montréal, during committee session as well as during social events. We would like to thank again all of our sponsors that made our trip possible and gave us the opportunity to experience all aspects of this unique event.

0

Heidelberg National MUN Conference 2017

Heidelberg National MUN Conference 2017

We, the delegation of the Harvard WorldMUN 2017, Montréal, accompanied by our delegation colleagues Giorgi Munjishvili and Florian Zschoche, participated at the 7th Heidelberg National MUN Conference 2017. The Conference, which for all of us was our first experience at a Model United Nation, took place during the weekend from January 7th to 8th 2017. Our delegation was attendant in two of three committees: First, in the double-delegate committee General Assembly debating the topic Safeguarding the right to self-determination in the 21st century, representing the countries Canada, Georgia and Italy. Second, in the single-delegate committee World Bank, dealing with the topic “Financing development”, representing Ecuador.

  1. United Nations General Assembly – Safeguarding the Right of Self-Determination in the 21th Century

Marcel Sommer and Lukas Syskowski represented the country Canada. This choice had two benefits: On one hand Canada’s experience as a country with several separatist movements gave enough background to come up with fruitful arguments about the topic. On the other hand both delegates already collected information about the country’s characteristics which already had been a preparation for the Harvard WorldMUN 2017 in Montréal. During the unmoderated caucuses they achieved to be one out of four sponsors for the draft resolution which at the end successfully passed. They proudly contributed to important issues such as political participation and access to education. The delegates found partners in the delegations  of the United States of America, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Yemen.

Marike Seusing and Georgi Munjishvili, the delegates of Georgia, were approached by the bloc led by the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China. Due to the ongoing conflict with the Federation of Russia, which endows separatist movements in some provinces of Georgia, the delegates preferred to negotiate with partners from the European Union. For Georgia it was important to maintain national sovereignty. Therefore the delegation focussed on supporting national referendum mainly based on internal and non-aggressive factors.

Antonia Rausch and Sebastian Witte represented the Republik of Italy which experienced the problem of the right of self-determination in its history. Because of the separation of Tirol and previous demonstrations with deaths and casualties in the 1960ies till 1980ies, Italy was interested in peacekeeping and diplomatic solutions to protect the traditions of minorities as well as the sovereignty of states during the conference. Italy was one of the signatories of the passed resolution and consequently one of the pleased countries that promoted cooperation within the western states.

  1. The World Bank – Financing development

Florian Zschoche was assigned to be the delegate of Ecuador, a small latin american country with limited voting power in the World Bank. During the ongoing negotiations Ecuador was forced to be a part of an anti-Western coalition with Russia, China, Venezuela and other regional and local powers in the Global South. The delegates in the World Bank committee discussed two topics, the first dealing with a project in the Democratic Republic Congo, the second with a case of aid fungibility in the Ukraine. After some discussions the committee reached unanimous consensus. The first topic was debated very passionately  and the committee managed to draft two conflicting resolutions, of which only one was past. Ecuador was supporting the resolution that could not be passed because of its diverse aspects.

Summary

We are very proud and fortunate having participated at the 7th Heidelberg National MUN Conference due to the rich experiences we made. Furthermore, we want to thank the very professional and pleasant honourable Chair, who guided us through the entire conference, as much as all cooperative delegates who submitted such great results. Besides the improvements of our negotiation and performance skills, we had the chance to get in touch with a lot of interesting and ambitious people. Enriched by this experience we are looking forward to giving our best at the Harvard WorldMUN in Montréal 2017!

 

0

Study trip to Berlin

Having in mind the upcoming Harvard World Model United Nations Conference in Montréal on March 13th to 17th, the delegation from Jena undertook, as in preceding years, a study trip to Berlin on February the 23th. Because we, the delegation from the Friedrich-Schiller-University, will be representing Sierra Leone in Montréal, we startet with a visit to the Embassy of Sierra Leone. Afterwards, our delegation got the opportunity to visit the Canadian Embassy in Berlin and last but not least talked to Katja Maria Decker from the German Foreign Ministry.

We met at 6.45 am at the train station Jena Paradies and arrived in Berlin at 10 am. After a relatively long way through rainy Berlin we arrived at the Embassy of Sierra Leone, where we were welcomed by four representatives of the Embassy. The staff of the Embassy gave us a general overview of Sierra Leone, but also answered all of the questions we prepared in detail. Moreover, we had the chance to gain an insight into issues that will also be discussed in Montréal. After this conversation, we already felt very well prepared for our upcoming trip.

The next station was the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. We had the opportunity to meet the First Secretary at Canadian Embassy, Eugenie Cormiere-Lassonde, who could tell us a lot about Canada in general, political issues and her work at the Embassy.  She even gave us insider sightseeing tips for Montréal and the region of Quebec. Afterwards, Marta Neüff from the Canadian Embassy gave us an insight into the Embassy in general and showed us the conference rooms.

The last stop of our study trip was the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We met Katja Maria Decker who had prepared detailed information concerning Sierra Leone. She gave us a profound overview of the country, told us about the political and economic situation and answered our questions.

Our study trip ended at 8.45 pm at the train station Jena Paradies. We gained a lot of new experiences, got informed very well and learned about different issues regarding the country we want to represent in Montréal.

We, as the delegation from the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, would like to wholeheartedly thank the Embassy of Sierra Leone, the Canadian Embassy and Katja Maria Decker from the German Foreign Ministry for the opportunity to have such an unique exchange of perspectives and ideas and to gain new information and experiences through this discourses.

0

Delegation Montréal 2017

The Delegates

Antonia1aAntonia Rausch (19) studies for her B.A. in Political Science and Public Law at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. She is mainly interested in judicial questions in the fields of human rights and international law. At her high school, she already gained international experience on her trips to England and to Italy where she participated in a student exchange program. Antonia is excited to be part of WorldMUN in Montreál as she would love to learn more about how international negotiations work and how conflicts get resolved.

 

 

 

 

 

Marcel1aMarcel Sommer (27) is pursuing his M.A. in Intercultural Personnel Development and Communication Management at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. He is interested in the extent to which international organizations benefit from the diverse cultural backgrounds of its members. After finishing his B.A. in Latin American Studies at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn, spending a year abroad at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) and completing internships for two NGOs, Marcel has begun to specialize in migration as well as children’s and women’s rights. His goal is to work for a human rights organization. In his spare time he enjoys attending cultural events with his friends, discovering new record shops and cooking. WorldMUN 2017 provides Marcel with a perfect opportunity to gain a better understanding of diplomatic negotiations and to share ideas for a global community.

 

 

 

Sebastian1aSebastian Witte (23) is an M.A. student in Political Science with a concentration in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. During his B.A. studies in Political Science and Economics at the University of Halle (Saale), Sebastian developed an interest in security policy. The UN system is of particular relevance to his academic studies because of the UN’s prominent role in international peace and security negotiations. WorldMUN 2017 offers him a perfect opportunity to familiarize himself with processes of bargaining in international relations. Sebastian is also looking forward to the cultural exchange during the conference.

 

 

 

 

Marike1aMarike Seusing (25) is an M.A. student in the Intercultural Personnel Development and Communication Management Program at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. She completed her B.A. in Linguistics at the University of Augsburg. While her main focus lies on intercultural negotiation, she is also very interested in languages and enjoys meeting people from different cultures. Her other passions are movies, yoga, music and travelling. This will be Marika’s first WorldMUN experience. She is keen on gaining insights into the intercultural aspects involved in the work of the UN.

 

 

 

 

 

Lukas1a

Lukas Syskowski (19) is a B.A. student in Political Science and Economics at the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. His professional goal is to join the Foreign Service or work for an NGO. Lukas wants to change the world and make it a place without wars, discrimination and environmental disasters. He is thrilled to be on the WorldMUN team and excited to meet people from around the world and getting to know their culture and lifestyle. The attendance in Montréal provides Lukas a good opportunity to gain political and administrative training to become a part of the next political generation.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_0651a