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