|Posted by munscslovenia on May 4, 2015 at 3:40 AM||comments (2)|
A little more than a week ago the day had finally come: 15 members of MUN Slovenia Club, including three chairs and twelve delegates, found their way to the annual MOSTIMUN conference in Mostar. Based on our experience from last year, we were sure to have fun both in the councils and exploring the city with our co-delegates and chairs. With delegates in the Arab League, the Human Rights Council, the Historical Security Council and the Security Council, as well as chairs in two committees, we were nevertheless saddened to learn that Pawel Aleksander Kupis, who was to serve as Secretary General for the conference, would not be able to join us. We wish Pawel a swift recovery, and to congratulate Maciek Lekowski for taking over as Secretary General and leading the conference to be a great success.
Running up to the conference the MUNSC delegation undertook several workshops and a mock session on one of the MOSTIMUN Human Rights Council topics in preparation. Much to the joy of our two head delegates, our members turned out to be highly motivated, continuously showering them with foreign policy profiles, position paper drafts and amendment proposals. Our first day in Mostar brought us some truly hilarious name misspellings, a first taste of delicious Bosnian cuisine and a much-needed revised Rules of Procedure workshop regarding the merits of chocolate and vodka as basic human rights.
As our actual committees began, it became clear to us that we were in for an amazing conference. The councils were filled with dynamic and constructive discussions, seasoned by exercises in creative quoting, unmoderated shouting and everything in between. Our chairs in Security Council, Vid and Ana, were stunned by the sheer constructive force of the delegates (that’s what she said), while the role of our chair in the Arab League was described by several delegates as “Allah in the sky, Meliha in the Council.” The international evening was a great success for our delegation, since the Slovenian blueberry exhibit was received very well. Later social events brought us numerous reunions with old MUN friends and such classic games as “match the city,” as well as its long lost brother “match the chemical compound.” We also witnessed some of the best trolling any one of us had ever seen – which was later faithfully replicated in the Human Rights Council.
The last day of the conference was characterized by some very dramatic turns in the various committees, most notably the completely unexpected veto of the United States in Historical Security Council. Our delegation in the Human Rights Council joined forces to find consensus amongst their peers, while our delegates in the Security Council fought tooth and nail to prevent a Chinese veto. Meanwhile our representatives in the Arab League spent their time plotting behind the scenes, proving once again that the pen can very well be more powerful than the scimitar.
In the end, we could not be happier with the performance of our delegation, with every member proving that they work hard and play harder. We would like to congratulate Matic Gumpot and Urban Špital for receiving best delegate awards, as well as Ivan Koruza and Livija Marko-Wieser for receiving honorable mentioning awards. We all had en enormous amount of fun attending this years MOSTIMUN, which most likely means a swift and determined return of our delegation to Mostar in 2016!
|Posted by munscslovenia on April 30, 2015 at 5:45 AM||comments (1)|
Three MUNSC members had the great pleasure of attending the brand new Brussels Model EU simulation at the end of March. Paweł Aleksander Kupis, Meliha Muherina and Žiga Golobič joined our MUN partners in crime in the heart of Belgium and the European Union, where we met a multitude of remarkable individuals – including several that have now joined us on the MUNSC-Salient secretariat. Pawel charmed his way through the wilderness of the European Parliament with his trademark “velvet authoritarianism” as a member of the Secretariat, while Meliha faithfully steered the Council of the European Union on their path to a qualified majority (also as a member of the chairing board.) Žiga assumed the role of a European People’s Party Member of Parliament and in doing so struggled for the votes of his colleagues, as well as for parliamentary influence in the Council.
Our week-plus long stay in Brussels was as engaging as it was fun. The two principle legislative bodies of the European Union were filled with eager, well-prepared delegates and more than capable chairs (as well as two representatives of the Commission), who were tasked with passing two pieces of legislation (based on European Commission proposals): firstly, the so-called “tobacco directive,” aimed at moving forward and harmonizing the Member States’ tobacco product legislation (including e-cigarette provisions); and secondly, the so-called “Connected Continent regulation,” aimed at ensuring that the EU remains a global leader in the field of digital technology, as well as at the creation of an EU-wide Telekom market. Our days in both bodies were filled with complex negotiations and painful compromises, seasoned well with that most noble of herbs: lobbying. To facilitate a smoother transition of both documents from the Parliament to the Council and back, two contact groups were established, with two representatives of each body acting as Rapporteurs for their opposite side, as well as exchanging standpoints and making sure that all the pertinent issues were recognized and addressed for both the representatives of the Member States, as well as the common representatives of all EU citizens. The tobacco directive was ultimately a success due to the relentless (according to some, even illegal) lobbying of several MEPs. The Connected Continent, on the other hand, barely failed to pass through the Council of the EU, due to the failure of both bodies to secure sufficient support with many newer Member States.
Outside of the official proceedings at the wonderful venue of the Marriott Hotel in Brussels, the attendees of the conference lived the Belgian dream, which may be summarized in three words: beer, fries, chocolate. Daily social gatherings at amazing destinations – like the world-famous Delirium Bar, the Mini-Europe exhibition and the Madame Mustache nightclub – ensured that we all got to know each other very well – in glorious Belgian style. We even witnessed a decidedly Brusselian solar eclipse! In addition to a visit to the European Parliament and Commission, we were also treated to the “Sultan’s World” exhibition at the BOZAR just before the closing ceremony. It was there that our two chairs received standing ovations for their hard work and our delegate received a “distinguished delegate” award for, as one MEP put it, his tireless summation of the will of the Parliament during his speeches. Such was the end to this particular MUNSC adventure, but as we know, the web of MUN and MEU is as all-encompassing as it is durable. Rumor has it, that new and old friends alike already met once more at one particular conference in Mostar…
|Posted by munscslovenia on April 9, 2015 at 3:55 AM||comments (2)|
Continuing with our participation in MUN events outside of borders, the MUNSC delegation consisting of Ivan Koruza and Žiga Golobič participated in the LSE MUN simulation. The event in the center of London one of the historical and cultural centers of the world is known for its elaborate content planning and focus on crisis simulation. The delegates participated in two separate joint cabinet crises, which dealt with the problem of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the 1911 Chinese Revolution. The event spanning from the 6. to the 8. of February was organized by the MUN society at the LSE promised not just valuable experience in the general MUN setting but also in the specifics of crisis simulations.
The venue in the very center of the historical heart of London prepared to host 5 different cabinets in three categories according to difficulty and expected experience. The beginner cabinets revolved around the civil war in Lybia and maritime aggression in the south Chinese sea, the intermediate sessions revolved around the intervention of the U.S.A. in Latin America and the Chinese civil war of 1911, while the advanced crisis tackled democratization in Egypt. Our delegates participated in both intermediate sessions, where Ivan acted as the secretary of state in the U. S. government and Žiga represented a general in the Chinese royal army As we have already described, the LSE MUN events are known for their somewhat specific historical and practical settings in which the delegates have to perform. Thus delegates are given a much broader control over a certain actor in the conflict not simply representation in say, UN bodies. This often means that delegates do not simply represent, but actively control a certain actor such as generals, politicians or activists. Together with the vibrant setting of the conference this ensures an extremely dynamic MUN experience to which both of our attending delegates can attest.
Ending with a stalemate in the Latin American continent, between the forces of the rebelling groups and the U.S.A., and a Vatican like royal protectorate in a now republican China both delegates finished a successful event with honorable mentioning in their respective cabinets amidst what ended up being a fierce competition for the best delegate award. The experience of the conference, the accompanying events and the great marvels of London will remain fond memories and valuable experience for both members of our delegation.
|Posted by munscslovenia on February 24, 2015 at 2:25 PM||comments (0)|
Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana hosted another MUNSC conference that took place on the 13th and 14th of February 2015. This year MUNSC members were transported in a year 1993 during the ongoing escalation of the situation in Somalia. The conference was officially opened with a speech by professor dr. Bojko Bučar, the president of the UN Association of Slovenia, followed by a short address of the Secretary-General of the conference Vid Tomić.
As always, crisis team was present in the committee to make sure that intensity and excitement level at the conference will remain as high as possible. Although first few hours indicated a swift and clear response from the Council, it did not take long for things to turn bad. Crisis team provided reports of the alleged friendly fire incident between US forces and Pakistani forces which resulted in death of 70 members of Pakistani military personnel. From that moment on Security Council became extremely divided and was unable to function properly.
After receiving another report from the crisis team that Somali conflict spilled over the boarders in parts of Djibouti and Ethiopia it became clear that a swift response was needed. Preparations for draft resolution were made in absence of the US delegate. Due to the absence of the US in the Council and clear indications that the US had been involved in the conflict in a dubious way, the members of the Security Council decided to declare the US a party to the dispute and thus aimed to send a message across. After heated discussions all parties were able to achieve a compromise. Even though the US were prevented from voting on a final resolution all of their objections were taken into account and the Security Council was able to pass a final document that authorized new peacekeeping mission with a very wide mandate. Council also authorized the Secretary-General to analyze the information about mass violations of international humanitarian law, both in Somalia and other countries affected by the on-going conflict and about the possibility of establishing an internationalized judicial mechanism for the prosecution of the violations of Article 3 common to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, of Second Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1977, and other violations of international humanitarian law.
Final document was accepted with 14 votes in favor and 1 against. Conference ended with a short final ceremony that was conducted in a relaxed environment. MUNSC members showed a wide array of skills, knowledge of the UN system and ingenuity and thus impressed the members of MUNSC EB. We cannot wait for the next session!
|Posted by munscslovenia on February 15, 2015 at 7:30 PM||comments (0)|
MUNSC is happy to share our final evaluation of the project Student MUNs 'Študentske simulacije delovanja Združenih narodov', which was held from September to December 2014. You can read the full report here. The project was co-financed by the student organization 'Študentska organizacija Univerze v Ljubljani', for which MUNSC thanks them dearly.
The events have already been covered by our news reports; therefore, let us only expose the results of the project at this point.
The participants improved their negotiating, rhetorical and language skills, and, of course, gained new knowledge on the discussed topics – especially on the functioning of the United Nations and diplomacy. They were active in different intercultural environments, such as during SiMUN 2014 in Ljubljana and BEUM 2014 in Belgrade, but also during different activities organized by MUNSC in Ljubljana, attended by many foreign students. The activities under the project’s umbrella fostered networking, active participation in discussions on global issues, volunteering, and critical evaluation of current international problems.
All activities stimulated constructive discussions (e.g. regarding human rights, security, development, legal questions, global governance), argumentation, team work, searching and obtaining common goals, writing documents in standard United Nations formats, lobbying, public speaking, quick responses to changing external factors, and, consequently, increasing the participants’ self esteem and their chances for success in their private and professional life.
MUNSC Executive Board members are very satisfied with the results of the project. The project gained the attention of many Slovene and international students, who were eager to participate in the activities.
We are looking forward to new projects already. Don’t miss Salient!
|Posted by munscslovenia on December 21, 2014 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
Last week, MUNSC held a two-day event of workshops and a mock session. Firstly, members got familiarized with how to do a proper research on the country they represent and how to write a good position paper. Senior members shared their experiences and MUN knowledge so that everyone would be ready for taking part in upcoming conferences. Next, another workshop took place and this one was about resolution writing. Since most of the time MUN conference is considered successful if a document is adopted at the end, we made sure that MUNSC members are very skilled in resolution writing. Both workshops were very interactive and everyone was very active, so MUNSC EB is very satisfied with the outcome.
The second day a mock session was held in order for MUNSC members to test their knowledge from workshops and upgrade their MUN skills. UN Security Council was simulated on the topic of “Ebola as threat to international peace and security”. The aim of the mock session was to debate, deliberate and to propose amendments to the draft resolution sponsored by Australia. Everyone was very active in lobbying for their proposals however we failed to approve the resolution. The delegation of the People’s Republic of China was dissatisfied and thus exercised its veto power. Yet again, we had a great time during the debate and we were happy to see everyone so involved.
|Posted by munscslovenia on December 7, 2014 at 10:50 AM||comments (0)|
MUNSC is proud to announce that its member and seasoned MUN figure, Mr. Pawel Aleksander Kupis, chaired the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL) at the 20th Session of the Cambridge University International Model United Nations, held between the 28th and the 30th of November 2014.
One of the longest-running conferences in the UK, CUIMUN has over the past twenty years built a sterling reputation within both the regional and global Model UN circuit for intriguing topics, high-quality debate and social events.
The committee debate on Responsibility to Protect was extremely heated as the delegates attempted to propose concrete measures for the promotion and protection of democratic values and human rights while safeguarding the hallowed principle of state sovereignty.
SPECPOL also featured a discussion on the operations of international petroleum companies and their social responsibilities in host countries. The key development on the day was an oil spill from an American Japanese offshore drill in the East China Sea. Delegates were tasked with constructing a general framework for the future prevention of similar catastrophes. Furthermore, they were to devise a workable plan for immediate action in order to limit and ameliorate the environmental consequences of the oil spill.
|Posted by munscslovenia on December 1, 2014 at 8:10 AM||comments (2)|
Last Wednesday, MUNSC members met on another mock session in Human Rights Council in order to discuss the topic: Internet as a human right. Debate was tense and passionate and it mostly evolved around the dilemma of internet as an opportunity or a clear threat to society and individuals as well. We could hear some contrasting views on the nature of the internet use, its problems and possibilities, as well as the role of the state in the regulation of the cyber-space.
As expected, there was no consensus reached on the underlying question whether internet constitutes a human right or no. However, MUNSC members showed great level of argumentation skills and a desired level of humor which reflected the relaxed mood in the room. Let us end with an interesting quote from the session which represents a response from the UK delegate to the Russian proposal to introduce ID cards as a precondition to access the internet. »There is a great difference between entering the night club and accessing the internet«. MUNSC EB members believe that it is extremely hard to refute these words of wisdom and we hope to see more of them in the future.
|Posted by munscslovenia on December 1, 2014 at 6:35 AM||comments (0)|
MUNSC attended Belgrade Model European Union (BEUM), which was successfully held for the 4th time in a row between 15th and 19th October 2014. More than 200 young leaders from over 30 countries gathered in Belgrade on best BEUM so far, according to the organizing team and majority of BEUM’s participants.
MUNSC was represented in the conference Secretariat by our two senior members, Ana Kristovič and Vid Tomić, who were invited by the BEUM organizers to take on challenging roles of the Vice-President of the European Council and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy, respectively. European Council touched upon and passionately addressed the issue of the EU stance towards the Western Balkans.
BEUM Chairboard at its finest
BEUM ended far too quickly and both of our members were proud to be a part of this amazing Chairboard and another unique conference. Conference was filled with action, heated discussions and vibrant social events in one of the most amazing cities in the world – Belgrade.
Author: Vid Tomić
|Posted by munscslovenia on November 23, 2014 at 6:55 PM||comments (0)|
On the 13th of November 2014, MUNSC members gathered at the Faculty of social sciences in order to attend this academic year's first workshop, entitled Structure of the international community. Ana Kristovič, Vid Tomić and Rok Jamnik prepared an interesting interactive presentation, aimed mostly for our MUNSC members with no academic background in international relations. Within this broad framework, the two senior MUNSC members and the current head delegate brought to the audience’s attention concepts which they will need to understand very well for the purposes of participating in MUN simulations. Starting with the Kellog-Briand Pact of 1928, peaceful settlement of dispute has been discussed, along with human rights, the United Nations and its system, the main UN bodies and their authority, the structure of the international community in terms of system, factors, actors, norms and processes/relations, and many other important topics. During and after the presentation, participants engaged in the debate by posing questions and discussing the topic more in depth. The debate was also vivid during the following social gathering.