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Capital MUN 2019 is already part of history!

05. 04. 2019

30.03.19

Topic: The Humanitarian, Economic and Social Impacts of Commodity Sanctions

Last Saturday at 8.30 am, 17 nicely dressed and eager young people united in front of the World Trade Institute in Bern. Once inside, country placards were put up, name tags put on and some last walks to the bathroom were completed. By 9.00 am everybody was seated and the session was opened. 

The initial nervousness quickly subsided after every delegation had held their opening speech and had gotten familiar with not only the formal surroundings but also their fellow delegations and the university professor’s eyes on them. While the topic at hand was not at all an easy one, the well-prepared students quickly engaged and dove into heated discussions and moderated caucuses. 
If by any chance the chair of that day had doubts about whether they would have to urge people to be more active: these would have quickly disappeared. The general speaker’s list was more popular than the lineup in front of the Gelateria di Berna that day. 
Delegation after delegation brought forward their points and arguments and once the first unmoderated caucus was accepted, everybody jumped out of their seats and not hesitating a single second walked towards allies. 
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Looking at the numerous early morning discussions and all the fruitfulness of the mornings debate: some unfruitful pizza was desperately needed. Lunch time was more than in favor of all delegations present and voting.

With surprisingly no obvious stains on ties and lots of cheesy faces we headed into the afternoon. While the AM was filled with plenum discussions, the afternoon stood completely in the name of writing. The two groups juggled around with Mac Books, stacks of paper, ideas and motions to prolong all unmoderated sessions at hand. Perambulatory clauses were formulated, compromises formed and slowly but truly working papers were introduced. Even though the two groups came up with different approaches and goals, the moderated discussions were used to try and combine efforts and to find a solution for all. 

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But as much fun one may have: 9 hours is a long time. And with time also the energy of the delegations (or as one may called it: Somalia and friends…) slowly passed. With the help of coffee, chocolates and some serious looks of the delegation of the US all countries present stayed focused until the end and even after the passing of an amendment to strike clause 9a another party didn’t hesitate to still try and bring in their suggestion for 9a by reintroducing and at the same time changing the wording of such clause.

And as if they timed their cooperation, it was at 5.45 that Draft Resolution one was accepted and all the discussions, the writing, the fighting and motioning found their glorious peak in a paper unanimously accepted. 

We couldn’t be more proud of all the participants and would like to congratulate everyone on their commitment, preparation and eagerness but also on the fact that despite the pressure of the seminar you managed to have a fun day with friends!

Mental Health and Conflicts - the first one day simulation of the semester!

23. 11. 2018

17. November 2018

It is not common that on Saturday morning, 9 o’clock, twenty people come to university to discuss and negotiate a complex topic like mental health. Therefore, we were happy that so many motivated people came to our first one day simulation this semester. We simulated the WHO and the topic was “mental health in conflict”. It was fairly interesting to hear the different viewpoints since many conflict-afflicted countries such as Afghanistan or Israel were represented. 

In the beginning, the discussion took some extra loops such as providing buses or destigmatization via education. The buses were stuck in the minds of some delegations, however we made it back to more general strategies to tackle this issue. The representatives tried to find short term as well as long term solutions.

In the end, we were able to create a resolution and every country voted in favour. What a success! 

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Negotiation – taught by a real expert

11. 11. 2018

8. November 2018

Last Thursday we had the honour to participate in a workshop given by Professor Addor. He has been responsible for legal and policy matters regarding all fields of intellectual property at the national and international level since 1999. Furthermore, he leads Swiss negotiating delegations to the relevant international fora, such as the WTO and the WIPO and to bi- and plurilateral negotiations.

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In his presentation he elaborated on different aspects of negotiation that seem to be very useful for MUN conferences but also for private life. 

One thing that might even be the most important one for a successful negotiation is preparation. That includes, first of all, self recognition: Who am I? What are my goals for this project? Then of course, I need to know who the person will be opposite of the table. What are their interests? Or more importantly, what is my relationship with them? 

This was a second point he brought across. Before starting the negotiations you need to get to know „the other side“. This might take time and several extensive dinners but it shall be worth it. 

Negotiations can be tough and you should try to make your point. However, also be gentle to your negotiating partner. There has to be a differentiation between issue and person (same thing in real life). It is again about having a good relationship with people of whom you want something.

All in all, Mr. Addor gave us an insight in psychology and how to use it in a way that in the end all parties can say „we negotiated well!“.

 

MainMUN in Frankfurt am Main

20. 10. 2018

8. -11. February, 2018

We were a delegation of seven people that went to Frankfurt. The weather was cold and windy so there wasn’t too much distraction of the conference itself. Six of us were in the OSCE committee representing countries such as Great Britain, France and Armenia. We discussed the topic of “solving armed conflicts in Europe”. Having too divergent opinions, the committee could not decide on a resolution. It felt like real life when the resolution was turned down sentence by sentence.

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The special part about MainMUN was a crisis simulation that affected the work of all committees. In our simulation the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict escalated so the delegations of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the OSCE were very busy negotiating. The conference was rounded off with a festive delegate’s dance. Some say there even have been unicorns and donkeys from Switzerland…

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