A successful home match amidst the refugee crisis.
Over the last few years the annual IsarMUN, hosted by MUNAM, took place in Tutzing. After all these years the event finally came home to Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich. The reasons for this return were not only the “glorious halls” of our alma mater. Originally, this year’s participants were supposed to gather at Burg Schwaneck in Pullach. But it was needed for a reason far more important: to give shelter to under-aged and unattended refugees. This brings us directly to the main topic of this year’s discussions: the refugee crisis. Being aware of the importance of this issue, the organisation committee, for the first time, decided to hold the conference under the banner of one overall subject.
One might ask oneself how students and pupils are supposed to come up with solutions for such complex problems in just a weekend when politicians all around the world have been struggling to do so for several years. Well, at least we tried. And we did quite a good job.
Four delegates of MUNAM got the chance to slip into the roles of European Heads of Government in the European Council. As Stefan Löfven, Miro Cerar, David Cameron and François Hollande they debated with their fellow colleagues on the topic of “EU Border Protection”. Surely, there are topics less controversial and less complicated. Even more if you have to agree unanimously, as provided by the European Council’s rules of procedure. Still, they were able to do so.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees had to witness the formation of an “axis of evil”. But in the end, even the Commonwealth of Australia and the Kingdom of Denmark were convinced and agreed to enhance their financial support for refugee hosting countries. Nevertheless, the process of passing a resolution was adjoined by British and Greek criticism on the incompetence of the European Union and their fear of social instability. Have we thus witnessed first signs of a Brexit/Grexit at IsarMUN?
Undoubtedly the Human Rights Council turned out to be the most productive committee of the whole conference. They managed to pass a resolution both on “Human trafficking as a violation of Human Rights” and “Ensuring Education in order to secure a sustainable future of Refugees”.
In the Security Council, representing China, Jordan and Venezuela, our delegates took three completely different positions on the discussed subject: “Military Interventionism in Syria”. It’s easy to conceive that the way to the final resolution, which passed just minutes before the closing ceremony started, was not always flat.
The delegate of Jordan desperately called for a viable resolution which could ease its difficult situation caused by the war in Syria. More than once, he had to hear a diplomatically formulated “We don’t care” from one or another party. For the delegate of Venezuela, trying to solve the situation in Syria alone was not enough. Still, their suggestions for a reform of the Security Council in order to end the “oligarchic and imperialistic regime of the US” are yet to be implemented. Luckily, the MUNAM delegation will get a second chance of representing Venezuela at Harvard WorldMUN in March. There were several measures taken to make international politics a little more fun. A chair performing a Shakira song as a ‘punishment’ for being too late is one. Having veto power, as the representative of the People’s Republic of China experienced first-hand, is another. China fiercely fought aside with the Russian Federation for the recognition of their ally Bashar al-Assad. Always threatening to send the resolution into the “dark void whence they came”, its opinion was often consulted and heard. Thus, at least one of our three delegates was quite pleased with the outcome of the discussions.
In addition to the aforementioned committee debates, the eighth annual IsarMUN featured three guest speakers. On Friday evening, the Consul General of the United States Jennifer D. Gavito gave us an insight into American foreign policy. On Saturday, Prof. Panu Poutvaara and Dr. Matthias Kortmann shared their views on the refugee crisis, the possible impacts on Germany and engaged in a panel discussion moderated by Sarah Schmidt, a MUNAM alumna.
Finally, IsarMUN 2015 summed up: Three days packed with sometimes heated debates, elaborated speeches and a constant lack of sleep. The first simulation held under “real” conditions for our delegation, a great experience for all participants. A successful home match as a preparation for future tasks. Direction: Rome 2016!