IsarMUN 2014: Saving the world indoors.
Spring in December, especially at the shore of “Munich’s Bathtub” Starnberger See is a nice thing to have, even if you are unable to enjoy it as an outdoor experience. This is one of several possible descriptions of the situation of more than one hundred students who had the honor to participate at this year’s IsarMUN at the Academy for Civic Education in Tutzing. But it was not only the glance outside which made this weekend joyful for all members of different committees, as there is at least one thing which is more important than walks in winter sunlight along the lake’s shore: Saving the world indoors.
Well, some might think this is an exaggeration. And so do I. But describing the UNGA’s work of this weekend as a “fight for world peace” was maybe a well meant exaggeration by the two chairs of this council to “push delegates to their limits” (which was another term of what is going to happen that weekend). And, to be honest: If this was a secret plan to make discussions both riveting and, for you, honorable Secretary General: “fruitful”, everything went according to this plan. Our world changing task was nothing less than passing a resolution on Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Public Life. Debating such a topic seems a pretty fair alternative to walks through late autumn Bavaria.
The MUNAM Delegation was well represented in this year’s General Assembly: Six of us were challenged by the topic from different points of view, ranging from Islamic Countries to Developing and Developed Nations all over the globe. But this was not the only committee in which the delegation participated and shaped the discussion: The Human Rights Council was, for instance, enriched by the delegate of South Africa, producing Nelson Mandela quotes on the assembly line. In the Security Council, an experienced member of the delegation influenced the discussions on ISIS from the Russian viewpoint and ECOSOC was supported by fearless Munich delegates representing New Zealand and France, who boldly debated on biofuels and their impact on food prices.
Besides the debates going on in the councils, we were lucky to listen to three outstanding talks framing the program on Circular Economy, the Islamic State and Human Rights in Digital Age. Normally, one is not able to absorb anything but much sleep (and maybe a good night beer) after days of working happening at a MUN Conference. But the lecturers were able to mesmerize all delegates by entertaining and stimulating speeches in these topics.
But back to General Assembly. Facing our task, all delegates were highly motivated to bring this crucial topic to a consistent and satisfying (re)solution which made all discussions an interesting and expedient experience. Since there was no lack of sense of purpose by any delegate, the goal was in mind at any time and even coalitions of developed and developing countries, attempted cultural stigmatization if Islamic Nations or partly chaotic unmoderated caucuses could not stop delegates to achieve their goal. Another driving reason might have been a mysterious “punishment list” introduced by one of the chairs to document procedural misconduct. However, mistakes remained unexecuted for time was rare at the end of the conference. Lucky us.
Anyway. Representing the Republic of Indonesia, I, no: We, were pleased that at the end, a resolution was passed incorporating the needs of developing countries and which put a focus on citizens in rural areas. The only inconvenience our delegation had to face was an ongoing ignorance of a quota for women in public life by the rest of the conference. Note to self: Tenacious and partly annoying insistence on a particular topic is not a general formula for success.
Another thing which shall be highlighted are the outstanding performances of some delegates from our team at the closing ceremony: In all councils we were represented, delegates participated in the summary speeches of the committees, always impressive at in one case even with a spontaneous performance to remember.
And then, as sudden as it began, IsarMUN 2014 was over. We are grateful for a both joyful and most interesting experience, and with the hope that we at least fulfilled another promise of GA’s chairs considering the outcome of the conference: Making “friendships which last for a lifetime”. Unfortunately, prove is yet to come, as our life time is still lasting. Which is rather pleasant. See you at MainMUN 2015.