One may argue that the key to a successful MUN conference is preparation. And our delegation was indeed well prepared for their final test before the WorldMUN. Still this weekend at the MainMUN showed that sometimes ‘life is what happens while you are busy making plans’.
It all started on Thursday morning when our delegates realized that some of the seats on the train to Frankfurt would remain empty; unfortunatly parts of the delegation were not able to attend the conference due to illness. Still, their was little time to mourn our losses, as the opening ceremony was set to start only two hours after the arrival in Frankfurt, directly followed by the first session. Guest Speaker was Frankfurt’s Consul General of the United States of America, James W. Herman, who admitted with a wink that he “[does] not like the idea of compromise”.
Most delegates of MUNAM where members of the biggest committee of the MainMUN: the General Assembly. Representing Japan, Finland, Canada and the Islamic Republic of Iran, they were part of the never ending role call and a debate of twenty minutes about the right speakers time. Finally, after the speakers time had been set to 90 seconds, the real debate could be started. The two topics to choose from were ‘ Cybersecurity – Human rights for data protection’ and ‘Decarbonizing the Economy – A Means to Tacke Climate Change’. The committee started with the first one and saw the formation of an alliance including Germany, Russia and Saudi Arabia. Their draft resolution and the way it was passed, finally adopted on Saturday moring, was more than once critized to be undemocratic and against basic human rights like freedom of expression. Among those nations were of course the delegations of Canada, Japan and Finland.
Most people who take part in a MUN conference would generally disagree with the quote given by the Consul General. Still the debate in the Economic and Social Council might have prompted such thoughts. ‘Compromise’ in this case meant almost 20 pages of working papers and two resolution with 40 clauses on both ‘Involving the Private Sector in the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goals’ and ‘Managing International Financial Crisis – How to Prevent, Recognize and Overcome’. For MUNAM’s delegate in this committee the weekend really could have been more comfortable. Not only had she no familiar face in the council (except for the most honourable Faculty Advisor Fabio Schmid-Fischbach), but as the representant of the Hellenic Republic, she was also under constant criticism during the debate on the second topic.
Also on his own was the delegate in the United Nation’s Children Fund. Representing the Republic of Panama he was the first member of this year’s delegation to speak on behalf of a Latin American country. The eight (!) sessions of the weekend centered on ‘Children without Childhood – Counteracting the Abduction in Combat’ and ‘Faciltating Education Programs for Child Refugees’. Offical figures prove the the discussions in this committee were the most ‘fruitful’ ones – at least according to the number of mentioning the said term.
Two members of the Security Council happened to be represented by MUNAM delegates – the United States of America and the Republic of Senegal. Originally the agenda consisted of the two topics ‘Climate Change as a Threat to International Security’ and ‘Revising Guidelines to Settle Territorial Disputes’. The council regularly started the debate on the second topic. The adopted resolution mainly consisted of a proposed change to the UN charter. The goal was to establish a new UN body – the International Fact Finding Commission – in order to have better means to cope with territorialdisputes in the future.
Although this resolution was passed until Saturday morning, the other topic was never to be discussed. Reason for this was the occurance of a fictive crisis in Brunei discussed in the Security Council. What first seemed like an ISIS attack on the Sultanate of Brunei, turned out later to be an attempted coup by the Bruneian government to quell dissent in the country. This revelation casted a shadow on the signing of a treaty between the United Kingdom and Brunei which effectedly made Brunei once again a British Protectorate. A treaty that prompted the re-establishment of the USSR and a fierce argument. Luckily the worst was prevented by a second resolution. Yet the ‘neocolonial act’ – to use the words of the delegate of Senegal – definitely left some damage to the reputation of the UK.
As mentioned before the first Security Council resolution proposed an amendment to the UN charter which is not possible without the GA approving the proposal. Being aware of the fact that a change to that extent is unprecedented in the history of the UN, discussions began after lunch on Saturday. In conclusion the members of the GA on the one hand agreed with the SC on the importance of dealing more effectively with the topic, but on the other hand voted against the proposed amendment and hence did not use their “once in a lifetime chance” as proclaimed by the Secretary General.
The whole conference was attended by a very competent Press Team providing up to date information on the debates and enabling delegates to make press releases or give interviews. Also being responsible for logging the conference by camera, they turned the group image with all participants of the MainMUN into a blue and white dream – very much to the delight of the MUNAM delegation.
Finally, after over 20 hours of debate, various interesting talks, great parties and – of course – little sleep, this last test on the way to Rome was over. The delegation of MUNAM took home priceless and very useful experiences and is now thrilled and more excited than ever to be part of the WorldMUN. Thank you MainMUN and see you all in Rome!
– Sebastian Eppelt, delegation of Canada