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South Africa and the UNO visiting Chemnitz

Uni goes UNO: Students from South Africa and Chemnitz simulated the work of the General Assembly of the United Nations

  • Despite freezing temperatures the delegation of Stellenbosch University explores Chemnitz. All photos: Antje Nötzold.
  • Sarah Marx, Cornelia Louw and Leehandi de Witt (v.l.) were chuffed about their first experiences with snow.
  • Leehandi de Witt (l.) and Lovelyn Nwadeyi provided theirselves with souvenirs from their visit at CUT.
  • The participants of ChemMUN 2013 together with CUT Rector Prof. Arnold van Zyl as well as Prof. Dr. Beate Neuss, chair of professorship of International Politics.
  • Prof. Arnold van Zyl welcomes all delegates of ChemMUN 2013.
  • Prof. Dr. Beate Neuss declares the simulation ChemMUN 2013 open.
  • Handshake between China and Japan: Yaseen Carelse (l.) and David Tschorr as future diplomats.
  • Fine-tuning on the text of the resolution.
  • Difficult process of negotiations.
  • Alexander Beribes, Yaseen Carelse, Deidré Baartman and Marie Kirchner (from left) are pleased with the achieved compromises.
  • Despite bone-chilling cold Dresden faszinated the visitors from South Africa.
  • The South African students enjoyed German coffee und cake specialties.
  • Prof. Dr. Pieter Fourie spoke about South Africa nearly 20 years after the end of Apartheid.
  • Among the audience had also been the South African students, who could stay one day longer in Chemnitz than originally planned due to flight cancellations on Monday.

For the fourth time the professorship for International Politics of Chemnitz University of Technology organized the UN simulation "Chemnitz Model United Nations” (ChemMUN). This year seven students from the South African Stellenbosch University joined in their fellow students from Chemnitz. They all had the unique chance to become UN diplomats for a few days and to get a closer look at the work United Nations General Assembly. Directly after the opening ceremony, led by CUT Rector Prof. Dr. Arnold van Zyl and Prof. Dr. Beate Neuss, chair of the professorship for International Politics, the soon to be diplomats started their work.

This year’s ChemMUN had three main topics: "Impact of Climate Change on Global Security”, "Sexual Violence as a Weapon of War” and "International Chemicals Management”. "The participants were given a country, whose distinctive positions they were to represent. To take part in the process of the simulation the students needed to learn much about the topics and the rules of procedure of the UNO as well as they had to prepare a good set of strategies”, said Dr. Antje Nötzold from the professorship of International Politics, organizing the event. She also added "The students were very successful. They did great work, which could not alone be seen in the two passed resolutions.”

The MUN simulation at Chemnitz is an important part of the preparation of the "National Model United Nations” (NMUN) delegation of 2013 for the conference in New York. Professor Beate Neuss explained that "while ChemMUN the delegates of NMUN get not only the chance to test their diplomatic skills, but also to develop quick reactions on recent events and their sense for foreign-policy decision making. It is a very good chance to test oneself”. ChemMUN was also the final "test” for the participants of the current NMUN delegation, who they will travel to New York in march 2013 and will take part in the world’s biggest UN simulation, where they will represent Kazakhstan.

A special highlight for all involved was the visit of the South African delegation. From January 17th till January 22th they did not only participate in ChemMUN and the delegates party, they also paid visits to Chemnitz, Freiberg and Dresden, albeit it was sometimes a bit to snowy for the visitors. Lovelyn Nwadeyi form Stellenbosch stated "It’s midsummer in South Africa and we had 37°C, when we left Capetown. Most of us have never seen snow before. It is amazing, but really cold”. The South African visit was a special highlight to all of the Chemnitz NMUN team: "It was a great opportunity, which gave us not only the chance to talk about political challenges, but also to share experiences and to make friends”, explained Adrian Lundquist, a student at CUT and member of the NMUN delegation of 2013.

As a finale to the visit of the South African delegation Prof. Dr. Pieter Fourie of the Department of Political Science of Stellenbosch University gave a lecture about "Two decades later: South Africa after apartheid”. Besides giving a short overview about the reasons and end of Apartheid he explained the developments in the last 20 years as well as the current situation of the country. He provided a fascinating insight into the history and structures of the country for an interested audience.

The visit of the South African delegation was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research related to the "German-South African Year of Science 2012/2013” and was meant for encouraging cooperation between German and South African universities as well as for promoting exchange between students and scientists of both countries.

Contact: Dr. Antje Nötzold, phone +49 371 531 35570, email antje.noetzold@phil.tu-chemnitz.de

(Translation: Marcus Dörfel)

Mario Steinebach
24.01.2013

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