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For Mali at the UN

16 students represent Mali at the simulation of the United Nations in New York in March 2015 – Preparations include simulations in Hamburg, Erfurt and a cultural evening in Chemnitz

  • In 2015, the NMUN delegation of TU Chemnitz represents the interests of the West-African county Mali. Photo: Dr. Antje Nötzold

From March 29 to April 2, 2015 16 students of Technische Universität Chemnitz will participate at the National Model United Nation Conference (NMUN) in New York, the oldest and most professional simulation of the United Nations at its headquarters. Together with more than 5,000 participants from around the world the students from Chemnitz will discuss current issues and trouble spots of world politics and simulated the work of the organization five days long. Over the past eleven years, the delegation from Chemnitz took on the challenge of representing an assigned country with its interests and positions best possible as “junior diplomats” at the NMUN.

This year, the students from Chemnitz take on the role of UN diplomats for Mali and negotiate in a total of nine committees, inter alia, the following issues: “The Control of Biological Weapons in today’s Modern Era”, “The Impact of Migration on Development”, “Advancing Technical Cooperation in the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy”, or “Empowering Youth through Access to Information and Communication Technology and Media”. “At the moment, the intensive preparation of the delegates includes the assessment of Mali’s position on the various topics in the relevant committees. Hence, the team benefits from both, its inter¬disciplinary and inter¬national composition“, reports Dr. Antje Nötzold, research associate at the professorship for inter¬national relations and faculty advisor of the NMUN delegation.

The first steps on the diplomatic parquet – the simulation in Hamburg

From December 4 to 7, 2014 the students from Chemnitz travelled to Hamburg to experience one of the biggest UN-simulations in Germany – HamMUN. Thereby, they could gain their initial experience at MUN and put the acquired knowledge to the test. “Although the sessions were very long and also partially energy-sapping, we had a lot of fun. For the first time we could apply the acquired knowledge and work together with so many well-motivated students“, said Diana Laubender, member of the delegation. A personal impression of the first simulation trip of this year’s delegation to HamMUN can be found at: https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/nmun/news.php

Student delegation from Chemnitz guests in Erfurt

Before going to New York the NMUN team from Chemnitz will test their knowledge of the UN rules of procedure and their negotiating skills in English again at the EfMUN in Erfurt. From January 16 to 18, 2015 the students will simulate the UN General Assembly and discuss about “Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in the Middle East“ as well as “Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in Africa“. At the end of the intensive preparations in Chemnitz with meetings and working sessions every week since October, the EfMUN is the last “rehearsal” before it gets serious for the delegation at NMUN.

African flair to attune

On January 28, 2015 this year’s NMUN-Delegation will also host a cultural evening to present “their” country – an already embosomed tradition. Mali has long been considered as a role model for democratic transformation on the African continent. However, at least since the military coup in 2012 as well as the takeover of the Northern part of the country by Tuareg and Islamist groups followed by a military intervention of France in 2013 Mali face manifold challenges with regard to its security and development.

Andrea E. Ostheimer, the Africa team leader of Konrad Adenauer Foundation, as well as Oberstleutnant i.G. Gunnar Domke, responsible for mission command and control of the German military assignment in Mali, will give a speech about the precarious situation of the country and the options of international support from their respective points of view and experiences on the ground. Afterwards, the students will invite everyone to become more acquainted with “their” country at the Malian Night in the “Club der Kulturen” with a quiz about Mali and African music or to try one’s luck with the tombola.

Keywords: National Model United Nations Conference

The National Model United Nations Simulation, also known as NMUN is almost as old as the UN itself. Among the numerous conferences it is the oldest, largest and most professional event at all. Around the world, the UN simulations are now taking place in schools and universities in over 35 countries, but among other things only the NMUN conference is allowed to take place in the traditional General Assembly Hall of UN’s headquarters in New York. The primary aim of this conference is to offer students the opportunity to deal with the positions and cultures of other countries in an open and unbiased way, to experience the complex nexuses of international issues and negotiations as well as to train their negotiation skills and diplomatic abilities.

Since 2004, the delegation from Chemnitz takes part in the NMUN and was honored several times for it. Thereby, TU Chemnitz is the only university in Saxony, which year after year faces this challenge and represented the following countries so far: Macedonia, Georgia, Estonia, Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Namibia, Ukraine, Turkey, Kazakhstan and, most recently, Libya.

The homepage of the NMUN project of TU Chemnitz: https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/nmun

For more information, please contact Dr. Antje Nötzold, Phone +49 371 531-35570, Email antje.noetzold@phil.tu-chemnitz.de.

(Author: Magdalena Oertel, Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos
09.01.2015

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