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“Veni, Vidi, Vici” – ISM MUN Club at the conference of Cracow Model United Nations (KRAKMUN) | 6-8.04.2018

It was a victorious moment when the UW delegation was awarded Best Delegation at the annual academic conference of Cracow Model United Nations (KRAKMUN). This might just be a start of something new for the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies.

The newly established international student club, ISMMUN Club (Instytut Stosunków Miedzynaradowych Model United Nations Club), under the presidency of Elizabeth L. with the supervision of Dr. Dorota Heidrich, decided to form a delegation of seven students from both the Polish and English faculty of International Relations to participate in the Cracow Model United Nations (KRAKMUN) conference. It was held at the Cracow University of Economics from the 6th– 8thof April 2018. The delegation preparations for KRAKMUN were immense, as the delegates were learning the Rules of Procedures, putting them into practice and trained their skills in public speaking and leadership during the weekly sessions of ISMMUN Club.

The roles of these students varied from being a either Director committee of UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (UNCSTD), to delegates representing different countries in four different committees including Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), UN Framework Convention on Climate Change : Conference of the Parties 24 ( UNFCCC COP 24), and UN Security Council (UNSC).

The first day began with the opening ceremony at the Cracow Opera House with an interactive panel discussion on the topic of Globalizationmoderated by the Secretary General, Adam Dziedzic. After declaring KRAKMUN to be officially open, the delegates were brought to their respective committees and started to debate on the topics provided by the chairs. The topics of discussions varied throughout committees. Though the sessions started off slow, the delegates were carefully delivering their speeches and greatly paid attention to other countries positions.

The second day of the conference, the delegates of UW started to take off as they debated fruitfully and proposed solutions on the issues of the agendas of their committees. As a result, Working Papers were created and it was the beginning of drafting a Draft Resolution, with a hope to pass it as a resolution with simple majority of votes. By the end of the second day, some committees were still in the process of drafting a resolution, while others had successfully passed a resolution and started the second topic of their agenda.

The last day of the conference was the matter of now or never when discussing the final topic of the agenda. Luckily, the delegates knew the drill and took the lead in the discussions. It was a matter of finding allies and figuring out the opposition, which were mostly done during the debate and unmoderated caucuses. The sessions ended with the majority of the committees passing resolutions. Subsequently,the closing ceremony was held and the secretariat and chairs delivered their gratitude to everyone who contributed to the last few days. It was also the time for the chairs of their committees to deliver their speeches and give out two awards; Best Delegate and Honourable Mention.

The expression of ‘All hard work pays off’, cannot be avoided. We are proud that the UW delegates won several awards including Best Delegate in their allocated committees, one Honourable Mention and verbal Honourable Mention. Last but not least, the UW delegation was awarded by the Secretariat as Best Delegation of KRAKMUN 2018. To show their hard work, commitment and desire of diplomacy, the students representing the UW delegation are as follows:

Elizabeth I. Lekahena – Director of UNCSTD committee and Head Delegation of UW (GPIR I),

Amir Toumie in OIC (GPIR II) – awarded a Verbal Honourable Mention,

Thomas Vande Velde UNFCCC – COP 4 (GPIR I) – awarded Honourable Mention,

Michal Nowakowski in OECD (ISM II) – awarded Best Delegate,

Isra Zaheer in OIC (GPIR I) – awarded Best Delegate,

Samuel Asante in UNSC (GPIR I) – awarded Best Delegate,

Youssef Ramadan in UNFCCC – COP 24 (UPIR II) – awarded Best Delegate.

*** GPIR – Graduate Programme in International Relations ; UPIR – Undergraduate Programme in International Relations ; ISM – stosunki międzynarodowe w jęz. polskim.

With the last remark of the Secretariat and thousands of round of applauses and standing ovations, KRAKMUN 2018 was declared to be officially closed.

MUN is sometimes overlooked by students and the academia as another student activity with great socials. But this is not all there is. As a simulation of the UN, the idea of MUN is not only to engage students to debate on issues that are in the past, present or future and have it done outside the classroom environment. But it is also to allow students to become critical thinkers and  representatives of members of the UN, as well as future leaders.
Students would face challenging questions and issues such as sticking to the country’s policy that might not be in line with one’s principles, or to think quickly on their feet while questions or criticisms are thrown from every angle there is. Setting aside the academic exposure, MUN also allows old friendships to reconnect and new friendships to bloom, making the world smaller than it seems.

Overall, Julius Ceasar once used “Veni, Vidi, Vici” in his letter to the Roman Senate, which ultimately means We came, we saw, we conquered,and can be used to describe the performance of the University of Warsaw delegation in KRAKMUN 2018. With the exception of not winning a bloody war or defeating anyone, as it is MUN after all, but by the art of diplomacy, the use of consultation, cooperation and negotiation – Veni, Vidi, Vici.

While having the opportunity, the ISM MUN Club as a whole would like to thank Dr Dorota Heidrich for supporting its actions since the very beginning.

Elizabeth I. Lekahena

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