The following Recap was provided by Deputy Secretary General EuroMUN 2013 Neelam Melwani.
European Model United Nations (EuroMUN) is one of the largest Model United Nations in continental Europe, held in Maastricht, the Netherlands. This year, the 2013 Secretariat, hosted the largest edition of EuroMUN yet with 620 delegates from over 60 nationalities and over 110 educational institutions. Delegates came from all over Europe, South America, Asia and Africa to join us in simulating some of the most interesting international bodies that exist today. Behind the scenes, preparation for EuroMUN 2013 was well underway since May 20, 2012. A staff was built, a theme decided upon, and of course committees chosen. The end result: a memorable conference with productive working sessions and an (un)- forgettable social program.
The Conference and the City
On 28 April 50 delegates met in Brussels, and for the next three days, experienced the capital of Europe. They visited key institutions like the UN Regional Information Center, the HQ of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Commission and Parliament. They received lectures from key political figures but most importantly, the forged friendships that survived long after the final bang of the gavel on Sunday May 5. Upon arriving to Maastricht, the heart of Europe, they were greeted by over 500 delegates, a healthy mix of locals and internationals, all lined up to collect their badges and booklets, purchase their social packages, sign up for their city tours and of course, get their picture taken with our own cardboard Ban Ki-Moon. During the opening ceremony, the Secretariat entertained inspirational speeches by KolindaGrabarKitarovic, NATO ASG for Public Diplomacy, and Yvo De Boer, Former Executive Secretary for the UNFCCC. We also received the endorsement from the Council of Europe, and the European Parliament. The night ended with some champagne and a buzz of excitement as delegates mixed and mingled. There was even some lobbying! An early night was definitely in order after an exhausting day of traveling for some, but most definitely so everyone could be awake bright an early to commence debate on Thursday morning.
Thursday’s debate was anything short of entertaining. EuroMUN’s Crisis committee, which takes place in an actual “bunker,” discussed a hostage crisis at an Azerbaijani offshore gas tank, while members of the European Parliament elected their Rapporteurs. NATO EAPC received a guest speaker from NATO HQ and other committees had the opportunity to gain some first hand insight to some of the issues they were discussing. Committee sessions over the course of the conference showed some interesting revelations: the most important being that it’s a good thing we are all still students, as hung-over delegates didn’t manage to make it for committee sessions after Day 1. Clearly, some of us still have a lot to learn both in committee rooms and outside. This year, the EuroMUN social program saw several changes as well: a pub crawl with a variety of different student clubs in Maastricht, a Dutch Fraternity Party in an actual “Frat house,” and a new location for the Delegate’s Dance, along with the birth of a new tradition: the Secretariat opened the dance floor with Queen’s classic: We are the Champions!
Committees, Technology and it’s diversity
In an effort to be the first paperless EuroMUN in history, the Secretariat created two tools to ensure that delegates remained well connected: the App for iPads and iPhones, and the “Paperless” Conference Booklet. Both provided maps of conference facilities and venues, and allowed students to explore Maastricht, Model United Nations and most importantly EuroMUN with a click of a button. We successfully managed to print less that 5% of the documents printed at EuroMUN 2011, demonstrating again the power of technology in connecting us.
Overall, 2013 was a successful year for EuroMUN, resolutions that were creative and some actually plausible. We definitely hope the delegates enjoyed it as much as we did. It was a pleasure having you all here and we look forward to meeting you all again, somewhere in the small big world of MUN.
Congratulations to all delegates, and staff on a successful conference!