Those Who Think They Can Change The World, Do; Change the World Model UN (CWMUN) Conference 2013 Liveblog

by Will on March 29, 2013

Secretary General, Alessandro Dimaiuta opens the conference in the UN General Assembly Hall.

Secretary General, Alessandro Dimaiuta opens the conference in the UN General Assembly Hall.

Between March 13th and 15th, nearly 1,000 high school and university delegates from all around the world attended the Change the World Model United Naitons (CWMUN) Conference held at NYC’s Grand Hyatt Hotel and the United Nations. Organized by the Associazione Diplomatici, CWMUN is a Model UN project held in two countries (Italy and the United States), and is one of the few academic simulations run in New York by a non-American Association.

Featuring committees such as the UNDP, ECOSOC, GA, and Security Council with topics ranging from sustainability of energy to access to clean water, CWMUN brought together over 600 delegates from Italy as well as 360 “international delegates” from the United States, Spain, Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico. The Opening Ceremonies also hosted a number of impressive speakers including: Cesare Maria Ragaglini, the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, Scott Harrison, the Founder and CEO of charity: water, Philippe Kridelka, the Director of UNESCO in New York, Salvatore Carrubba, the President of Change the World Model UN International Board, and Francesco Paolo Tronca, the Chief of the Italian Fire Department, Public Safety and Civil Protection, who spent the week in meetings with his American counterparts at the FDNY. Best Delegate was also not alone while covering the event and was joined by a large Italian media presence in the form of journalists and camera crews from Oggi, the National Broadcasting Agency of Italy, and La Repubblica, Italy’s largest newspaper.

CWMUN was also elevated Model UN to a very unique level. “International Students” or those students not from Italy, were required to prepare a position paper on their topic while Italian students were required to write a “handbook” on the country that they represented. Another unique feature of CWMUN was the Delegate’s Award; at the end of the conference members of each committee voted for the delegate who they believe did the best job. Lastly, in an unexpected announcement, the winners of the Best Delegate awards were invited by the Prefect of the Italian Fire Department to spend some days at the Institute for Firemen in Rome.

Award recipients sit together during closing ceremonies

Award recipients sit together during closing ceremonies

The Flagship committee at CWMUN was the High School Security Council. The committee topic began as the security implications of climate change, however, after an hour, the atmosphere became tense as the topic pivoted to the nuclear crisis between North and South Korea. Although none of the delegates were prepared for the subject, they quickly adapted with the help of 50+ pages of in-depth crisis dossiers about the crisis provided by the conference staff.

CWMUN Great Pic

The members of the High School Security Council were quite realistic in their initial response to the crisis. Among the 5 permanent members, China and Russia broke off and created their own draft resolution, while the United States, United Kingdom, and France broke off and built a different block.

Delegates in the High School Security Council deliberate sanctions against North Korea

Delegates in the High School Security Council deliberate sanctions against North Korea

Vitriolic rhetoric flew as Russia accused the United States of being power hungry, stating, “It took the entire morning session to convince them that diplomacy was the best way”. The Representative of China was also quoted at saying, “We are trying to solve this problem together…but it is difficult because I, as China, have an opinion and I will not change my mind”.

Sitting in on an advisors meeting, I became quite aware of how dedicated the Conference Staff and Associazione Diplomatici were to communicating with advisors each day. Their constant meetings and presentation of plans for next year will ensure that this conference continues in the future.

Conference Secretariat pose alongside Claudio Corbino, President of Associazione Diplomatici

Conference Secretariat pose alongside Claudio Corbino, President of Associazione Diplomatici

The conference itself ended on an optimistic note as each committee adjourned until 2014 and the Secretary General announced “Connect with us, stay with us, because when you are together, you can change the world.”

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  • Anonymous

    I was one of the ~1500 University- and High School- Students present in the 2013 CWMUN Conference in New York City and I am truly upset with the whole organisation of the Conferences by ‘Associazione Diplomatici’ and would NEVER recommend anyone I know to go with them, but I would strongly suggest to choose another organisation to go with in New York and at the NMUN (National Model United Nations)! The ‘Associazione Diplomatici’ staff was highly UNSKILLED and NOT PRESENT during conferences and organisation was truly horrible and disgraceful. Especially for the very high price that we had to pay in order to participate to the conferences (CWMUN NY + NMUN NY), the whole organisation + preparation + accomodation (DISGRACE! 4 people in a 2 persons bedroom with just 2 SMALL BEDS TO SHARE WITH A COMPLETE STRANGER!!!) + organisation of transfer and conferences + staff help and courtesy was really bad! The staff was there just to be on vacation! The majority of the staff members were having holidays, breaks and were clubbing ALL NIGHTS and therefore were Hangover the whole morning, the behavior was UNACCEPTABLE!!. Presence was a rareness and the competence was really really low. The majority of them could not even speak correct English and they are really young (around 18-25), about the same or LOWER than the age of many of the participants! Another Shameful fact is that all the money the participants gave to the Association could not be seen anywhere as everything was kept on a very low level (missing sheets of the proposals for the voting session, ACCOMODATION, no materials AT ALL, etc.). Furthermore it was not clear AT ALL why the Italian Fire department (and 2 firemen + Chief of Italian Fire Department) was present during the conferences! Why do we have to pay accomodation + tickets for them too!? The Prefect (NO ONE KNOWS OF WHAT OR WHY HE WAS THERE) was also present, naturally with wife and/or some members of family… THIS was all a shameful and disgraceful act by Associazione Diplomatici and this small comment (that does not include all shameful acts by diplomatici) is just the beginning of a series of complaints against this shameful money-robbing of people.

    Thanks

  • Anonymous

    ALSO READ THIS ABOUT THE PREFECT: (Italian) BIG SCANDAL: http://www.unita.it/italia/l-auto-dei-vvff-per-portare-br-allo-stadio-il-figlio-del-prefetto-1.298260

    He was using italian fire department cars to bring his son to the football stadium in Rome, when there is a shortage of trucks and funds! Also he has luxurious suites built in the Cortina (exclusive location in Italy) Fire Department, in order to live there when in ‘vacation’!!! AND THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY FOR PATROL IN THE FIRE TRUCKS!!! furthermore, 2 planes are leased for ‘institutional travels’!!

    SHAME ON TRONCA, SHAME ON DIPLOMATICI!

  • Dany

    I attended CWMUN NYC as a delegate as well and I totally disagree with you. It was a very good experience. First of all, I have really appreciated the educational experience, you cannot deny that the Opening Ceremony for example was intense and very well organized. Associazione Diplomatici welcomed us in the General Assembly Hall and all guests were inspiring, try to have a look at other MUN around you. Diplomatici did what we expected. The conference was very organized as well, the Staff always friendly and the DAIS very well trained. I’ve had the chance to talk with them and they have all volunteered several times in MUN Conferences prior CWMUN so, seriously, I think you are missing the point. The quality of the simulation was good, I was also very well trained and assisted through all the months prior the arrival to NYC and I am pretty impressed how you were the only one who weren’t enough prepared for the Conference. My delegation and I were always assisted and the Staff was always ready to answer our doubts. By email or in class, they were always there to help!. What’s wrong with you?. I applaude Associazione Diplomatici and their Staff for their hard work. They did what they have promised us and it was excellent. The majority of delegates were italian, that is true, but the Staffers (from the Secretariat to the Conference Staff) were always there to help and they have always spoken in English. Besides they weren’t all italians. My Director was from NYC!. About clubbing all night…those were delegates and I clubbed as well. Staffers were always busy with late meetings at night. My tutor was.

    I have attended several conferences in NYC and I think that Diplomatici gives students the most interesting offer which is well reflected in the price they require to attend such great event. Other MUN Conference DO NOT offer what Diplomatici gave to you. From private buses to chaperoning people around the city??. Come on!!! tell me who else does all of this!!!. We have really appreciated any single aspect of it. We cannot deny some “crisis” moment, but hey, it can happen!. We understand, they were all young volunteers who have managed the whole thing without any middle-person. You are critizing their age…thanks God they were young!!! this is our world and MUN Conference are made for people our age!!!. I enjoyed the experience as a delegate and I made a lot a new friends. A MUN Conference always gives you good memories. I respect your opinion but you should respect the work of the others. In which Committee were you?. We were all pretty satisfied about the work, we were all familiar with Voting Procedures and the Director was always there to answer our questions. O.O
    Btw I liked the experience and I thank all those people who let me enjoy such a great experience. Prefect Tronca was a guest just like the others and I have really appreciated the importance they gave to such important issues like human safety and altruism. Maybe you have missed some good parts of his speeches. Ask your partners for the missing parts!!. It is worth it.

    PS: it’s pretty funny how you encourage people to attend NMUN through “other” organizations. I have attended NMUN SEVEN TIMES before CWMUN and the accommodation process it is just the same. 4 people sharing 2 beds. I am wondering how you can accept that for NMUN and use all those ignominious words for CWMUN. Odd!.
    Take care!

  • Jonny Zucca

    Thank you Dany for your words. It is clear that “Anonymous” was not in the CWMUN nor in the NMUN.
    The same “copy&paste” comment is posted under some videos on our YouTube channel by a funny-named “Jonny Zucca” user.

    “but I would strongly suggest to choose another organisation to go with in New York and at the NMUN (National Model United Nations)”. These words let all understand which kind of fake comment you intended to put down.

    SHAME ON YOU! SHAME ON “ANOTHER ORGANISATION”!

  • Anonymous

    It is absolutely clear here that the Diplomatici staff wrote their own comments by themselves here, as, from the approx. 30 people I am friends with from the conferences, everyone AND I MEAN EVERYONE, is absolutely shocked about staff and organisation. The meetings for sure were very interesting but the staff is really really bad and EVERYONE complained about it.

    PS: they were clubbing… only first night they were having a meeting. All other days not. It is provable.

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