On the weekend of the 25th to 26th of February 2012 twelve members of our MUN team from ETH Zurich had the pleasure to take part in the JUNES MUN Conference in Basel. It was the 5th annual conference of the Swiss association of UN-related student organizations at which once again various delegations of Swiss universities came together to share their passion for Model United Nations.

Committees and Topics

The enthusiasm of all participants became particularly noticeable in the various committees where animated debates led to the adoption of outstanding resolutions concerning the most thrilling challenges of today’s world. The diverse themes included economic topics such as microfinance systems discussed by the Economic and Social Council, as well as social and health questions concerning female genital mutilation in the WHO committee or the environmental impacts of war, which was the subject of debate within the United Nations Environment Programme. But also provoking political issues were on the agenda, regarding for example the special committee of the Arab League whose delegates dealt with the issue of the Israeli settlements.

Varied Experiences

For some of our delegates, who represented various countries positions in their committees, it was the first MUN conference and therefore a great possibility to experience the spirit and procedures of MUN sessions. But also for the more experienced participants it was a welcome chance to improve their diplomatic, as well as their debating and rhetoric skills. Taking over the position of the Chair within the ECOSOC committee, the ETH MUN members Marc Sinner and Nora Ernst attended the discussions from a slightly different point of view as usual, by leading the successful negotiations. So all in all, this intense weekend of practice simulations was a unique opportunity for all of us, to get prepared for international conferences such as the WorldMUN 2012 in Vancouver.

Moreover the conference itself and the social events, such as the committee’ dinners and the following party, were a great time of getting together with other Swiss MUN members. Therefore we especially want to thank the JUNES MUN team for their efforts organizing that extraordinary event, as well as the MUN team of the University of Basel for hosting the conference.

Awards and Honourable Mentions

Furthermore we namely want to congratulate our delegates Franz Radke (representing Bangladesh in the Human Rights Council) and Julian Diederichs (representing Libya in ECOSOC) who received diplomacy awards for their outstanding performance within their councils. At this point we mustn’t forget Andreas Lauper who was honored with the special funny award for “the next Swiss Federal Councillor”. Who knows: maybe one of us will turn his enthusiasm for international politics and diplomacy into career one day and become Federal Councillor of Switzerland – or President of one of the other six home countries of the international delegation of ETH MUN taking part at this year’s JUNES MUN.

by Isabel Schwarz