Published by Mathis Gilsbach on 14 July, 2017.
The 3rd edition of MUNSC Salient has been a great success so far. The delegates seemingly enjoy themselves, the Secretariat appears relaxed yet competent and the organisers are happy with the turnout of this year’s Salient thus far. Speaking to News Salient Agency they professed their happiness about the increasing number of participants from about forty-five in recent years to around seventy-five fluffy alpacas in the 2017 edition. To explore how this conference came into existence, News Agency Salient decided to dig deeper and look behind the scenes of MUNSC Salient 2017.
MUNSC Salient is organised by the Model United Nations Slovenia Club (MUNSC), which is basically the youth section of the United Nations Association Slovenia (UNAS). Apart from the conference, they also organise summer schools and other events, as well as training future delegates and sending them all around Europe to other MUN conferences.
Backed by a great amount of expertise and human capital in the MUNSC, they decided three years ago to set up the first edition of Salient. And they wanted to make a conference different to all the others. They decided to modernise the usual MUN formula a bit by introducing workshops and panels to the programme. The aim is to broaden the horizon of the delegates and to give them further insights into the topics they are working on during the sessions.
The overarching theme of this year’s conference was: The Hidden Faces of War. But how did they come up with it?
The basic question in choosing the topic was: What are we not talking about in the bigger themes like war or inequality? What tends to get lost in most debates on these topics, but needs to be investigated?
In the last edition of Salient the topic was diverging quite a lot from traditional International Relations as it was dealing with the Deconstruction of Contemporary Inequality and thus strayed away from the nation-state centred view of classical IR theories. It turned out to be a bit difficult though for the delegates to effectively work with the topic. Consequently, in this edition the organisers tried to establish a middle ground. The topic Hidden Faces of War still aims to uncover less discussed aspects of Global Affairs but to make it more connected to classical IR themes, such as geo-politics in Libya or the Role of Private Military Companies.
During the opening ceremony, the delegates got to listen to several, maybe not perfectly eloquent, but certainly highly knowledgeable and qualified speakers. How did the organisers find them, we wondered.
Usually the team first decides on a topic for a Panel and then searches around Slovenia for experts and professionals working in a related field. Those are then invited and thus far the experience has been that many speakers were really interested in the conference and willing to share their knowledge with the next generation. But it is nonetheless challenging to find relevant speakers who also have time to come to the conference.
For this year’s edition two planned Panels didn’t make the cut due to a lack of Panellists. News Salient Agency hopes that these Panels will be reconsidered for the next edition of MUNSC Salient as the topics sounded quite interesting. The first one was a play with definitions of war. International Politics on the war of drugs was supposed to look at situations such as Mexico where one could argue that the fight against and between drug-cartels creates war-like circumstances in some areas of the country. The topic of the second planned panel was conceived in the light of attacks on hospitals and doctors in the Syrian War. It was supposed to be about the Protection of Aid Workers in Conflict Situations.
The combination of classical MUN debates with new educational aspects and of course great socials seems to work nicely if one believes the happy (though sleep-deprived) faces of the participants.
Overall, it can already be stated that MUNSC Salient 2017 has been a great accomplishment and asked for their message for the MUN world, the organising team issued an invitation for old delegates to come back for the next edition and for people to go and tell it on the mountains and to all their friends that there is a wonderful conference happening every summer in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Published by Jure Macuh on 19 April, 2017.
As the April weather took its typical turn members of the MUN Slovenia Club were not terribly bothered by the occurrence. MUNSC took advantage of the rainy April weather and held a Mock session to prepare for the upcoming MOSTIMUN conference as well as this year’s edition of MUNSC Salient – Youth Conference on Global Matters. We simulated the topic of Women in the Professional Sphere in the UN Women committee. We were very impressed by the enthusiasm and preparation the freshman members of MUNSC showed. The session ended with the successful adoption of a “comprehensive” UN Women resolution. The members of MUNSC are desperately awaiting the start of this year’s MOSTiMUN. By what we have seen we can expect that the MUNSC delegates will have a lot to contribute to the deliberations of their councils.
Published by Jure Macuh on 10 April, 2017.
The MUN Slovenia Club had once again ventured on a diplomatic mission to strengthen ties with our partner MSOI Gorizia. A five-member delegation attended a mock session at the wonderful University of Gorizia. The topic of discussion in the UN General Assembly was the Treatment of Prisoners in Times of War.
The Five Wise Men of MUNSC valiantly represented their countries. They were assigned to represent India, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Egypt and the Holly See. In the debate, several disagreements arose, and the Assembly faced substantial challenges due to the deviating opinions of the Member States, which resulted in many interesting debates. Delegates were not afraid to challenge one another on the stances of their respective countries. Even though there were several obstacles to succumb, the Assembly held a very productive session, and provided the Presiding Officers with a comprehensive resolution on the topic, that enjoyed a broad support among the states. The experienced MUNSC members gallantly offered their knowledge on crafting the wording of the resolution to many first-time MUNers present at the mock session. A successful adoption of the resolution was accompanied by a thunderous applause.
The productivity of the delegates was rewarded with a banquet and the sound of toasts to a successful day and friendships at the social event that followed the session. The diplomatic mission was a very apparent success as several ties were made among the members of the two clubs. This, as the rumours have it, includes the relations of a bilateral nature (wink, wink). The members of MSOI Gorizia were not very keen of letting the MUNSC delegation leave the social early, but a sense of duty, and obligations to MUNSC Members’ academic pursuits countered the very persuasive negotiation skills of the future diplomats from Gorizia. The mock session was a great success, and is proof of great relations between MSOI Gorizia and MUNSC. That is why MUNSC thanks our friends for inviting us, and hosting us for an exceptional day. We look forward to future joint-projects, which we hope will be plenty.
Published by Miha Humar on 26 March, 2017.
I had the honor to take part in MEU Strasbourg 2017 (18-25 March) as MEP of EPP from Luxembourg. At first I got quite rush getting such a small country, in big party and very particular interests. However, once I got relaxed in the role I also tried myself as a Rapporteur of EP for the European Council. From completely technical view, I enjoyed my roles and have expanded my knowledge of European politics and law. I don’t consider myself as hardcore MEU/MUN-er but I do consider myself as an experienced delegate. Anyone with the same feeling can relate how I feel after 7 exhausting days of another simulation.
However, I do not want to complain how small the breakfasts were, how stringent the timetable, nor I don’t want to praise the great organizing team and how great amazing the socials were. This experience was something completely different and on a whole new level for me. How come? Of course, every simulation’s aim is primarily to have fun, learn something new and meet new people, but not this time. Given the world, more precisely the European Union, we live in today the post-MEUS depression was replaced by reflection. At first reflections on exciting political games between the European Council and European Parliament, where I acted as Rapporteur for European Parliament and provided my fair part in these political games, then on extraordinary socials, from which only images help to remember, and lastly on all the people that I already knew and those I had the pleasure to get to know.
But as Rocky said in his famous speech to his son in Rocky V, life is not a fairy-tale. Driving to France, we have been stopped on borders for checks, I have witnessed things that are in contradiction to every single principle on which our beautiful band of nations has been built. In fact, it was these experiences that made this simulation so amazing for me. On one side, I got to experience the spirit of the EU and simulations themselves, bonding and having fun with people no matter their origin, while on the other side the ugly side of current political discourse in EU, policemen arbitrarily stopping, questioning people and taking them into custody. In no way can I generalize the good or the bad on whole EU, but one thing is for sure, I came back more determined than ever to contribute to our common will to live together in EU.
I firmly believe that at the end of the day these simulations aren’t only for fun, but represent an important part in shaping us as students, as European citizens and as people. Let my short message also serve as an appeal to all who falter to join a simulation or are in any other way afraid. Do not be afraid, these simulations are fun and games up to the day you realize that you wouldn’t be the same person without them. And don’t forget, cockroaches might survive a nuclear blast, but they wouldn’t survive the fall of EU!
Published by Teja Dobnik on 24 March, 2017.
Human trafficking is, according to Ms Emelia Allan, Child Protection Specialist based in Ghana working for UNICEF, ‘’one of the heinous crimes against humanity, as it retards a nation’s development and promotes criminal conduct, corruption, and undermines human resource development’’. Members of MUNSC are aware of this highly disruptive issue for global society, which is the reason why the topic of Human Trafficking was chosen as the theme for the mock session of 23rd of March 2017.
In true MUN spirit, several MUNSC members attended the mock session, each with their designated country’s agenda. At this point it is worth mentioning that the best recipe for a colourful discussion is having countries with opposing views of which global issues are of significant importance to the international community. The ideological bloodbath between Arab and Western countries was presided over by two lovely MUNSC chaps, Jure Macuh and Miha Trstenjak, both of which truly earned their chairing stripes.
Almost at the beginning of the debate one could see two alliances forming. Delegates exhibited a modern rendition of the classic tune of “an enemy of my enemy is my friend”, which resulted in very vocal Arab countries (together with Asian allies China and India) serving as one block, and African and Latin American countries serving as the other block. Both sides expressed their views on the matter, with the Arab-Asian block stressing the importance of their own values, and begging the other block to try and see their importance and not dismiss them so lightly. On the other side, African, Latin and American countries were voicing concerns over the raising number of victims of human trafficking.
The bipolarity of the council created tensions that had everyone on edge, which made following the Rules of Procedure an even greater necessity than usually. The delegates were on fire and did not cut the presiding officers any slack when it came to following the Rules of Procedure. Rules are rules and they need to be followed. A Point of Order here, a Motion to Appeal the Decision of the Chairs there, and before the Chairs knew it, the Council dynamic was similar to the one at the Red Wedding (cheeky little Game of Thrones reference). Despite the situation being demanding, the Chairs managed to get through this ordeal, and almost without breaking a sweat!
The debate reached its peak when some of the countries became zealous advocates of legitimisation of human trafficking in order to make it more moral. Not all the countries agreed with this drastic proposal, which resulted in each of the blocs producing their own resolution. Since time was not on the delegates’ sides, only one resolution made it to voting procedure – the resolution first submitted. But, plot twist! The resolution failed. Nevertheless, the delegates had fun – be it for witty responses from them and the presiding officers, or the long lost Polish member of MUNSC, who decided that he’d rather spend more time with his MUNSC brothers and sisters than be anywhere else.
The mock was one in the series of events, that were organized by the younger generation – the so called MUNSC Minions, in order to obtain the knowledge of organising all that revolves around MUNs, that their older peers have already mastered. First one being the workshop about international law, the next one will be the Teambuilding event which is TBA.
Student Summit 3 or how religion affected the people from post-socialist countries of Eastern Europe
Published by Teja Dobnik on 12 March, 2017.
Moldova, a place almost (unjustly) forgotten, an ex-Soviet Union region and the cheapest country in Europe. That is what Teja Dobnk knew before she went on a quest to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. With other students from Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia and Russia from 2nd to 5th of March she attended a conference that revolved around how religion developed in post-socialist countries of Eastern Europe. It more specifically focused on how protestant Christianity has found its place among younger generation of that area, who mostly grew up in orthodox or catholic Christian tradition. What she found out from the peoples testimonies was that usually these two traditions rather than educating people about religion and helping them develop faith pushed them away into mere reciting of prayers at Sunday masses. That is why protestant Christianity with its more personal approach has been able to reach for the young people more successfully than other Christian branches.
The reason she attended the conference (besides her interest in knowing how religion impacts people in their everyday lives) was to translate from English to Slovene for the students attending the summit. Little did she know that her translating was going to be from Serbo-Croatian to Slovene, rather than English to Slovene. As it is the case almost every time students from the ex-Yugoslavian countries gather somewhere, this weird invisible bond was created and Teja ended up spending most of her time with her newfound peers from Croatia, Macedonia and Bulgaria. They’ve formed a dream team and since they were hanging out so often, people from other countries started to ask them if all of their respective countries have the same official language. With a grin they all educated the oblivious people about the former (glory of) common country of Yugoslavia and about the fact that our languages are indeed quite similar.
To sum up the conference was a success, Teja learned a lot about the place of religion in the lives of Eastern Europeans and in return she spread the word about MUNs, MUNSC and MUNSC Salient. People seemed quite interested so hopefully we’ll get to see the lovely people she got to meet at the summit at our summer conference as well.
Published by Jure Macuh on 9 March, 2017.
The members of the Model United Nations Slovenia Club took part at a workshop on Monday 6 March, at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The workshop titled International Law and State Responsibility: From Human Rights to Cyber Warfare was lead by Rok Jamnik, who brought us closer to the topics of international safeguarding of human rights and cyber warfare in the context of international law. The first part of the workshop was dedicated to international safeguarding of human rights remains one of the most fundamental task of the United Nations with a multitude of dimensions as explained by Rok. The second part of the workshop concentrating on cyber warfare, which is currently a very disruptive and complex topic in international affairs The workshop attracted the attention of several MUNSC members who were eager to learn more about both topics. This was the second lecture held by Rok Jamnik and we are looking very forward to his future lectures.
Published by Petja Oplotnik and Barbara Vida on 28 Februrary, 2017.
Model United Nations Slovenia Club hosted the first two-day conference of 2017 between 24-25 February, at the Faculty of Social Sciences. The Conference topic was The First Intifada, which put the delegates back in the year 1990, and in the seats of a historical UN Security Council. Livija Marko-Wieser and Žiga Golobič took up the roles of Presiding Officers, and were accompanied by Matic Gumpot and Amanda Teršar as the Crisis Team, which made the two days even more complicated and interesting. This Conference was special for another reason: we had the honor to welcome our fellow delegates and friends from Zagreb, who brought a fresh perspective to the discussion.
The conference started on Friday morning with four sessions. In the first session, the delegations presented their opening remarks according to regular procedure. Peace and tranquility was soon a thing of the past, when the Crisis Team started causing mischief in the second session. Tensions rose, especially with the delegation of Israel, Gašper Črepinšek, who very eagerly defended Israel’s interests. The Security Council was soon doubting its own transparency, when the Crisis Team released information to privy delegations that one of the Member States was being blackmailed. Although the Security Council is supposed to respect the UN Charter, and refrain from the use of force, several threats of war were made. Despite that, the Council was able to submit a working paper at the end of the day. To lower the tensions between delegations after a long day, the entire Council proceeded to the usual MUNSC social gathering spot: the Cutty Sark Pub.
Saturday morning started off with some delegations being absent, but they shortly joined the discussion. The reading time was spent to merge the working papers, but not everything went smoothly. Tensions were still high between delegations. For instance, Israel strongly opposed any decision made without the presence of its delegate. The draft resolution was met with many amendments, most of which failed, but in the end, the resolution proposed by Jordan was accepted (despite the numerous veto threats by almost all Permanent Members(. At the end of the day, the Crisis Team was back at it: they announced that Jordan was invaded by Israel and Egypt, and that all the hard work up to that point went to waste. The session ended with Egypt and Israel having the last laugh, though.
Speaking of last laughs, two delegates certainly had cause for laughter and celebration. The recipient of the Best Delegate Award was Toni Požar, and the recipient of the Honorable Mention was Sonja Trgovčić. Congratulations to both!
After the shock of the Two-Day Conference, we all went to lunch at Skuhna and drinks at Čolnarna in Tivoli.
Published by Jure Macuh 13 February, 2017.
The Model United Nations Slovenia Club has once again embarked on a week of MUN adventures to the PragueMUN 2017 conference. The delegation consisting of nine members was distributed within the several councils this year’s PragueMUN had to offer. Miha Trstenjak and Livija Marko-Wieser were the excellencies of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Russian Federation in the Security Council, which was chaired by the MUNSC vice-president himself Žiga Golobič. A very special experience for the MUNSC debutant Tilen Obradović was the Human Right’s Council, especially since it was presided by the experienced Paweł Aleksander Kupis. Evelin Einspieler got her first taste of MUN experience as well in the very technical sessions of the International Atomic Energy Agency accompanied by Jure Macuh. Two MUNSC members were flying solo – Teja Dobnik in ECOFIN and Ina Pantner in the European Council. The MUNSC delegation enjoyed several exciting socials including the Mafia Party where the members tried out their Marlon Brando impersonations. Needless to say that the beautiful city of Prague had left a lovely impression on all of the attendees of the PragueMUN 2017 conference, which the MUNSC will surely revisit in its future editions.
Published by Paweł A. Kupis on 23 January, 2017.
Not discouraged by spicy food as well as high threats from terrorism, sectarian violence and kidnappings throughout Pakistan, MUNSC delegation found its safe path to the 8th annual session of the Model United Nations IBA Karachi – one of the biggest conferences in Asia. This time our MUNSC honorary member, bishop and most recently – a visiting researcher at the University of Ljubljana – Paweł A. Kupis was invited as one of the few Europeans to join the esteemed international secretariat and chair the fast paced, crises-driven debates in the African Union.
The conference itself focused on the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit in New York. By embracing and celebrating diversity and not division, MUNIK VIII provided the smartest minds in the country an opportunity to come together and plan the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in a collective effort, while making sure that the benefits are also collective in nature.
After four days of passionate debates, spicy food (wait, was that the cooked brain?), minor floods and 3.6 earthquake, the conference proved to be the beacon of light for the leaders of tomorrow.
The fine mixture of the sophisticated crises events, unprecedented delegates’ participation and Paweł’s trademark “velvet authoritarian” chairing style secured the African Union the “Best Committee Award” of MUNIK VIII. What a way to start the final season!