Lousewies van der Laan’s interactive lecture about negotiations in the European Parliament

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Originally posted by Karolina Praček on March 4, 2014

On Monday, the 3rd of March 2014, the United Nations Association of Slovenia (UNAS) hosted Lousewies van der Laan’s interactive lecture about negotiations in the European Parliament, which was introduced by professor dr. Bojko Bučar, president of UNAS and dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Mrs. van der Laan is the vice-president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), while in her previous professional career she was, e.g., the Spokeswomen of European Commissioner Hans van den Broek, Member of the European Parliament, Member of the Netherlands Parliament and Chief of Staff to the President of the International Criminal Court.

The evening was very interesting, as the guest did not limit herself only to topics related to the European Parliament; moreover, she touched upon relevant issues for the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, Netherlands, Slovenia and recent events in Ukraine. Her strong standpoints and personal experience also came to the fore during the question and answer period.

Mrs. van der Laan, among others, stressed the need for more voters to participate in the elections and give their vote to the candidate of their choice, than the hypocrisy of some important international entities, and the need to fix the European Union’s economic problems in order to be able to help other actors of the international community to create a world where we can all live in prosperity. The audience, mainly students, gave her a long applause at the end, and dr. Bučar thanked Mrs. van der Laan in the name of UNAS for her interesting remarks.

MUNSC Conference 2014: Cuban Missile Crisis

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Originally posted by Gašper Kavšek on February 26, 2014

On the 14th of February 2014, our members returned to the year 1962, where they represented their countries in the troubled times of the Cuban missile crisis. The simulation started with the opening speeches of professor dr. Bojko Bučar, the president of the Uniten Nations Association of Slovenia, and Karolina Praček, the president of the Model United Nations Slovenia Club.

The debate started with strong statements made by the delegations of Cuba, France and the USA. Cuba made it clear that they won’t allow ‘the imperial monster’ – meaning the USA, to interfere with their national sovereignty. France tried to calm the air by stressing the importance of discussing the conflict in hand and not the balance of powers. But the USA again stirred the pot with their demand to the USSR, to offer proof that the missiles in Cuba are only defensive. Cuba again interfered the debate and brought to light the USA’s past of ‘invading the whole world’ and mentioned that they are not prepared to let them dictate the future of this planet.

The UN Secretariat took the floor and introduced some news regarding an attack on a Soviet tanker, operated by a Romanian crew. Shots were fired and three explosions occurred, the perpetrators were not identified yet. In the meantime Cuba seemed to be preparing for a violent confrontation.

The post-news discussion stressed the importance of morality and responsibility, especially from the French and US delegation. United Arab Republic even compared the situation to that between Israel and Egypt. To ease the tension Ireland as a neutral non-nuclear state, offered its expertise to check the missiles in Cuba. Cuba responded with their opinion that in their opinion Ireland is not a neutral country due to its non-communist movement history.

The discussion was once again interrupted by a piece of news from USSR, where a Soviet nuclear scientist has allegedly been kidnaped by the US.

United Arab Republic proposed a peace conference. Venezuela took a more neutral ground in its statement, that all states that breach international law, will be judged by the international community. Romania expressed that it feels threatened by the US, since the USA have more missiles than the USSR.

Following the news reports, there was a lot of pointing fingers between the USA and USSR.

China shared one of their sayings with the council: ’’What is the sound of a one hand clapping?’’. This reference to the two-side negotiations gave all delegations something to think about. Turkey served strong accusations against Cuba and their human rights violations and Cuba responded with the proposal that there should be an investigation of the Turkish prisons, if we want to find human rights violations. Venezuela interfered and urged states to stick to the topic and not stray too far from the main focus.

What followed were more news from the UN Secretariat which reported about espionage in Europe. Up until the end of the first day of the simulation this divide between USA and USSR only deepened and no solution was found.

Day two of the simulation started with opening speeches expressing concern on how the negotiations ended the day before. The debate in the early stages focused on the USSR’s chain of command, where the US tried to introduce their system as a good example, but Romania, USSR and Cuba disagreed.

France introduced a draft paper. And even the divide between US and USSR turned out to be productive, since the two delegations were able to negotiate and present a draft paper of their own. The delegations were more accepting of the US and USSR’s working paper, the only article sparkling debates was the article 6, which raised concerns with Cuba, Chile and Ghana.

The resolution was accepted with only 2 delegations abstaining and no delegations against. The simulation ended with the clap of approval and the final words by the Secretary General.

4th Mock Simulation (Economic empowerment of women) and 5th Workshop (Resolution-writing)

Originally posted by Karolina Praček on January 31, 2014

After this year’s MUNSC 5th workshop, which explained the procedural sequencesand characteristics of writing different documents during an MUN simulation (e.g.working papers, draft resolutions and amendments), and an interesting debate in the form of a Q&A period, the members present practically implemented their (newly acquired) knowledge during the mock simulation. Regardless the lack oftime they successfully managed to go through each phase of resolution-writing and adopted a resolution at the end of the session.

Moreover, MUNSC successfully introduced a new Presiding Officer, Mr. Blaž Grilj, who presided over a MUNSC committee for the first time.

The event was held on the 8th of January2014 at the Faculty of social sciences.

MUNSC Crisis Simulation

Originally posted by Karolina Praček on December 18, 2013

On Monday, 16 December 2013, Model United Nations Slovenia Club (MUNSC) organized this year’s first crisis simulation of the UN Security Council at the premises of the United Nations Association of Slovenia. The Presiding Officers, Ana Kristovič and Vid Tomić, prepared an unforgettable event for all participants.

The delegates received concrete information about the topic (recent events in the Middle East) of the meeting just hours before and also during the meeting, which contributed to the spirit of the simulation and to more intense negotiations. This simulation was some members’ first MUN simulation at all, but they all did a good job and contributed to the success of the simulation.

Despite the seriousness of the issues discussed, participants had a lot of fun and concluded the day with a deserved dinner and following social event.