RIMUN Delegation 2016

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By Flavio Baroffio

Once again GIMUN was sending a delegation to a MUN conference organized by Sciences Po Reims. This time the delegation was headed to the French city of Reims, the capital of champagne.

The conference was held over three days over the weekend from Friday the 12th of February until Sunday. On the first day only the opening ceremony was scheduled. So our small delegation of three had the chance to explore the city in the afternoon. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side but the charm of the city kept our spirits alive.

In the evening the opening ceremony with many renowned participants took place. Originally it was planned that the now former Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, the honourable Laurent Fabius, would hold a speech in which he talked about the COP21 summit which he conducted. But as he stepped down from his post this exact day, he regrettably couldn’t be there in person. Therefore he was replaced by the French diplomat Jean Mendelson, who read the speech prepared by Laurent Fabius with wit and charm.

The speech gave us insight into the COP21 summit and it was interesting to hear about it from a diplomat who participated himself in the negotiations. It was explained to us that this is the first time that procedure of a COP summit was reversed. Normally the scientists and other experts would come together to discuss a possible solution against climate change and the states leaders would then after come together and decide whether or not they want to accept the proposals. It didn’t work out. So for the COP21 summit the politicians would discuss and lay out common ground rules and then the panel of experts would work inside the framework laid out by politicians. The French diplomacy deserves credit because their tactic worked out as we have seen a couple of weeks ago. Alongside Jean Mendelson the director of Sciences Po Frédéric Mion and deputy of the mayor of Reims Véronique Marchet were giving speeches.

After the opening ceremony we would have our first encounter with Reims’ most important cultural good : Champagne. It was a great possibility to meet fellow delegates and discussing the conference ahead and sharing past experience of MUN.

The next day debates finally started. Each of GIMUN’s delegates was in a separate committee. We were representing Australia in SOCHUM, the social, cultural and humanitarian council, Nigeria in the Human Rights Council, and in the Joint Historical Crisis Committee, Gaius Claudius Nero, a Roman general and senator.

In SOCHUM heated debates about asylum camps in war-ravaged territories and the practice of sex tourism were sparked and two resolutions co-written by our delegate were adopted by the General Assembly at the end of the conference. In the Human Rights Council our delegate had to represent Nigeria’s interests towards eradicating child labour in developing countries and eliminating the use of torture and indefinite detention. Here two resolutions were accepted and adopted as well.

As I was in the Joint Historical Crisis Committee, representing a Roman general in the Punic wars against Carthage, I will elaborate a bit more on this committee. Everything started peacefully but pretty soon unknown ships had been sighted and the Roman Senate had to find an adequate response to this potential threat. The first response was only to send scouts to find out more information. Unfortunately it wasn’t long until full scale war broke out between Rome and Carthage. But the war wasn’t the only problem the Roman Senate was facing. Spies were among the senators, the Roman people revolted against their leaders and personal interests of some Senators sparked mistrust amongst the senate. Victory almost at grasp a civil war broke out which was the beginning of the end of Rome. As soon after Carthage took advantage and marched into Rome and too power.

In the end I would like to thank Sciences Po Reims for conducting a memorable MUN conference, the members of our delegation Chiara and Carina. Chiara thank you for coming up with the idea and for organizing this trip. And Carina thank you for keeping the delegation spirit up with your uncanny sense of humour. In the name of the whole delegation I would like to finally express my gratitude towards GIMUN for supporting us organizationally and financially for a MUN experience we will remember for a long time.

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