How do we lobby at MUN
Model United Nations (MUN) is a simulation game in which young people slip into the role of UN MPs and pass resolutions. The participants are made aware of international politics by experiencing diplomatic negotiations and discussions as well as lobbying themselves.
The countries we represented were Algeria, Australia, Bahrain and Brazil, which we represented in different committees. Each committee dealt with different topics that we had previously dealt with extensively. The topics ranged from the fight against terrorism and human rights violations to urban development.
On Thursday morning, March 30th, we traveled to Stuttgart and in the afternoon we attended the opening ceremony of the simulation game, during which, in addition to the general welcome and a few speeches, cultural contributions in the form of music and dance were given. Afterwards, the students of our course used the free time to get a first picture of Stuttgart by ending the evening on Schlossplatz.
The next morning we went to our committees for the first time, after which the debates on the assigned topics began. As usual at the UN, these were opened by “lobbying” in which the delegations try to find supporters of their own resolution, which each delegate had written at home. The resolutions of Algeria in General Assembly 1 and of Bahrain in General Assembly 6, which were drafted by students in our seminar, have found enough support to be discussed and debated later in the committee. “Amendments” - changes to a resolution - that we have drafted have also won a majority of votes in the committee's vote several times.
The most important rules throughout the conference were the use of the English language without exception, that each delegation was NOT allowed to represent their real country of origin, and that all participants comply with the applicable UN guidelines for debates, such as the use of the mandatory speech formulas for the parliamentary debate as well Compulsion to wear business clothes.
Apart from the very realistic and strictly adhered to schedule, MUNs also have traditions that are more for entertainment. If you were late, for example, you got “punishments” that included dancing and singing. In General Assembly 1, this resulted in a rap battle and the performance of the Algerian national anthem by the delegates who knew the non-existent text “by heart”. Furthermore, it is common for delegates to exchange notes during the meetings in order to communicate with one another - but not always only about political issues. Slips of paper that did not meet the actual purpose were put in the "Gossip Box" and later read out, much to the amusement of others.
On Saturday the various resolutions continued to be fine-tuned and voted on. In the evening we had to walk a long way home due to a harmless train derailment, but the mood of the evening was not clouded because of the upcoming MUN party. We spent the evening in a club in the city center with the other students, which rounded off the last evening perfectly.
On Sunday, the last day of the conference, the General Assembly, in which all the committees sat together, voted on the resolutions worked out in the committees, as well as the closing ceremony at which Paul Rolle and Tom Wagner-Manslau, the delegation from Algeria of Otto-von-Taube Gymnasium, was named “Best Delegates” after the resolution they had prepared was ratified.
After a very insightful and successful week in which we were able to experience how politics works in an international context, we can now better understand what is going on in the United Nations and look back on a very nice trip to Stuttgart. So we're all really looking forward to visiting another MUN in June, but this time in Oldenburg.
Mirjam Schobel, Paul Rolle and Tom Wagner-Manslau, Q11
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