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May 16 2017

Darragh Ryan and Cian Lynch attend Model United Nations in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani Debate Success

 

By Darragh Ryan Form 5

 

At 8:30pm on Wednesday the 12th of April; Cian Lynch, Melvin Buttimer and I arrived in Baku international airport, Azerbaijan.

The next day we were brought to the school the conference was being held, Baku Oxford College, and given a brief run-down of MUN procedure. We spent the rest of the day walking around the city taking in the sights such as the expansive sea-side boulevards, parts of the old city and monumental sky-scrappers.

Friday was the first day of the conference, we were put into our committees and began our tasks. In model united nations each delegate is given the task of representing a country in one of the UN councils. Cian was tasked with representing Lithuania in the UNICEF council which focuses on enforcing human rights around the world and increasing the standards of living for those in poverty. To start the conference, he and his council had to decide which of the three given topics they were going to try to deal with:

Measures to protect and provide support for street children in urban areas

Strengthening measures and responses to prevent all forms of exploitation, violence and abuse in Less Economically Developed Countries

Measures to implement and promote rights to safe water and sanitation

I was chosen to represent Ukraine on the Security Council, the UN body responsible for achieving and maintaining peace across the world. The Security Council works differently to others as our council comprised of only 15 members in total (compared to other councils 30+) and instead of having three days to work on one issue we had one issue a day.  For the first day, we were asked to write a resolution which included “Measures to combat internal terrorist organizations in West Africa” focusing primarily on the rise of Boko Haram.

After the conference had finished for the day we were taken to a nearby hotel and treated to a Gala dinner, hosted by the school, in which we were given the opportunity to try tradition Azerbaijani food. The Gala dinner was followed by a disco, before we were driven back to our hotel.

During the second day of the conference Cian’s groups began working on drafting a resolution for their chosen topic of safe water and sanitation. My council began work on our second issue “The question of the refugees in the Mediterranean: threats to stability, peace and security”. We finished drafting and voting on our resolution 1 hour early so to fill the time we were treated to an “Emergency Session” in which the Secretary General (Head of the event) came to inform us that Russian and American war planes had collided over Syrian; and it was our task to come to a peaceful resolution between the two members.

The third and final day of the conference was focused around the GA (General Assembly) in which all, but one, of the councils come together in one room to judge, evaluate and ultimately vote on the resolution the other committees had produced. Cain’s council successfully managed to pass their Safe Water act in the GA. The Security Council on the other hand did not attend, as the security council has the power to pass its own resolution; and so instead we began work on our third and final topic “The question of the crisis in Ukraine”. It was a long and difficult day, full of bitter arguments on both sides and multiple veto threats; but in the end, after much debate, and a few concessions the resolution main submitted by the delegation of Ukraine (me) won and the resolution was passed.

On the final day of our travels we took a guided tour around the city and some of the surrounding area; allowing us to get a closer and more detailed look at the things we saw on our first day.

Overall the trip was a great experience, I learn much about public speaking, rhetoric and international politics; not to mention the many skills I developed fundraising for and organising the event.