THE UNITED NATIONS Association is hosting a Model United Nations (MUN) Conference this term, called York MUN 2018. Taking place from 2-4 February, the conference will be hosting over 100 attendees from universities or colleges across three different continents, with more delegates still expecting to confirm.
The conference will host key-note speaker, journalist and politician Natalie Bennett, who will be speaking on issues to do with their slogan ‘The End of Experts?’ The overall Secretary General will be third year Physics with Philosophy student Nick Meadowcroft-Lunn. He will be working with the Deputy Secretary General Sara SchjØdt Kjaer, a fellow third year student in the same degree. Both have several years previous experience working with MUN, and enjoyed last year’s event. This annual event had its largest ever conference last year and it is hoped that the 2018 conference will be even bigger and better.
The five General Assemblies that are being simulated for this conference will investigate issues and tensions arising from the current political climate that threaten the effectiveness and legitimacy of international groups, such as the United Nations and European Union. Ensuring the continued competency of the aforementioned bodies is key in resolving shared security, economic and human rights issues, and according to Robbie Almond, Under Secretary General for Socials for YorkMUN 2018, is “vital in the survival of cosmopolitan bodies like the United Nations and the European Union”.
This conference will allow students from all over the world to engage with each other over relevant and current issues and share varying perspectives and potential solutions. York MUN will also be hosting a crisis scenario which will involve three smaller cabinets as well as the five General Assemblies. One of the topics they are looking to debate is the ‘Creation of a Kurdish State’ in the Security Council as well as new Brexit negotiations.
It will not all be work-based, however, as they will have both a bar crawl and a ball to celebrate the event and encourage integration between delegates from all over the world. While students from the University are not able to go and spectate the event specifically, they are encouraged to sign up and attend a United Nations Association training session. The UNA works hard to make sure their delegates are as prepared as possible and are running a MiniMUN that will simulate the WHO and focus on disability rights.
The association has already hosted one training session this term, that was based on looking at situations in Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. They looked at a variety of conflicts those countries faced. Some of their work was based on solving issues caused by ethnic tensions, border disputes or annexations.