On the weekend of 7th– 8th November, a delegation of students attended the SANMUN (Sandefjord and Nesbru Model United nations) Conference in Sandefjord. The students were Nimra Nadeen (Pakistan), Abdul Abo Shokur (Sweden) and Fredrik Lura (Norway). Here Fredrik offers his reflections:
The 12th annual SANMUN conference was held 7-8th of November and, as in previous years UWC sent a delegation. The three of us were representing the Syrian Arab Republic. There were four committees, and Syria was present and represented on three of them: Disarmament and International Security Committee, Social Cultural and Humanitarian Committee and the United Nations Human Rights Council. Some of the topics discussed in the various committees were:
- Measures to prevent The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from taking over more territory
- Measures to resolve the Syrian refugee crisis
- Regulating the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
The conference started with all ambassadors giving opening speeches, briefly stating and explaining the country’s main stances and stating what their approach to the debate would be.
We decided we wanted to take a controversial approach to the debates and tried to represent the Assad-regime in the best way possible. This was appreciated by many, and not by others. It really added an interesting perspective to the entire conference, and it made the debates more fun and interesting for all member states participating. For Nimra and I, who had done several conferences before this, it was fun to attend another MUN, and for Abdul it was an enlightening first experience with MUN.
These were also the topics when the debate was at its peak, and when most countries were engaged. These issues are very relevant to many countries, hence the interest of all member states. Unfortunately for us, both Syrian topics were not debated for very long, as these were the particular topics we had prepared for.
The highlight of the conference was the General Assembly. All delegates of all member states were gathered in one big conference room and we discussed one resolution from every committee. In the last 5 minutes of the conference, we decided that, due to the fact that the General Assembly President was not allowing us to speak – when we felt we needed to speak because the resolutions were about us – we decided to end the General Assembly by ‘declaring war’ against Israel. That created a stir!
The closing ceremony lasted an hour after this, and awards were handed out. Syria came out as a “winner”. Nimra won best delegate in her respective committee (DISEC), and I won best delegate, most provocative and most likely to become a dictator in my committee (UNHRC). The conference was closed on Sunday afternoon.