THE ATHENS MODEL UNITED NATIONS



Between the 1st and the 4th of March 2018, we went to HMUN to Athens. On the first day, we went to Novotel and started meeting new persons and tried to get to know the people who were in our committee. Then, we went to the Opening Ceremony where each ambassador of each country delivered a speech to talk about the main issues and the position of the country towards these problems. It lasted a long time but it was important for all delegates to know better the country and try to form alliances by passing notes during the entire ceremony. After a break, we were in the committee we belonged to: personally I was in the UN preventing and countering terrorism committee. I chose this committee because terrorism is now one of the biggest global issues and I was really interested to talk about it.  Some countries started delivering a speech on the policy of their country so that other countries can come to them and understand their ideas for writing the resolution. We then had lobbying. Lobbying is a really important moment in the conference because it is when you go to speak to each country and try to find allies to write the resolution.We needed to do three different resolutions in the committee. I personally went to talk to small countries like Indonesia that sponsored terrorism in the past but it is now ready to counter it. Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Libya or Lebanon were the submitters of our resolution. Big and powerful countries such as France, Germany and the United States of America decided to be together. We then started writing our resolution on the first topic: stop the financing and the facilities of terrorism to counter it. In our group, everybody proposed clauses and we voted for the ones we wanted to keep and added them in the commun resolution. We wrote new ones if necessary. We needed to write about 15 clauses. We tried not to repeat always the same things and found new ideas and manners to express them. When we were done, we started again lobbying for the other topic: protecting human rights while countering terrorism. We nearly kept the same groups and this time formed a group with countries that have already violated human rights. We again started writing a resolution on this topic together as a group.

On the second day, we continued writing our second resolution. When we were finally done, we passed to my favorite part: the debate. During the debate each country sit in alphabetical order and votes for the resolution. Each resolution was red and then there was 20 minutes in favor and 20 minutes against the resolution with a total time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. The debate was animated by the chairs. While doing a speech we needed to follow some motions such as beginning with « Honorable chairs and fellow delegates », finishing with «  We yield the floor to the chair », not using « I »  but « we » and remaining diplomatic. It was for me the best moment because we were supposed to defend our ideas and vote as we do in the United Nations. If we did not agree with a clause, we could propose an amendment to change, add or erase o clause of the resolution by the voting procedure. I did not see the time passing during debate, even if I did not speak at the beginning, it was really interesting to learn about all the opinion of the countries and it was very difficult to persuade big powers that small countries could do something. These countries did not believed that everybody can change and that even if our countries did bad things in the past, they are willing to change. We voted for two resolutions for the first topic and two for the second one.

The last day, we continued the debate and voted for one resolution per topic. Our resolution was voted and I was really happy. I also delivered a speech on the position of Indonesia and tried to convince others that the countries that have signed my resolution were willing to change and that the past should remain in the past so that we can concentrate on our future. We then chose the topic on which we wanted to debate in the ECOSOC: it was the first topic on the financing of terrorism.The terrorism, the sustainable development and the economic and social committee came then together. This new committee was named the ECOSOC while disarmament and special politics were in the General Assembly. We voted for the resolutions and all of them passed. The ECOSOC and the General Assembly came then together for the Closing Ceremony. The President, the Secretary General and the chairs made a speech and we then watched a video with funny dances and pictures that will remain unforgettable for us.

To conclude MUN was a fantastic experience that allowed us to create new friendships and meet new persons. It also helped us being more aware of globally important issues and learn about a lot of different countries and their views according to some problems. It also helped me realize that my English level was even better than what I thought and that I could totally understand everything that was said. It allowed me to speak in front of many persons and gain self-confidence. This way, I discovered the diplomatic world and as a future generation tried to find solutions to big issues. I would like to participate to other MUNs in the futur but my  first experience will remain unforgettable.
By Léa F. 1ère S

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