RegMUN 2019

Regensburg model united nations

– our general rehearsal for New York –

About the RegMUN

The Regensburg Model United Nations (RegMUN) is – similar to the NMUN – a simulation conference of the United Nations, specifically the General Assembly (GA), taking part annually at the University of Regensburg. It is organized by the United Nations Society Regensburg e.V. (UNSR e.V.), an association of students, NMUN alumni and International Politics enthusiasts working together on making the work of the UN comprehensible and spread awareness about its importance.

By organizing the RegMUN, the UNSR e.V. gives the participants (65 in 2019) the chance of taking over the role of a diplomat for a whole weekend – at the University of Regensburg.

Preparation

Apart from organizing the whole conference (including catering, lectures of opportunity and get-togethers), the UNSR e.V. also beforehand makes sure that the delegates are well prepared: In November 2019, there were three RegMUN-preparatory-workshops in which we not only got our countries assigned, but moreover in the first two workshops, Max Hundhammer, president of the UNSR e.V., and Christian Sigl, the faculty advisor of our NMUN-delegation, taught us about the conference flow, rules of procedure, motions and Position Paper writing. The latter is a new kind of challenge, especially to the MUN-newcomers among us, which is why Max Hundhammer and Christian Sigl elaboratively dealt with the research, formal criteria and content of a Position Paper in the course of the workshops.

Another crucial part of Model UN and diplomacy in real life is the rhetoric – negotiating and giving speeches is what a (MUN-) delegate will be doing most of the time during the conference. Therefore, the third and last workshop was all about us practicing our rhetorical skills in groups.

The Position Paper

The main goal of the Position Paper is to give the assigned country’s opinion on the three different topics of the conference:

1. Nuclear Disarmament and International Security

2. Ensuring Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All

3. Combating Human Trafficking

The whole process of writing the Position Paper was characterized by intense research and effort – especially for the NMUN-delegates, for whom this was also a crucial exercise for the New York Position Paper.

Not only for the Position Paper, but also for the whole conference, good research was and is essential. A successful and realistic representation of our assigned countries required us to know as much as possible about them, particularly regarding international politics, such as general behavior in the UN, economic and political interests, diplomatic relations, memberships in transnational organizations, cultural background, and so on.

RegMUN 2019

– Let the games begin

After all the research and getting to know our countries, we were all very excited to be able to put all of our knowledge into a practical context when the RegMUN weekend had finally arrived – Friday, December 6th to Sunday, December 8th.

The countries represented by our NMUN-delegation were:

USA, UK, France, China, Russia, Canada, India, Iran, Pakistan, Brazil, Israel, North Korea, South Korea, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

At 4 pm sharp, the opening ceremony began, where Max Hundhammer welcomed us to the 2019 conference. After an interesting lecture of opportunity and a champagne reception, the conference started with the first formal session – and we switched to the roles that we would be playing over the whole weekend: diplomats, artists of negotiation, speakers – representatives of countries from all over the world.

The first few hours of the conference were all about the so-called Agenda-Setting, where all delegations are highly focused on ensuring their topic of priority would be first on the committee’s agenda.

The three topics for the RegMUN Conference

1. Nuclear Disarmament and International Security,

2. Ensuring Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All

3. Combating Human Trafficking.

After a few hours of intense negotiating and giving speeches about the importance of the topics, the agenda was voted upon and adopted as 1-2-3, meaning that the committee would mainly deal with Nuclear Disarmament and International Security for the weekend.

The conference can be divided into two types of sessions: The formal debate, in which all delegates remain seated and speeches are given, and the informal debate, which allows delegates to negotiate, form alliances and write their working-papers. As soon as the agenda had been adopted, we immediately moved into topic Nr.1 and started with a formal session, giving speeches to inform our fellow delegates about our countries’ opinion and approach in terms of Nuclear Disarmament – the crucial basis for negotiating, finding allies and a working group in the upcoming informal session.

The following two days were an exciting mix of formal and informal sessions, passionate debates, and working on potential resolutions (so-called working papers) with our allies. The different working groups had come together to work on a plethora of challenges and ideas concerning Nuclear Disarmament, such as Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zones in different regions of the world, especially the Middle East, roadmaps and potential landmarks on the way to disarmament, as well as the improvement of relations with other Member States. The working papers we had created were then revised by the Chair and ultimately accepted as draft resolutions.

When we moved into voting procedure on the last day of the conference, there were four draft resolutions to be voted upon, addressing different aspects of nuclear disarmament. Two of them – including a few amendments – were adopted as resolutions in the end. For the involved delegates, the adoption of their resolution was not only a relieving, but moreover an especially rewarding moment, being the result of a weekend of hard work.

But the RegMUN was of course an enriching experience for everyone who participated. With diplomacy and international politics being something that students don’t usually have real access to and that therefore seemed somewhat abstract to many of us, being able to take over the role of a delegate and experiencing the work of diplomats almost first-hand, was an extraordinary way for all of us to put theoretical knowledge into a practical context.

After the unique experience of the RegMUN 2019, our delegation of Viet Nam for NMUN NY is even more excited for the conference in March!

by Alessandra Aue