CRISTINA ALONSO. The uncalled-for Friday we all dreaded unfortunately arrived. After eleven months of hard work and ceaseless planning, four days were not even close to sufficient. All of us wished for it to be Tuesday anew so that this incredible experience could commence all over again. However, there was nothing to be done… the closing ceremony of URJCMUN 2016 was upon us and the organization, delegates, press team and staff started assembling at the lecture hall. A gloomy atmosphere flooded the room.
Suddenly, an amazingly emotional video summary of this IV edition of the model United Nations at Rey Juan Carlos University was displayed, inaugurating the final act.
The director general was the first to approach the stand, mentioning the two weeks of “MUN vacation” they will take before taking up on the arrangements for URJCMUN 2017. Then he addressed each of the Secretariat General members, whom he named friends, for making the model happen. He congratulated the press and staff as well, saying they had been the best teams he could have asked for. Finally, he thanked the delegates for being part of the fifth largest model united nations in the world.
Afterwards, Andrea Boidi proceeded to call the chairs of every committee, starting off with the CSH. Alberite joked about the itinerancy of the model, mentioning it has been held in almost all of the URJC campuses, before quoting multiple notable writers. The other chair mentioned how the participants were alive proof that the youngsters of Spain do indeed care about their future and education. The president and vicepresident of the table ended their intervention by declaring “you have written history”.
SOCHUM came next, labelling everyone who had taken part in the model “indispensable” in making this dream come true. The chairs mentioned his fear upon learning the committee they would be running was to be the second largest of the whole model and how difficult and important the topics they had to deal with were, thanking the delegates for the level of the debates which had taken place and adding that they could have kept going on for four weeks straight without still being over.
Lara Iglesias and Fernan Camacho, who presided ONU Mujeres, reflected on the importance of women and how essential it was to listen to their voice, mentioning the diplomatic world doesn’t know about neither about genres nor cultures. Fernan asked everyone present to place a hand on their left eye and try and see through it, using it as a metaphor of the huge problem the world faces today. He finished the speech by quoting an Andalusian poet who talked about “women always being al pie del camion to defend women”.
Then stood the General Assembly chairs, who mentioned the advances their delegates had performed and the resolutions that had been reached, concluding that if the world actually sat down and dialogued, every single problem would be solved. Among their speech they also joked about the gossip box being the best part of each session and thanked both the staff and press for the dynamism and professionalism they had added to the model.
The English committees were up next, with DISEC leading and discussing some of the resolutions achieved. Mentioned how, even though diplomacy was born in a world which no longer exists and fundamental rights are violated every single day, he still believes in human beings and instar the delegates to be explorers and solve conflicts by travelling and understanding different communities and cultures.
Afterwards, the chairs of the Human Rights committee spoke about how the participants might not yet be aware of what being in a Model United Nations means because of being nationals of a first world country, reminding everyone about the millions of children around the globe forced to work from sunrise to sunset and begging not to be indifferent to those suffering.
Lastly, the Refugees Committee chair and co-chair told the audience to think out of the box and make a difference. Meryem remembered her reaction when she was given the Palestinian refugees issue but was grateful to each of the members of the commission for the amazing debates that were held.
Sinay, as chief of the press team, quoted García Márquez and said “journalism is an insatiable passion”. She later thanked her team for going over every expectation she could have had and for being the first ones arriving every day at the model and the last ones leaving. Lucía, her right hand, finished by thanking the press, staff, delegates and Secretariat for making this URJCMUN happen and be the best yet.
Ainhoa Echeave, the finance director, and Andrea Boidi, the secretary general, concluded the event by again thanking each of the participants for their attendance and the university for lending the facilities before showing the last two videos the production team had been working on.
URJCMUN 2016 was then proclaimed closed, against everyone’s wishes.
See you all next year.
ALBA GARCÍA. After a first glance of the fourth edition of the URJCMUN, Netherlands embassador Matt Van Bonzel gave us an introduction to diplomacy. Netherlands have been members of the UN since 1945 and now are applying its candidacy to enter the UN Security Council. The Security Council is a group within the UN in which 10 members of the UN are selected to be part of it, 5 of them are permanent legitimate members which include China, Russia, USA, Great Britain and France.
Netherlands are looking forward to June elections of the Security Council to gain a position in it. These year it will be facing Italy and Sweeden to earn its place. Its reasons for believing that it should be chosen are various, but basicly they argue they have provided in the past years important contributions to the UN. They've given the biggest budget of 4 billion euros and have been the biggest contributors in the UNHCR. In addition they remind their influence in its caribbean municipalities Aruba, Curaçao, St Marteen, Bonaire, and stand out the fact of its active participation and initiatives in comparison with other members.
Netherland is a country with open believes and cooperative aims. They believe opening borders is the solution for a peaceful and solidary world, as Matt Bonzel said " Opening borders have brought 400 years of development". Therefore they have an interest in international conflicts and therefore want to take a deeper part in the UN to evoke its believes to other states.
In a social context, Netherlands are looking forward to improve a negative view that has been given to diplomats in society. As Marta the second secretary of the embassy highlights, the key is to reach an agreement in which both sides gain, avoiding phocusing only on the minorities problems and having a bigger interest for the majority, because society is feeling they are being left apart and only importance is given to minority groups. An example for this is the Syrian conflict, they believe human rights must be defended but as Marta explained "national's fears shouldn't be forgotten"
As a guideline for the upcoming Comites, Marta revealed some tips and issues that surround the UN's meetings. The advice was basicly to be cooperative. She warned delegates to not assume all their aims and objetives are going to be accomplished as there are many other participants which will contradict many opinions brought about, and will demand the opposite resolution. Therefore, we should focus on trying to understand our partner and reach to an agreement in which both gain even though in some aspects both lose. A basic aim should be set a specific aim, which means that prioritizing our objectives is the key to obtain any kind of succes. Furthermore, basing himself on his own experience, Matt, suggests that an ideal way of reaching some point of understanding is to not claim all your demands. The most suprising revelation but actually typical and a key moment of the UN's meetings Marta said " it's what happens at the coffee machine", meaning that most diplomatic relations will be done outside the actual meeting where most durable and honest agreement will surge.
Finally, a more personal and detailed conversation was brought about where Matt, Netherlands embassador, confesses that being a diplomat is a solitary and difficult job. He explained that "passion needs to be beyond your personal interests", "its sacrificing, especially it affects family, as it involves constant travelling". In addition, he admitted that he's had internal conflicts within himself, as in many occassions, he disagreed with the position that was established for him to have as the Netherlands. When this occured, he could give suggestions, but usually they've been delayed. Matt warns future diplomats to avoid insisting or contradicting orders to maintain your job, as they are just the governments representation, not advisors. In additon, Marta shared her own experience admitting that as a women, there has been complications, as many times the person who you work for could devalue you, but in modern times, she can appreciate the progress that has been made in including woman as diplomats and allowing them to be more involved.
IVÁN MOLINA. Comenzando con un ligero retraso debido a una inoportuna emergencia que ha hecho que el embajador de la Escuela Diplomática D. Enrique Viguera Rubio tuviera que ausentarse, la conferencia ha corrido a cargo del profesor José García Mateos, quien ha proporcionado una pequeña lección a los delegados de los diferentes países sobre cómo hablar en público.
Los asistentes a la conferencia han aprendido cómo realizar un discurso protocolariamente correcto, cómo llevar a cabo una negociación, así como saber utilizar el “conocimiento encasillado”: demostrar habilidades discursivas defendiendo algo de lo que se tiene un conocimiento limitado, evitando situaciones complicadas y hablando siempre sobre aquello de lo que se tenga un conocimiento certero.
Además, ha asegurado que lo principal al enfrentarse a un público tipo Naciones Unidas es dar mucha importancia a lo que se dice y a cómo se dice (la comunicación no verbal es muy importante) para que todo el mundo se sienta partícipe del discurso.
Como conclusión, parafraseamos el discurso final con el que ha cerrado la conferencia: “Que vuestras palabras sean más bonitas que el silencio”.
POLINA HRISTOVA. The 4th annual United Nations model begins today at the Rey Juan Carlos University with an excited, babbling crowd of delegates, journalists, photographers, reporters – the energy is indeed infectious and we are impatient to delve into the depths of politics to discuss the important matters of our world in order to preserve the balance in humanity.
Proud delegates clad in the national clothes of their countries capture the room with their eyes; determination shines through the irises, they've come to conquer and to win in favour of their countries.
The opening ceremony begins with the dean of the Social Sciences faculty, Pilar Laguna, who introduces us to the other three people sitting at the table: the Netherlands ambassador Matthijs Van Bonzel, the general director of URJCmun Álvaro Rodríguez Poblete, and Andrea Boidi representing the General Secretary of URJCmun.
The attention of hundreds is then transferred to Alvaro Rodriguez whose speech laden with gratitude and wise advice culminates with the simple truth of this organisation and generally of any event of mutual collaboration: “United Nations is more than a definition. It does not have a definition limit. We are United Nations.”
Indeed, we are the puppeteers, the driving figures in this mission of peace, balance and solidarity. An important fact to remember and ponder upon.
Matrix van Bonsen takes the spotlight and he begins his speech with a reminder: United Nations exists to keep a balance between the rich and the poor, the interests of the big nations and the small nations and the importance of preserving the climate and environment we need in order to grow stronger together. His explanation stretches further and turns into a story about a Japanese nobleman,a samurai, who came to Europe in the 19th century to study law and through the accumulation of European wisdom, he reached the conclusion that books are much stronger than swords and that's what he taught his students to understand.
Freedom benefits us all but it is unfortunately threatened by conflicts and for our progress to keep going undisturbed, we must preserve our freedom.
The dean of the Diplomatic School Enrique Viguera introduces us to the opportunities awaiting us outside, motivating the delegates to pursue this UN dream further.
Andrea Goidi wraps it up, opening the 4th edition of URJCmun by telling us to challenge ourselves, think outside the box and not be afraid of being different, standing out because this world is in turmoil and only we can fix it. Something all of us forget too often.
May this MUN provoke you and inspire you to make this world a better place and strive to be the best person you could ever be. For the good of the community, for the good of humanity. For yourself.