Tübingen – Australia – New York City

On Sunday, the April 17th, our delegation finally made landfall in the land of the free. One after one, we strolled into the hotel lobby of the Sheraton hotel, which was packed with fellow delegations who were also checking in, being briefed by their faculty advisors or were still preparing the last details for their committees.
Only a few hours later, we all gathered in the Metropolitan East Conference Room for the opening ceremony – the ones who fit anyways. With around 2500 delegates from 40 countries and six continents attending, some of them had to watch the opening speeches by Mr Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division in the United Nations Department of Public Information, and Mrs Zainab Hawa Bangura, Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) on Sexual Violence in Conflict on a screen in another conference room. Shortly fter the ceremony, we proceeded to our committee’s conference rooms and started the formal sessions with agenda setting speeches. As a result, the following topics were discussed.

Anna Ehrgartner and Annika Frosch debated about Combating the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects in the General Assembly 1st Committee (GA).

Sophia Wolpers and Christoph Sommer talked about The Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Development in the GA 2nd Committee.

Alexander Fick and Alexander Stotkiewitz covered Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Assistance to Palestinian Refugees in the GA 4th Committee.

Patric Dujardin and Steffen Jauch-Walser dealt with the Millennium Development Goal 2 and Increasing Access to Education in the Economic and Social Council.

Berith Karasch attended the Special Committee on Peace-Keeping Operations (C-34).

Hannah Kommol and Christian Schams addressed the issues around Establishing International Legal Norms to Counter Maritime Piracy and Strengthening Prevention Measures and Criminal Justice Responses to Human Trafficking in the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

Verena Schauss and Samuel Schwarz debated over the topics “Improving Access to Sustainable and Renewable Energy” and “Strengthening Development Cooperation for Poverty Reduction: Empowering Micro-finance and Local Entrepreneurship“ in the United Nations Development Program.

Maike Hans and Marianne Hock covered the topic “Food Security: Agriculture and Trade” in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development .

Sebastian Rappen and Ann-Kathrin Sauer discussed Correlations between Youth Poverty and the Prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the United Nations Population Fund.

Anja Breitkreutz and Darija Fabijanic dealt with Improving Access to Education for Indigenous Children United Nations Permanent Forum Indigenous Issues.

Isabel Kommol and Katarina Wildfang addressed the Current Situation in the DPRK in the  International Atomic Energy Agency.

Until Wednesday, we evidently debated a vast spectrum of issues that our global community is faced with. We shared different opinions and did our best to achieve a compromise. Besides the actual debate, the conference also held an opportunity fair on Tuesday, where especially US universities and some NGOs, such as the Better World Campaign were present. On the same day, there were seminars available to the participants, for instance on the role of the media in international affairs by Robert Windrem of NBC News and Pamela Falk of CBS News.
On Thursday, the conference found its end in the United Nations Head Quarters General Assembly Hall, where the results of the various committees were presented. A handful of resolutions were picked out to be voted upon symbolically and some delegates had the chance to hold a speech.
In the following closing ceremony the conference proved to be not only interesting, but also very successful experience for our delegation. Our delegates received the Best Delegate award in two committees, as well as five Outstanding Position Paper Awards. All the hard efforts of the entire delegation were finally honored through decorating us as a Distinguished Delegation.
Through this conference we gained an insight into the United Nations and into what it means to struggle for consensus and progress. It became ever so clear to us that no leader alone can solve all the problems. However, one shouldn’t only see the great complexity and uncertainty of our era, but also the profound opportunities out there.


Field Trip to Geneva

On the 11th of February 2013, the delegation made a “detour” on its way to New York to Geneva, Switzerland to gain first-hand advice from actual practitioners of international diplomacy. From our base camp, the hostel Home Saint Pierre in the beautiful old town, we spread out towards the Australian and the German Permanent Missions to the United Nations, on the first day. Referent for Humanitarian Assistance und Media, Mr Herbert Beck, introduced us to the structure and functions of the German mission and he also talked about negotiation strategies inside of the UN-framework, especially in the field of humanitarian assistance. One common strategy is the cross-regional approach, which aims to ease negotiations through ensuring other nations that there is no hidden Western agenda.

Mr Nicholas Purtell, the Deputy Permanent Representative and Ms Namdi Payne, the Second Secretary, welcomed us to the Australian Mission. All delegates had the chance to ask questions concerning topics that were to be discussed in their committees in New York. Nevertheless, we mainly discussed issues of Human Rights, such as the indigenous rights in Australia, and conventional weapons in the framework of the Disarmament Conference. In the evening, the delegation was proud and happy to welcome Lizzy Openshaw who shared with us her courageous step from a comortable teaching job at the British Council in Bangkok to a career in the field of human rights. Her bright and lively talk encouraged us to continue to pursue our own way into an international career.

On the second day, the delegation went out again into the snow to attend several meetings with international organizations and specialized agencies within the UN framework. First off, was the International Labor Organization (ILO), which was introduced to us by Ms Christina Behrendt of the Social Security Department. She emphasized the most important strength of the organization, which is that it combines governments, employers and unions. Her interesting presentation revolved around issues such as employment, social protection and rights at work. Her colleagues from the Sectoral Activities Department, Mr Edmundo Werna and Mr Elvis Beytullayev, explained how projects are carried out. For instance, when starting a project how to identify target groups like women and youth. As an example they used the Decent Work Agenda, which promotes a fair income, social security and freedom for workers in agriculture worldwide. At the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) we attended a conference together with students from a university in Barcelona.

Ms Diana Barrowclough, the Economic Affairs Officer of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies, talked about the major pillars of the organization: consensus building, technical cooperation and data collection. She also made a quite interesting point in a critic of the deficit cutting measures of European countries, which in her opinion may lead to massive unemployment and also may not promote the needed economic growth. The last point on our schedule was the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Mr Carlos Villacis explained to us the importance of capacity-building instead of solely relief work, in order to create actual development instead of creating dependence on development aid.

After these two days, which were full of intense and interesting discussions, we finally rewarded ourselves with a delicious cheese fondue. Finally, we departed from Geneva with crucial knowledge both about the how to conduct diplomatic negotiations and about how the Specialized Agencies interact with each other. We could not wait to leave for New York in order to practice what we had learnt!

Cevey Consulting Speech Training


NMUN challenges those who participate as delegates in many different ways, the most obvious one being oratory. Agenda setting speeches, substantive statements, arguing for policy and asserting oneself in negotiations, bringing motions to the floor during formal session – there are numerous occasions which require public speaking. And they demand speeches both spontaneous and memorable, deferential and powerful, erudite and pithy.

Therefore, Tübingen’s NMUN delegation 2013 was greateful to attend a speech training session by Cevey Consulting’s Dr Marco Behrmann on January 26th.

This year, Dr Behrmann introduced and supervised two separate exercises, one of which was developed together with head delegates Katharina Luther and Max Döring. In order to train skills like posture, gesticulation, enunciation and general poise, every delegate was given a speech topic reminiscent of debating competitions. Forgoing any need for research, a brief statement in favour or against the topic had to be prepared within ten minutes. The performance itself was then subjected to a thorough feedback session. Not only did the feedback provide much useful information from our pcolleagues and Dr Behrmann, but the short preparation period also worked well as a small-scale substitute for NMUN where speeches may have to be given on very short notice.

After training ad-hoc public statements in this way, the second exercise took into account the more comprehensive character of substantive speeches. On the basis of scenarios arranged by our head delegates, we prepared speeches for delicate, difficult or even outright hostile situations. In the spirit of diplomacy, our goal was to argue for particular measures, bridge cultural and political gaps, solve misunderstandings, or calm the waves after an encounter gone awry. Again, there was barely time to prepare, weigh arguments and refine language. But all delegates were able to improve on their previous performances. The feedback by Dr Behrmann and our head delegates was both accurate and encouraging. It provided a useful overview of strengths to build on as well as behavioural or substantial weaknesses to work on which before NMUN in New York – where we will be even better public speakers, not least because of Cevey Consulting’s speech training.

NMUN Tübingen Delegation 2013 at HCMUN

On January 19th the Club of Hohenheim held its annual MUN Conference at Hohenheim Castle where this year’s delegates from Heidelberg and Tübingen received a warm welcome by their peers.

To host an MUN is no small task. But it was apparent from the beginning that Hohenheim’s team led by Katrin Götz would provide both a worthwhile exercise and a memorable experience. Sure enough, settling into the role of UN diplomats proved to be exceedingly easy once delegates entered the Upper Foyer and the Castle’s magnificent Balkonsaal.

Fifty-five delegates representing as many countries had prepared for a General Assembly session dealing with the topics Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control, The Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Development, as well as Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Assistance to Palestinian Refugees. At ten in the morning, the Hohenheim chair declared formal session in progress and opened the speakers‘ list. Several delegates seized their opportunity to deliver agenda setting speeches meant to determine the order in which topics would be discussed. Because of time constraints – voting procedure had been scheduled for six in the evening – the ensuing vote was of crucial importance, as only the first topic would undergo substantial debate. During the reception, delegates had already surveyed their peers‘ preferences but no majority for any single topic order had emerged. Many UN members are already affected by climate change, some to a very worrying degree. At the same time, the fight against weapons proliferation is pertinent to whole continents, where especially women suffer from armed violence in areas of past and present conflict. As a result, it took several votes to determine the agenda, with Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control eventually winning out over The Impact of Climate Change on Sustainable Development by a one-vote margin.

With the agenda set, a new speakers‘ list was opened and substantial speeches commenced. All delegates presented their countries‘ position eloquently and emphatically, expressing their wish for productive cooperation towards a common goal. After formal session was suspended for the first time, initial orientation and negotiation began during caucus. Delegates made contact with like-minded peers, potential allies formed work groups. Due to the topic’s diversity, different groups stressed different aspects: some focused on women’s rights, education and a bottom-up approach in disarmament, others discussed regulations of the international arms and ammunitions trade alongside more effective measures against weapons trafficking. Working papers emerged from these discussions, with delegates anxious to have their ideas included and at the same time not subscribe to strategic no-goes.

In between caucuses, delegates reported their groups‘ progress, presented central ideas of their working papers and invited other delegates to join them. Those representing countries with a history of armed conflict stressed the need for decisive action. Some presented harrowing accounts of violence and hardship endured by their citizens, accompanied by UN statistics on small arms and light weapons proliferation. Furthermore, delegates representing countries with a particularly strong stance towards their rivals excelled at living up to the expectations everybody held with respect to their infamous behaviour. Nevertheless, diplomatic conduct was maintained throughout the session, with only two minor incidents which provoked calls for a right of reply.

Each caucus brought the respective working papers forward as negotiations progressed and delegates tried to secure their most important suggestions. Along with the papers‘ language, their policy proposals became more and more detailed, their intended role within the UN framework more pronounced. This proved to be a great asset during their review by the chair.

As the GA session approached voting procedure, delegates hurried to incorporate the chair’s suggested improvements into their working papers in order to have them accepted as draft resolutions. Meanwhile, groups reached out to one another as their agreement on several substantive issues became apparent. Subsequently, several working papers were merged amidst intense negotiating and considerable scheduling stress. The effort proved beneficial, for even though the joint working paper was handed to the chair at the last minute, its voting bloc had been increased significantly.

Before voting commenced, a few delegates on the not nearly exhausted speakers‘ list were given the opportunity to speak. They reflected on the day’s proceedings and commended the cooperative work done, calling the Assembly to vote in favour of their groups‘ draft resolutions. Following the last speech, voting procedure commenced and consecutively all four draft resolutions were voted upon. Aside from three failed attempts to cut particular clauses out, all resolutions were able to garner sufficient support amongst delegates. Thus, the GA session on Women, Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Arms Control at HCMUN 2013 adopted four resolutions and ended as a successful simulation, as well as a great experience for everyone involved. The delegation of Hohenheim warmly invited all participants to a wine-tasting in the cellar of the castle. Outstanding snacks and a great variety of wine were served to conclude the day.

Tübingen – Australia: Skype Briefing with Prof. Dr. Mark Beeson

The Delegation of Tübingen University is honored to announce that we will hold a Skype Briefing on Thursday, February 7th, 2013 at 10:00 am with the renowned Prof. Dr. Mark Beeson from the University of Western Australia. Prof. Beeson will help us to prepare even more effectively for New York by giving us a presentation on the topics we will encounter at the conference and we will have the opportunity to ask him some remaining questions concerning Australia’s position on these issues.

Mark Beeson is a professor of Political Science and International Studies. He has been conducting his research mainly in the UK before he came to Australia. Consequently, even though his fields of interest range over various areas, his focus is mainly on the Asia Pacific. Paying great evidence to this fact is that he is the founding editor of Critical Studies of the Asia Pacific (Palgrave) Journal. Most recently, he has become co-editor of Contemporary Politics and he has also published numerous further journal articles, as well as he contributed to various books.

Evidently, he is an expert with broad knowledge concerning Australia’s foreign policy positions, which is why we are very happy to welcome him and we are looking forward to an interesting discussion.

The First Simulation


21 passionate delegates, 16 hours of sophisticated negotiations, and 2 days of exciting simulation – these figures describe the first of many following simulations on our delegation’s path to the NMUN Conference in New York 2013.

On Saturday morning the NMUN delegation of Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen came together in a model General Assembly 1st Committee. Most of the delegates were facing their initial simulation of a United Nations conference, where they were able to take on the role of his or her nation of choice. After the Chair had opened the first formal session the Speakers’ List was opened and some delegations added themselves to the list. This first step was of crucial importance for the upcoming debate because in this early stage the order of the agenda is getting determined. For that reason the delegations held their prepared Agenda Setting Speeches. After the delegates heard a couple of speeches, the topic Women, Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation was chosen to be the first topic on the agenda by the majority of the delegations. Thereby the topic for the next two days was set and the significant work could get started.

The first substantial speeches on the topic were well phrased and capable to demonstrate each nation’s position on the topic. After that, contacts between single delegations were established and first cooperation evolved during Informal Caucus. As a result two Working Papers were created and each delegation tried to influence content and language of them. Actually, this process took most of the time interrupted by substantial speeches during formal session that had the purpose to convince other delegations of the speaker’s stance on the issue. The process of negotiating and writing proved to be more time consuming than expected hence the first Working Paper turned into a Draft Resolution not until Sunday afternoon. It took several amendments, revisions and corrections to get there, finally. From this point the whole simulation gained momentum. According to the diverse interests of each delegate the Draft Resolution was tried to be amended or changed in its wording while the second Working Paper still needed to be accepted by the Chair. Due to the eventual approval by the Chair of the second Working Paper, there were two Draft Resolutions on the floor in the end. Before entering into Voting Procedure several requests for amendments were submitted.

Finally, in late Sunday afternoon, Voting Procedure started. This concluding element of committee meeting demanded our full concentration because this was the time when the product of the meeting would be approved. Due to amendments raison d’être of the final resolutions still might be altered. Every delegate needed to vote cautiously in order to ensure not to be unexpectedly disappointed by the adopted resolution in the end.

Conclusively this first simulation was for most of us what is also called to jump in at the deep end. Still, the outcome was highly fruitful and encouraging. We recognised the essentiality of making sure that the Speakers’ List doesn’t run out, and moreover, the crucial importance to have informal discussions during Caucus. Besides the valuable input we received during these two days, this weekend was great experience, because we had a lot of fun and grew together as a group of fellow delegates.






Our Team is Complete

The final 21 students who represent Australia at the National Model United Nations 2013 in New York have been chosen. Congratulations to all of you! The conference will be hold from March 17th to 21st 2013.