NMUN Cancelation

It has been a while since we have updated our blog, which is why we also want to confirm here that the NMUN conference in New York has been officially canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. It was an understandable measure that our delegation had been expecting, especially after the USA decided to close its borders to European citizens. We are deeply saddened that after all of our hard work for half a year, we will not have the opportunity to show off what we have learned and have the full NMUN experience. However, there are more important matters in these times and we are grateful for our health and to everyone doing their part in slowing down this virus. Hopefully, the world will go back to normal soon.

Goodbye from our delegation, and see you in October!


Geneva 2020

Our delegation embarked on its first adventure this semester break. From February 11th to 14th we visited the beautiful city of Geneva and the many organizations that are located there. Our journey began in Tübingen where we met at the train station at 10:30 – cheerful, excited and motivated. However, three hours later we had not made it very far, all thanks to the storm „Sabine“ that had swept across Germany the day before. We ended up waiting in Horb for two hours before taking a train to Singen, Zurich and finally Geneva, arriving at about 7:30. By then, we were all tired and starving – thank God we had brought about 10 kilos of pasta that we cooked that night in our cute little hostel. 

The next morning we made our way to our first appointment of the trip. We visited the UNECE and learned a lot about cooperation in Europe, be that in economics, environmental policy or transport. The presentation was especially interesting for one of our delegates as she is representing Azerbaijan in the UNECE in New York. Afterward, we had lunch in the UN cafeteria where we found out that it is almost impossible to buy a meal for under 10 euros in Switzerland. 

Our next stop was the WTO. We spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of the WTO system and the upcoming challenges due to the dissatisfaction of many members. The highlight of our visit was being allowed to enter the WTO conference hall – a great opportunity for many of us to take pictures. The rest of the afternoon we spent walking through Geneva and enjoying the beautiful weather, before heading back to our hostel for another pasta dinner. A part of our group went out for some drinks after dinner while the rest of us stayed behind and played charades. You could definitely tell we were inspired by what we had learned that day, which resulted in us having to act out words such as SDGs, capacity-building, and WTO.

On Thursday we began our busiest day with a tour at the Palais des Nations. Next, we rushed to the OHCHR to learn about human rights in the UN, specifically rights of disabled people. This was also extremely helpful to our GA3 committee, as rights of persons with disabilities are one of the topics they have to prepare for. We had no time to rest before hurrying to the UNHCR for our last presentation of the day. In the evening, our delegation celebrated its trip to Geneva by enjoying a typical Swiss meal – cheese fondue. Very yummy!

The last day in Geneva began bright and early with a presentation at the WHO. This was particularly exciting considering the recent developments with the Corona virus. However, we didn’t just learn about Corona, but also about the efforts to eradicate Polio. The visit was definitely super interesting! Our last stop of the trip was the ITU, where some of our delegates had the opportunity to ask some questions about the use of ICTs and cybersecurity. 

Before getting back on our train to Tübingen, we spent the last couple of hours sitting at the bank of Lake Geneva, enjoying the sun and the mountains in the background. The trip was an amazing opportunity for us to get some answers to our questions before New York and learn more about what working for an international organization can look like. We also got to know each other better and discovered that we harmonize very well as a group. This trip has made us even more excited for New York!

Improving Communication Skills

Our delegation has started off its year just as busy and active as we ended the last one! After an exciting visit from Azerbaijan last week, we spent this Saturday working on our speaking skills in preparation for the upcoming simulations in Tübingen and Hohenheim and of course the grand finale in New York. Our speech training was held by Dr. Marco Behrmann, who has generously worked with the Tübingen delegation for the past couple of years. 

Communication skills are essential for diplomatic work and play a big role in achieving our goals when negotiating in New York. How do we best structure our speeches, use our body and posture and accentuate words to effectively bring across what we mean to? And how can we think of all this when we are nervously standing in front of a group of strangers? These were some of the core issues we tackled in this session. In the first exercise, we were given random topics to talk about for 90 seconds and explain our opinion on. After the speech, the listeners used their feedback cards to give the speaker specific feedback on the content of the speech, the body language used and the pronunciation of words. It was extremely interesting to focus only on one aspect of a speech, for example body language, which caused us to notice little movements we had never really thought about before. This procedure was repeated in the second exercise, but this time, we were given topics out of our respective committees. This meant we not only had to focus on our speech, but also on a topic more complex than before. 

Although giving speeches is usually quite nerve-racking and something most people do not enjoy, what we have learned over the last couple of months is that speaking skills improve over time. We have all made extreme progress since we held our first agenda-setting speech in November and are feeling more and more prepared for New York.

Expert Knowledge for our Delegation

In our recent workshop session last Tuesday, our delegation was honoured to have Dr. Elmar Mustafayev as our guest. Dr. Mustafayev is the head of the Political Science and Philosophy Department at Khazar University in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Dr. Mustafayev was in Tübingen because him and Prof. Dr. Thomas Diez of the Tübingen Institute of Political Science are engaging in an academic cooperation and while being here, Dr. Mustafayev joined us for a seminar.

As a renowned expert of Azerbaijani Foreign Policy, he was able to give us most valuable insights in Azerbaijani politics, especially the complex relations to its neighbours as well as to regional and international partners. Further, we were able to ask questions on matters of Azerbaijani domestic politics, political culture, and political opinion of the people of Azerbaijan that only a national with deep political insight could provide. This was an opportunity without comparison for us being the delegation to represent Azerbaijan in several United Nations committees in National Model United Nations 2020 in New York, giving us knowledge and ideas on how to represent the interests of Azerbaijan on a global scale.

We thank Dr. Mustafayev for having joined us and remain looking forward to and preparing for the upcoming HCMUN simulation in Hohenheim as well as TMUN in Tübingen in the next weeks, and most importantly NMUN in spring!

A Holiday Update

In the last couple of weeks, our delegation has been extremely busy preparing for the conference in New York. Each committee first needed to hand in a landmark document on their topics, collecting all resolutions and treaties that could be relevant for negotiations. As soon as this task was submitted, we began our work on the first draft of our position papers, which are due right before Christmas. We soon realized that it is not as easy as we thought it would be to fit all the important information on two pages. 

Next to our committee obligations, we have also been fully absorbed by our individual department tasks. The TMUN department has been preparing the simulation in Tübingen by deciding the simulation topics, sending out invitations and organizing the dinner afterwards. The fundraising department has organized a waffle and mulled wine sale and is currently planning the TMUN party, while the PR department is working on our Facebook and Instagram pages and collecting greetings from politicians and diplomats. 

Considering all of our hard work in the last weeks, the time was more than right to enjoy the holiday season with a fun NMUN Christmas party! Thanks to one of our delegates, we reserved a cozy and vintage cellar for our little get-together. Everyone brought something to eat, be it a dessert, a salad or sandwiches, and it turns out we have some amazing chefs in our delegation! We also decided on playing Secret Santa with only sustainable presents and had a lot of fun trying to secure the gifts we wanted the most (the bamboo toothbrushes were quite popular). The night ended with some entertaining and sometimes rather competitive games of beer pong. It was a great ending of the first half of our NMUN semester and a more than deserved break from our diligent work.

We hope everyone has a wonderful and relaxing Christmas break! We will be back refreshed and with further updates in January.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Here We Go Again

We are excited to announce that the Tübingen delegation to the National Model United Nations in New York will represent the Republic of Azerbaijan next March. Sixteen new delegates from various fields of interests and expertise are highly motivated to spend this semester preparing for the challenge. The first simulation this upcoming weekend will be a good opportunity to practice what will be expected of us in New York.

Follow us on social media to get regular updates on our preparations!

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