Saturday, November 28, 2009

Vereinten Nationen Simulationen

[ Model United Nations ]

Contrary to my expectations, Thanksgiving turned out to be very enjoyable here in Germany despite it not being a holiday here, let alone one which is even well known. Nonetheless, with the smell of pumpkin pies, great excited reactions from my host parents who also made me feel very loved and thankful because they wanted to share some of the traditions with me, along with my friends confusedly taking a first bite of this ... pumpkin dessert?... and then busting into huge grins with whipped cream at the corners of their mouths, I had a great time sharing a little bit of home here abroad. I never really fully appreciated just how American Thanksgiving is, yet talking about it and sharing the traditions here in Germany, while also connecting back home with some very exciting Skype calls, truly embodied the great experiences I am garnering, even in spite of missing family and friends back home. To really feel what I was thankful for back home, along with using the day to reflect on all that I am thankful here in Germany, was a great feeling.

Now, unlike my cousins and friends back home, I still had class on Thursday and Friday and had no breaks, and this week has been exceptionally busy. It seems like the past posts have just added on to each other with one busy thing after another that I am doing - political seminar speeches, resume and job interviews in German, grammar classes, ... pie baking - but there has been even more that I have been doing during free time [ correction - during time that could be used for quality sleep ] and that is intensive research on United Nations protocol and German Industry.

Whereas I have found the research to be very interesting and beneficial to myself, I will admit to those that are confused that I do not go surfing through German solar energy statistics and translate the findings or check up on passing resolutions in minimum wage standards in the world just for fun.

To backtrack a little, this all started back while I was still living in Saarbr├╝cken. There were a couple students from the CBYX participant group that were contacted with an invitation for a unique opportunity here in Germany. There was a model united nations conference taking place in Bonn and to have some representative CBYX Americans in the event, we were motivated to apply. The invitation was an exciting honor in itself to be selected from the group of Americans from my initial application in America to the CBYX program [ who knew that my essays would still be used to land me other opportunities in Germany?! ] and now I had new doors opening to attend this conference in Bonn, Germany if selected later in the year.

I was very excited and wrote out my application within days of receiving the invitation and stressed my desire to represent Germany [ you must represent a nation other than your homeland] since I felt it would enhance my CBYX experience, and also hopefully join the International Labor Conference since I had interests in education, the economic crisis and new green technologies as substitutes all directly connecting to my interests coming from work experience in Detroit.

My application was very detailed and intertwined just like all of my reasonings for coming to Germany, and I was very excited a month later to receive not only my official invitation to the conference, but also as the representative of the Federation of German Industries [Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie - BDI] at the conference. I had to sit back and realize for a moment what great opportunity I had just landed - this conference was hosting students from over 40 nations around the world, and I could only imagine that many wanted to represent Germany since the international conference took place here! It was an exciting personal achievement, but there was still a lot of work to be done.

Over the past two months, I have wrote papers and position statements about my background research to submit to the conference and have already begun my opening statements to directly present to the delegates of the International Labor Conference [ one of the branches of the United Nations ] what exactly the Federation of German Industries hopes to see in our simulated resolutions.

Hold on now ... great you are going to Bonn and representing Germany... but for what? What is a Model United Nations conference? I have officially never done one myself, but it is a simulation of an actual United Nations session where students represent nations or affiliated parties, research how that state functions, their beliefs and what they hope to vote for in resolutions. Organized debate is opened in a week long conference filled with many formal sessions, resolution writings, diplomatic discussions ect. The conference is held in English and French - two of the main languages of the UN - and incorporates students from all over the world. For one week I will be acting as the BDI and expressing how this federation would vote and delegate over the three decided topics -

  • Safe and Sustainable - New Jobs for a Low Carbon Future
  • Gender Equality at the Heart of Decent Work
  • Creating a Future for the Next Generation: Improving the Access to Quality Education
There is much that I still have to learn about how the conference functions altogether, but I feel that I have sufficiently researched about who I will be representing, background information about the topics we will discuss as well as the format of how a UN session is held.

On top of everything, however, I am very excited about seeing yet another new city in Germany that I have never seen, Bonn, and also meeting students interested in international affairs from all over the world. My suit, shirts and ties are packed and tomorrow morning I am heading off to a very busy, but also exciting week ahead of me.

1 comment:

  1. chris, if i ever have to write another "hero" paper, i'm gonna write it about you. seriously christopher, way to go!