Chaotic, intense and unexpected. This was Stockholm Model United Nations, November 2012 – as seen by Katharina Korczok.
Those who are looking for a professional and realistic UN debate, might prefer Oxford or Euromun. However, nobody should miss this experience of four days of hot debates and secret diplomacy combined with partying and experiencing an amazing city. Stockholm did its best to entertain and charm the delegates who were eager to discover the little winding alleys lined by colourful buildings in the old town Gamla stan or to rummage in the countless second hand stores in the super and definitely not mainstream, hipster quarter “SoFo”.
Rumours of a dinner in the Stockholm City Hall, that is usually home to the Nobel Prize ceremonies, inspired and motivated the participants. These were the people who already were envisioning themselves being awarded for their significant achievements in ending hunger or providing universal education. As it turned out, the dinner took place at a primary school outside the city centre, which was only to be found after a one hour walk in high heels. But even this could not diminish the delighted and excited mood. African dishes were served and the traditional drummers which followed were the perfect display of the conference’s theme: creating opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. And this was only one highlight which helped spread some African spirit and cheerfulness to Sweden.
Back at Stockholm University, everybody came back down to earth. Confusion regarding the rooms accompanied by delays and the ever changing times for lunch were the main obstacle which the 26 delegates from Maastricht had to overcome. Despite these challenges, the Security Council committees successfully worked on solutions for current and past conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Ecosoc formulated new guidelines that added to the Millennium Goals.
Writing draft resolutions and forming alliances behind the scenes, the large UNSA delegation was paid attention to – and crowned for its achievements with four awards. Moreover, all the foregoing chaos was driven by a motivated and spirited Host Team that experienced four days “full of adrenalin”, as Ragnar Fahlin Strömberg, President of the Host Team, explained during the closing ceremony. And since adrenalin generally generates a maximum performance, SMUN 2012 became a unique experience shaped by fruitful discussions, traditional Swedish fika coffee breaks and great parties. All this in an amazing city which spoiled its visitors with sunny weather in November and, at the end, sent home a broke and exhausted Maastricht delegation back to reality.
Photos courtesy of Annika Berghäuser, head of UNSA Marketing and Communications