By Alice Nesselrode
4 days of debating, getting into the role of a country’s delegate and writing your own history in international relations – that could be a summary for basically any MUN. HamMUN 2015 however was more than that. The conference which happened in the beginning of December offered for many Maastricht students also a very welcomed break from university, a little recreation before the exams of period 2 would start.
However, the 48 delegates from Maastricht were not only looking forward to the discussions in the 18 committees, no – also Hamburg’s famous night life surely posed a point of attraction to many! In a city with not only de Alla and de Feestfabrik, but many more places being still open after 2 am, every night owl finds what he or she is looking for.
UNSA Maastricht showed engagement everywhere. Be it through the 8 awards that were won (2 best delegates, 4 distinguished delegates, 1 honorable mention and 1 best position paper) or by being the craziest dancers on the dance floor, chanting “UNSA! UNSA!”, our delegation was very obviously present and showed motivation and enthusiasm.
But let’s start from the beginning.
After a long bus ride from Maastricht we finally arrived in Hamburg about 3 hours before the official Opening Ceremony. The last position papers were quickly finished, some people already started exploring the city, and then the conference already started off with warm welcoming words from the three secretary generals of HamMUN 2015 as well as one of the founders of HamMUN and other guest speakers. After that the first session was scheduled, in which the committees decided on rather procedural facts, received some more information and held the first opening speeches.
For the evening, a pub crawl was organised, however the UNSA delegation decided to stay at the restaurant “Hans im Glück”, where the evening faded out with a good burger and the one or other cocktail.
Friday morning started -in typical MUN-manner- off early. A whole day of debates was awaiting everyone, but with the enthusiasm and power we all still had at that point conclusions and common ground was found quickly. Two committees, namely the Security Council Single Delegation and NATO, managed to adopt a resolution paper on the first topic and could move on to the next opening speeches. In the last hours, it was however more the thought of what would follow in the evening what kept most delegates in shape: A neon-party was planned for all 550-600 delegates. The party was a complete success, with many faces glowing in the dark, good music and a very present UNSA Maastricht delegation on the dancefloor. Only point of criticism would be the price of the drinks, which was unreasonably high (3.50€ for a small beer, really?).
The next morning came too soon, and only with huge amounts of coffee and an Aspirin for the biggest party animals here and there fruitful debates slowly evolved again. The HamMUN press team was considerate enough to postpone the beginning of debates by some minutes through a video “live” set-up, which gave a broad overview over what had happened in the committees so far. The insight into the gossip box, which could be filled by any delegate, even managed to create some smiles on the tired faces. Now, also most other committees came to consensus and managed to write resolutions. In the evening then it was time to get out the fancy smoking and the most beautiful dress and prepare for the Delegate’s Dance: the traditional ball, which ironically took place at not such a fancy place- namely in a side street of the Reeperbahn, Hamburg’s famous party district. Despite the dodgy neighborhood the party was a complete success, and honestly- who can say of himself that he walked the Reeperbahn in a ball dress or a smoking? The HamMUN people can now.
Unfortunately, there was no more open bar as it was the case the years before, however everyone got 6 coins for at least some drinks to start off the evening, which already brought many to the dance floor. Rumor has it that some UNSA delegates simply seized the occasion of the close Reeperbahn to get a cheap deal on Tequila shots.
The Tequila shots may probably also be a reason why the next morning should maybe not be described in too much detail. Even though the debates fortunately only started at 10 am after another video by the Press team, many committees faced a well-known problem on the last day: Due to the absence of some delegates, the quorum could not be reached in every committee, causing a postponement of discussions. However, after finally enough of the missing delegates found their way to the halls of the University of Hamburg where the conference took place, the moderated caucusing, the lobbying in an unmod, the raising of placards and the final votes on working papers, amendments and draft resolutions could finally proceed and all committees came to good solutions. Sadly, UNSA Maastricht had to leave the Closing Ceremony a bit earlier, but at least the reason for that was the bus waiting to take us back home. The trip back gave everyone enough time to come to the awful realization: Another MUN has ended, Post-MUN-depressions are about to hit and in a few hours, the bitter reality of close exams and papers will have to be faced. As a delegate of the Security Council expressed it in astonishment: “Apparently, life at home still goes on while we’re at MUN”
HamMUN 2015 can be definitely considered a success, not only judging by all the awards that were won by the UNSA delegation but also by the happy faces, new friendships and professional experience gained by everyone!
Stay tuned for a fiel report by one of our team members, who will tell you more about his MUN personal experience!