Interview with a Sec Gen

By  Marta Ziosi

He loves theatre, he can rhyme, sing, he is Brazilian and he loves MUNs. Who are we talking about? Well, Raphael Dias, the Secretary General of EuroMUN!

As the days are getting longer and the sun spends more time over the sky of Maastricht, EuroMUN is almost upon us and Raphael is working hard with his team to make it all happen. The Diplomat thought about taking a sneak-peak behind the conference’s curtains to reveal the workings behind it and the ‘conductor’s’ hopes and thoughts.

In the spirit of our ‘sneak-peak’, we first wanted to know who was hiding behind the formalities of a Secretary General. The question came naturally,

Is there something we don’t know about you and maybe should?

“I am a huge theatre fan, especially musicals, which lead me to end up singing in my room a bit too much. My flatmates are probably buying ear plugs by now”

Singing is also a therapeutic exercise and it might be exactly what is needed after a day of managing and organizing. However, Raphael is not alone. On the contrary, he has an active team which constitutes the perfect example of a well-blended group of colleagues who bonded throughout the year to end up becoming close friends.

We know you have a team! What are you best known for in your team?

“Yes, I have a wonderful team! I believe people might know me for living in the office or always being open for a conversation. I try to be as open as possible, to get to know the people in my team”.

It is actually through the members of his team that we got to know Raphael’s love for rhymes and any sort of creative writing. Well, we could not help but putting his skills to a test.

Someone told me you are quite a poet! Could you rhyme is some lines to convince us to come to EuroMUN?

“Oh damn, the pressure is on! Ok, let me think…

People come from near and far,

To dress in suits and hit the bar,

To debate topics and finding policies,

To change the world on their personal stories

People come from here and there,

To be amazed by what we got,

Could you miss it? Just not!”

Raphael was clearly up for the challenge. This also allowed us to introduce the other main subject of the interview, the EuroMUN conference. If the poem did not convince all of our readers, the next question will give it a second shot.

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Now let us talk about EuroMUN! Tell us something we may not know about it.

“The special thing about EuroMUN 2016 is that we bring together and highlight all the most interesting parts of an MUN. Our committees are incredibly varied, in nature and topics, our socials are going to be epic, we have partner NGOs showing real life action and with an international crowd. WE got all the best things an MUN could provide, in ONE event”.

And it is this ONE event that unleashes its great potential through the relevance of his main theme ‘Breaking Barriers: Securing Global Diversity’.

Do you see the relevance of such a conference in the light of the current events?

“Definitely! For me, the root of most of the world’s problems today lies in intolerance and hatred. An MUN, and especially EuroMUN, is about building bridges and creating mutual understanding of different international cultures while studying and understanding world politics on a hands-on approach. I deeply believe that the next generation of leaders will have gone through MUNs and have had this experience under their belt, so hopefully these current events could be curbed”.

We could not agree more. In the light of the recent terror attacks in Brussels, the pressure on Europe and its youth to foster the understanding of the different cultures residing within it is vital for its diversity to be preserved in unity. However, as any respectable interview, some data ought to be introduced.

We would actually like to have some real life data. How many hours of sleep are lost be candidates each year on average? What do you think they spend them on?

“That is a funny question, because there is not one answer, since there is not one delegate. There are delegates who spend the night working on their resolutions and battling to pass it on the floor the next day, or delegates who take the free time to visit the city more or have a great time in the socials. And of course, there are delegates that do all of this, getting to know the city and their fellow delegates while working hard”

This perfectly describes the various nature and characters of the different delegates. However, there is something which grips Raphael’s attention even more.

“I realize I haven’t answered your question, but basically because I can’t. The “why” is what I like most. Why do we spend so much time debating and trying to approve a document that, in reality, will not come into effect? Is it because of possibly inflated egos? Is it because we are stubborn or passionate? I think the answer is that we get into the shoes of policy makers and live through the pressure of this field and can’t shake that addreanline off. It is a wonderfully addictive feeling, and it is why, personally, I love doing MUNs”.

This is the answer we were looking for! Not only Raphael discerns potential in the diversity represented by the candidates but he also sees the importance of defining future goals in a simulation which provides you with the thrill of reality.

But finally,

What are you most looking forward in euroMUN? and, what will be the first thing you do once it is over?

“I am just looking forward to see it all coming together and to see the delegates arriving. We have been working so hard for this for almost a year, that I can’t wait to see the final result. And the first thing I will do is take a deep breath, have a beer and go to sleep, since I will be completely drained”.

Yes, a beer and some sleep will be clearly deserved. The conference is approaching and will be taking place from the 4th until the 8th of May! Registrations will be open until this Sunday, the 17th of April, so make sure to get a spot. Raphael and his team will make sure that everything is ready to host a great event, but the task to bring EuroMUN to life is all yours.

And of course, the Diplomat will be reporting from the event, so make sure to check out our Blog of EuroMUN live!

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