Finally. You’re standing in front of the podium, microphone’s just a step away. Heart beating. Eyes watching. The last days of preperation at Deutsche Bank are just about to pay off. And this time, you actually have something important to say.
Looking back at last Sunday seems miles away right now since the conference is moving so fast. It is not until the opening ceremony that you realize what over 2000 students really mean as you see the greatest hall in the Sheraton Times Square Hotel burst while Ambassador James Jonah reminds us to act as a representative of our chosen countries.
Keeping that in mind, our delegation was careful to stay in character. You have to constantly remind yourself: what would India say to that issue? Do we want to cooperate with the other countries? What strategy is actually the best to state our position? There is no other place where you can learn more and deeply about other countries and cultures. New York already is a city of cultures, a city where the whole world comes together in one spot. Here in the conferences you get an insight into all countries’ interests and needs and even learn about countries you might’ve never heard of.
The very first meeting starts quite easy-going with setting the agenda – but here are also the first power fights. And then you go. Strategic planning, political education, intrigues, budgeting, warmongering, laws. Cuba does not want to work with the USA. Someone refrains from voting just to protract the decision. While you are following your country’s needs you often find yourself reminded of the TV series House of Cards (which I can recommend to everybody). So when the countries finally decide on the topic they want to talk about, the negotiations start. This is the real deal.
You want to have an effective working paper (or better a few) that implicates your country’s interests, but you also need enough other countries as supporters to your cause. And this is where the tricky part is: It’s all about the wording. In formal sessions you hear and give loads of speeches but the real thing is going on in the informal sessions where you collaborate, negotiate, probably fight and write on your working papers.
FS delegates for India in the UN-Women committee, T. Hubart (l.) and A. Gerber (r.)
The topics discussed in the commettees are diverse. We have people working on recource efficiency in urban development, but also Xenophobia or lethal autonomous weapons systems. In my committee, UN-Women, my partner Timmy and I are working on eliminating violence against all women. As India we especially focus on safe cities, violence against disabled and elderly women and the goal-setting for UN’s post-2015 agenda.
Today we had a very long day with sessions starting at 8:30 am and our delegation meeting ending at 11:30 pm. We have worked out some promising drafts and I am excited to see how the voting procedure goes tomorrow.
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