MUNSC SALIENT 2015
ADDRESSING THE GLOBAL REFUGEE CRISIS
MUNSC Salient: Youth Conference on Global Matters was held between 13th and 17th July 2015 in Ljubljana, at the premises of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The project, led by Nikolina Čenić, took place for a second year in a row, with 70 participants from Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Croatia, Italy, Cameroon, Macedonia, Germany, Serbia and Slovenia. Instead of addressing unrelated issues, MUNSC Salient focused on a single overarching theme, “Addressing the Global Refugee Crisis”, which was explored through simulations, workshops, roundtables and interactive lectures. In this way, participants were able to approach the issues from perspectives of various states and non-state stakeholders.
MUNSC Salient is a youth conference that supplements the traditional Model United Nations (MUN) with educational content in a form of interactive lectures, roundtables, workshops, and group exercises, thus uniquely integrating a traditional MUN conference with a critically educational dimension.
Delegates were able to participate in one of three different committees – the United Nations Security Council, the European Council, or the GA Third Committee (SOCHUM). Roundtable discussions, workshops, and interactive lectures helped to shed light onto decision-making processes, offering a glimpse into experiences of those dealing with refugees on the ground. By offering a collage of interactive exercises - such as “Becoming a refugee”, where participants were faced with a realistic insight of decisions and confusion of refugees while traveling - or different panels with ambassadors, and representatives of NGOs, the MUNSC Salient provided something different to a typical MUN conference.
The panel with ambassadors about the Development Agenda after 2015 was composed of H. E. Ms Edit Szilágyiné Bátorfi, Ambassador of Hungary, H.E. Mr Pellumb Qazimi, Ambassador of Albania, H.E. Mr Patrick Kelly, Ambassador of Ireland, H.E. Mr Marius Cosmin Bolangiu, Ambassador of Republic of Romania, and H. E. Mr Pierre-Yves Fux, Ambassador of Switzerland.
The second panel was titled: “Fortress Europe – EU approach on complex global refugee crisis?”. Prof. Boštjan Udovič. hosted Mr Nikolai Jeffs from the Faculty of Humanities, University of Primorska, Mr Emil Ferjančič, Head of Global Challenges Department in Slovenia, Ms Tanja Fajon, a member of the European Parliament, and Mr William Ejalu from the UNHCR Regional Representation for Central Europe. Through the discussion panelist agreed that the key issue is how to change the negative connotation of refugee topics in media.
The third panel consisted of representatives of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovenian Philanthropy, the Legal Information Centre, and the Cultural mediator from the refugee centre CARA in Italy, and was addressing the challenges in ensuring the rights of refugees. All roundtable discussions were tremendously informative, and delegates were very eager to participate in the Q&A period.
In the simulations, the UN GA Third Committee dealt with social and humanitarian aspects of the refugee crisis, culminating in a resolution offering recommendations and policy proposals. In the European Council, with its influence in high profile policy areas, delegates were able to adopted new asylum policy, as well as addressed future refugee-related issues. Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council was tackling security related concerns in regard to the refugee situation. All of the committees also responded to several crisis scenarios that were presented to delegates during their negotiations.
Participants at MUNSC Salient 2015 engaged with policy makers, NGOs, academics, and leading political figures, as well as developed skills, and knowledge that will help them in tackling real life challenges. The conference - which successfully combined traditional with unconventional, and managed to provide genuine aspect on global crisis - was made possible by MUNSC Salient 2015 partners and supporters.