№ 146/2014 from May 02, 2014
A delegation from Freie Universität Berlin won several awards at the most recent Model United Nations simulation. The National Model United Nations (NMUN) gives college and university students an opportunity to slip into the role of ambassadors of different countries, participate in various committees, and gain first-hand impressions of multinational diplomacy. During the 2014 NMUN meeting in New York, 16 students from Freie Universität represented Montenegro in eight of 23 committees. Altogether they received three awards: the entire delegation won an Honorable Mention (third place), and two pairs of students from Freie Universität won Outstanding Position Paper Awards. Over the years the NMUN delegations from Freie Universität have received many awards for their exceptional performance.
One Outstanding Position Paper Award is conferred per simulated Committee – e.g. meetings, committees, or associations such as the World Health Organization. Michelle Ruiz, a social science major, and Prince Owusu Sekyere, a law student, received one for their work in the First Main Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations, while Burcu Okur, a business major, and Junis Sahib, a political science major, won an award for their representation of Montenegro in the Fourth Main Committee of the General Assembly.
The NMUN program strives to provide students with a better understanding of the inner workings of the UN and the foundations of international law, as well as to foster skills in diplomacy and compromise. The students learn professional negotiation strategies, political rhetoric, and applicable facts, all in English, and are given an opportunity to practice what they learned during the simulation meetings. The 16 students in this year's group spent five months attending classes and workshops organized by Peggy Wittke, the coordinator of the MUN program at Freie Universität's Department of Law. While they were still in Berlin, they first met Vera Joličić-Kuliš, the Ambassador of Montenegro in Germany. In New York they received assistance from Miloš Nikolić, the First Secretary of the Representation of Montenegro to the United Nations. Nikolić was very impressed with the quality of the students' position papers and said the delegation from Freie Universität was the most competent delegation he had ever met. In addition, the students were briefed on specific topics by UN representatives. They also visited the Representation of the European Union at the United Nations and met Jan Eliasson, the Deputy Secretary General of the UN.
The delegation from Freie Universität received financial support from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as well as from the Department of Law and two other academic departments at the university. Freie Universität Berlin has been participating in the NMUN simulation conferences in New York since 1995, and for years the Department of Law has been covering the main share of the expense. The participating students come from all the departments and disciplines represented at the university.
The application period for participating in NMUN in 2015 will open in July 2014. Students from any discipline may apply.