Mannheim goes Malmö
Last November, MUN Mannheim embarked on an adventurous journey to Malmö, Sweden. Some delegates decided to overcome the distance by land, engaging in a race train vs bus (surprisingly, the bus won). Others pursued a more convenient route by air. On Thursday afternoon one by one we make our way into Malmö Universities’ stunning Niagara building and are assembled in less than an hour. The first day is spent acclimating to Swedish climate and Swedish prices. We spend the night with a few familiar faces from the Swedish MUN community at a fancy sky bar above the roofs of late-night Malmö. The only thing we could afford was the view, which was nonetheless absolutely worth the visit.
On Friday the fun begins! While negotiations at the UN Human Rights Council commence sluggish and frustrating to some delegates, they later take a somewhat entertaining turn when they turn into a mud fight between Qatar (Kiril) and Saudi-Arabia (Phil). Meanwhile in the United Nations Security Council the great nation of Kazakhstan (Friedrich) tries to send more of its soldiers in the Saharan desert, in order to prevent any possible escalations of the situation; as an reaction to this other countries start a meme-campaign und Ethiopian leadership against this sort of militarism. The evening continues to be eventful. After a Taco Social, the Delegation of Mannheim unanimously decides to partake in the University of Malmö beer pong tournament, which took place the same night. We proudly entered the competition with three teams yet didn’t manage to qualify for the final. Eventually, we found ourselves at some house party at the edge of the city.
On Saturday, the fight in the HRC as more delegates join the fun. Members of the secretariat have been spotted regularly visiting the council for purposes of entertainment. In the UNSC meanwhile the situation is stuck: while some delegates are trying to support their position with compelling but endless speeches, others are trying their luck in one-on-one discussions outside the meetings. After sessions, the delegations got together at a glamorous dinner at Malmö’s historic City Hall. As the conference organisation struggled with setting up a Saturday social, our delegation saved the day by setting up our own social with German-imported booze and drinking games.
Sunday is resolution-day. However, before voting on the results of a week of debating, it was time for punishments. Qatar and Saudi-Arabia ended their quarrel by mutually engaging in a performance of Billy Joel’s We didn’t start the fire. Then the whole committee joined for a round of traditional Turkish dancing, initiated by our chair Hamit, to resolve the tension from the fierce debate. In the UNSC the delegates finally solved the Western-Sahara-Crisis and produced a ton of memes in the process.
For our delegation, the conference was a full success, both academically and socially. Ricarda (Best Delegate, UN Women), Kiril (Best Delegate, HRC) and Phil (Honourable Mention, HRC) won three out of six academic awards of the conference, while 6/8 fun awards in the HRC and 2/7 fun awards in the UNSC were collected by 4 Mannheim delegates. After an emotional farewell, we had the chance to invade Copenhagen for a day and a night for a short after-conference trip.
All in all, an amazingly fun trip full of debate and true MUN spirit!