Iaşimun « Romanian Youth for a Better Tomorrow »
Observer Second issue - Sunday, 29 nov 2009 - 12 pages www.iasimun.org
She puts her heart and soul into everything she does Does this advice sound familiar? It should, for these were the final comments of the MUN (Model United Nations) Secretary General, Madalina Sacareanu. Madalina’s magnificent job in the organization and the conduction of IASIMUN brought her not only the recognition of her
peers but also the appraisal of the MUN Advisor, David Pi: “She puts her heart and soul into everything she does and she embodies all the best qualities of MUN students.” In retrospective dalliance, one could say that the odds turned to be totally in Madalina’s favor.
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Exchange of words Written by: Ioana Ruxandra Popescu Roxana Udrea The first issue that had been approached today at the ECOSOC committee was the discrimination of women. Presented by the delegate of Iraq, the statement focused on the status of women and
Photo: Otilia Dobos
“Be courageous! Take the word, speak up and enjoy MUN!”
how religion and culture invades their rights. She said that men and women should be equal. Most of the countries agreed with the delegate’s statement, but there were some, like the delegates of Russia or Germany, that argued that this clause should not be voted. The delegate of Russia declared that the ideal of equality is a utopian one
because ”women will never be seen as a pile of the economy.” During the debates about equal rights between men and women, two delegates had a tough exchange of words. One of the debatable areas that existed was on the way that religion affects the government’s decisions. While the delegate of Russia was sustaining her statement, she declared that the fact that religion mixed with politics unbalances the objectivity of the leaders.
At the end of her speech, she was asked by the delegate of Thailand how she can make that statement about other countries while Russia has a big problem from this point of view. The church in Russia is over-involved in politics and all the decisions are made subjectively, in accordance with the will of the religion.
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Editorial Debates have been pretty heated today, resolutions have been turned on all sides and the delegates’ persuasion skills have been used at a maximum level. Luckily, “For and Against” Speeches proved to be the best solution to all the differences. The ECOSOC Committee has encountered very productive debates that have had a good impact on both the submitters and the other delegates, as well as on the Committee Chairs. The resolution regarding the manufacture of, trafficking in and abuse of synthetic drugs has particularly drawn the EditoPhoto: Zack Baddorf
rial Board’s attention. The main submitters of the passing resolution have totally disapproved the idea of legalizing organic drugs on the basis that they would be less addictive than the synthetic ones. In other words, we should be allowed to have our own cannabis “gardens” in our balconies and to produce our very own homemade marijuana. Why? Because this way we could somehow have our part of drugs – let’s call it our tiny part of illegality – and not be attracted towards the consumption of other drugs of a greater impact. This
would be the reiteration of the general belief that the more a certain thing is banned from us, the more we desire it. However, who said the part with “The more you have, the more you want to have?” As we see it that would definitely apply to a greater degree to the given context. In conclusion, do we really want to pursue the way opened by the legalization of the so-called drugs: coffee and alcohol? Definitely not!
PRESS CORPS News Editor: Mihaela Voicescu Features Editor: Ioana Gabriela Gorgoi Photo Editor: Otilia Dobos Graphics Editor: Mihai Salavastru Layout Editor: Gabriel Catalin Criveanu, Cosmin Epureanu Web Editor: Cosmin Epureanu Advisor: Zack Baddorf Reporters: Claudia Bejan Andreea Buteata Bogdan Conea Elena Creanga Dan Dulvac Andreea Oltean Ioana Roxana Popescu Roxana Udrea
News / Environment
Photo: Andreea Oltean
Let us work together because we cannot do it alone Written by: Andreea Oltean Claudia Bejan
n the second day of IASIMUN, the Environment Committee debated the three major issues proposed and sustained by the delegates in the day before. There have been five resolutions submitted in order to be voted in the Committee. “It doesn’t take much to improve our lives by protecting our planet,” Germany stated at the beginning. And this is what the delegates are pursuing to acquire through their answers to the environmental issues. Germany, with her co-submitters, Guatemala, Ghana and Pakistan, read the first resolution, regarding the first committee topic: ensuring ecological sustainability in times of economical crisis. The fight has been conducted by Germany and Greece, due to different points of view regarding the same major issue. Whereas Germany promoted ecological education as
a device in changing people’s view on pollution and other environmental contemporary problems, Greece considered there also are other solutions, such as NGOs or investment programs to support agriculture. Nevertheless, the delegates have thought that nothing is possible without money. Increasing ecological taxes will help protecting environment and will bring growth to the overall budget, but will not work at a lower level, as some poor countries scarcely have enough resources for that. One answer might be a voluntary educational project and promoting the environment protection through the power of advertising. Finally, after debating Germany’s proposals for about one hour, the first resolution passed with a majority of votes, having two added amendments, one by China and one by Ghana. The second resolution, sponsored by Czech Republic and cosubmitted by East Timor, focused on reviewing the emissions trading procedure, as set out in the Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol. Rais-
ing the issue of dealing with the economic crisis and the environmental sustainability in the same time, the delegates spoke about introducing a system were all UN countries should fight together to reduce pollution but still have enough money in order to provide food supplies or invest in agriculture. On the other hand, Canada was standing against, considering that there should be introduced higher fees to the countries that pollute more. The delegate of China has raised two amendments; only one has passed. In the same time, it has been suggested the founding of an institution to sanction those who do not follow the Protocol, in order to enforce the supervision of the carbon market. The other resolutions have been discussed by the end of the day, covering every aspect of
the global environmental issues in question: ensuring ecological sustainability in times of crisis, promoting new and renewable sources of energy and reviewing the emissions trading procedure, as set out in Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol.
News / Political
Delegates go BOOM Written by: Dan Dulvac Elena Creanga
s I was standing in the Political Committee room and waiting for the debate to start, I noticed the riot and the nervousness, but I would have never guessed that silence could fill up the room so fast. Nevertheless that was just “the silence before the storm.” Fifteen minutes later the attacks began. Delegates of Indonesia, United Kingdom and South Korea combat the resolution sponsored by Canada. Canada fights back. Yemen helps. Students explode with arguments when it comes to the problem of North Korean possession of nuclear weapons. Germany wants negotiation; South Korea, supported by Indonesia and UK, clearly present its point: Stop North Korea to avoid a disaster. South Korea responds negatively to any kind of negotiations that would accept North Korea’s nuclear weapon possession. The world can’t “try again what have been tried before,” according to the delegate of South Korea. Nobody was wrong! Everybody found well placed ideas with regard to all the topics. Delegates are really passionate when it comes to resolving the issues with regard to the possession of chemical and nuclear weapons by North Korea, wasted funds and modern piracy. The tension was in the air. However, no harm was felt, only constructiveness, respect, effectiveness, productivity, and real solutions to real problems. The
debate’s participants were constantly reminded about the rules and procedures by the chairpersons Madalina Darabana and Maria Cotofan. Moderated by the two, the debate went smoothly with significant results. Criticism just for the sake of it is easy and useless, yet the moments of informal behavior and speech brought some smiles and affirmed that all of us are youngsters capable of both having fun and working hard and serious. Just sitting on a chair for eight hours is extremely exhausting. Add to that the hard part: to be continuously debat-
ing on difficulty issues. Besides the factors of heat and tiredness, the delegates also had the challenge of controlling their nervousness and trying to persuade all students. It was a true test for delegates to find their own limits. Some delegates overcame their fears of public
speaking and improved their skills of logical reasoning. All this effort can only to be applauded.
Photo: Dan Dulvac
Photo: Dan Dulvac
News / Human Rights
Photo: Gabi Criveanu
“To care about you, when nobody else does,that’s what makes me human.”
Are there any humans left!?! Written by: Bogdan Conea Andreea Buteata
ith all these situations and conflicts on our planet, people should show that there’s humanity inside us by helping each other. In this case, countries well built, founded on good bases, and which don’t face something similar to human crisis should make a difference. Well, there are countries like that, and there really is a difference too. Countries like the US, North Korea and Iceland manage to do that. For example, the refugees and internally displaced people in Sri Lanka where the population has been gravely concerned by violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed during the armed conflict. The
impact on the civilian population, especially woman, children and vulnerable groups has been massive. Deeply concerned that even though the war against the Tamil Tigers was won by the Sri Lankan government, peace in Sri Lanka has not yet been achieved. A military solution is not the final solution. In addition, we have the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe. Who’s making a difference? Who helps them? Well, there’s Iceland. Zimbabwe has some critical human rights problems, too. The maternal mortality rates there have tripled since the mid-90s. Cholera, a disease that appears due to lack of water, killed about 2,000 people and infected approximately 60,000, as it is still spreading due to migrating people. In Zimbabwe, 80 percent of the population lives on less than one dollar a day, without basic commodities such as food and water.
Who has heard about contemporary forms of slavery in Czech Republic? Article 4 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude and that slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. According to the Free the Slaves Organization: “There are more people in slavery now than at any other time in human history.” Who would’ve thought it would get to this? There are solutions. But which are the most efficient? Well this is the debate right now. One delegate said, “Life doesn’t mean playing a game with people’s lives”. We need to take measures. Now! The delegates think that the crisis is major, and at the age of 30, living in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka or Czech Republic, it just cannot be called “living” anymore. Some of the solutions include encouraging US volunteers to go and teach in other countries and
increase their tourism to help their economy. Encourage media to do reports about those people and countries. As a delegate said: “If people are hungry, let’s feed them. If somebody is sick, let’s provide him medicines.” Improving the links between countries, and reminding ourselves to act human. It’s a big planet, but the shout for help is loud. Ignorance will just bring us in the need of help too.
Feature / Visit Iasi
Iasi as we know it Written by: Claudia Georgiana Bejan Ioana Ruxandra Popescu Roxana Udrea
fter the touristic guide we put in place yesterday, we bring you today more Iasi based locations that you should consider visiting. Firstly, the cafeterias located in Copou are worth mentioning. If you want to spend some time along with your friends in a distinguished café, you should definitely enter in the Deja-Vu. It’s right across the Copou Park, at the entrance of the Skye Club, one of the most popular clubs in Iasi. Another cafeteria that inspires delicacy and class is Time Out. You may find it across the National Library “Mihai Eminescu”, where you can also find the statue of the great poet. Another key point when visiting Iasi is the Voivodes Park, located behind the Cultural House of the Students. The park is a place of relaxation and socialization, a spot where you can feel the magic of Copou surrounding you. So, if you have some free time, take a seat next to the fountains and have a look at the great statues of Romanian princes guiding the area. And if that won’t be enough for you, go down the street until you reach the Alexandru Lapusneanu Avenue, one of the oldest
lanes from Iasi. The antique shops, the Tuffli cafeteria and the second-hand bookshops recall the past times of a modern historical city. The original Tuffli cafeteria was been opened 140 years ago, by two Swiss. Nowadays, the actual cafeteria still preserves some of the old aspect of the original, but brings up new contemporary, stylish elements. At just a few steps ahead, you can find Corso, a large, modern café. Just as you come forth, you reach Piaþa Unirii, with its all-time fountains and pigeons. Furthermore, the Stefan cel Mare Street is the historical centre of the city, being surrounded by main buildings, such as the Mitropoly or the Roznovanu Palace that houses the actual City Hall. The street is
closed for cars at the weekend, in order to keep it clear for those who crave for a walk. Another bodegas nearby are The Base, Kaze Pub or Brain. You may find them near cinema Victoria and there you can relax with the songs of Bob Marley – in Kaze Pub – with the old and classic style of the 80s - in The Base Pub - or with electronic mixes in the Brain Pub. If you do get in that aria, stop a few seconds and admire the beautiful architecture of the old hotels in Iasi. If you happen to pass through Piata Unirii take a few moments to analyse the Grand Hotel Traian or the Astoria Hotel. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, the Grand Hotel Traian is one of the greatest and towering buildings in Iasi.
We all hope that your visit in Iasi won’t be the last one and we truly wish you a pleasant stay and we encourage you to visit as much as you can because you truly have what to see in this city.
Peace Corps Volunteers helping out with IASIMUN Written by: Mihaela Andreea Voicescu
he Model United Conference held in Iasi couldn’t have been possible without the help of many Peace Corps volunteers who serve in different Romanian high schools. Chase Doyle, Liz Cabbage, Rachel Johnson, Sarah Hunt, Kevin Peck, Liz Ogden, Taylor Green, David Pritchard, Jake Walters, Natalie Dall’Olmo and Zack Baddorf have all come here with great pleasure, looking forward to making a difference at the IASIMUN Conference. Apart from supervising the students during the conference, most of them have also helped with the resolution editing during the vet-
ting process. Although most of them have never been involved in a real MUN conference, all the Peace Corps volunteers were enthusiastic to learn together with their students during the training process. Zack, who worked for the Press Corps of the MUN conference, founds the level of the delegates of the IASMUN conference very high since they come from top high schools from all over Romania. Liz brought five of her students whom she has prepared before the conference for more than two months. Doyle, who had also initiated an intensive training program with his seven students at his high school, thinks that an important benefit of this process is the ability to logically reason about complex issues and, most importantly, de-
velop the skills to do the appropriate research. Both Liz and Kevin think that Model United Nations is very effective because it gives students an idea about what is happening in the world while putting an emphasis on working together, finding solutions and thinking through the perspective of someone from a different society. The Peace Corps volunteers have been impressed by how serious and competent the students are. In fact, they found remarkable the fact that the level of preparation resulted in a productive tension between students. Doyle also told us that the ability to stand up and speak without fear in front of so many people and find enough evidence to prove arguments is
fascinating. All the volunteers gave their best during the vetting process, but some of the students got frustrated since the process took too long. “One of the problems consisted in the fact that the same resolution was not edited during the process by the same person,” Zack Baddorf stated. Regardless of these small inconveniences, the process ended up successfully. One of the notable characteristics of this conference is the fact that for both participants and volunteers the event was not only educational but also enjoyable. Some of the volunteers even had fun at the welcome dinner or during the group photo and none of them regrets helping here because they came willingly and the event exceeded their expectations.
From left to right: Chase Doyle, Liz Ogden, Rachel Johnson, David Pi, Jake Walters, Natalie Dall’Olmo, Liz Cabbage, Kevin Peck, Zack Baddorf
Photo: Otilia Dobos
News / ECOSOC
Photo: Roxana Udrea
Exchange of words Written by: Ioana Ruxandra Popescu Roxana Udrea
At our question about how the delegate of Thailand can describe Russia’s delegate speech, he answered: “She should know that everything about its policy is based on sheer ignorance and manipulating the masses through religion.” This is one detail that Russia’s delegate totally forgot when she was sustaining her debate. We asked the same question again, but now it was addressed to Russia’s delegate, and her answer was: “This is just a simulation, however I found his speech a little bit inappropriate and I didn’t get his point.”
The second topic was about prohad an amendment, proposed by ducing and using synthetic drugs. the United States, that urges sciOne of the delegates said, “Many entists and doctors “to find [a] recountries live from making drugs placement for synthetic drugs and and we need something alternato receive a reward afterwards.” Aftive.” The delegate of China supported the idea that the traffic of illegal drugs should be stopped by introducing new legislation. On the other hand, the delegate of Somalia said that drugs should be allowed, like coffee is. The question is: Can synthetic drugs be replaced? Some delegates support the idea that people can become addicted to drugs from the very Photo: Andreea Oltean first use. This topic
ter the US delegate finished speaking, the United Arab Emirates proposed an amendment that the US providing the funding required for the US-sponsored amendment.
She puts her heart and soul into everything she does Written by: Ioana Gabriela Gorgoi
t looked as though she was in the best place at the best moment: a school with a valuable tradition in debating, a teacher with numerous fresh ideas and the opportunity to attend an international MUN. “Model United Nations has been my chance to pursue my passion for politics,” Madalina explained. However, Madalina chose to dedicate herself to the Human Rights Committee, which doesn’t come in contradiction with her interests at all. “I consider that Human Rights is the sole aspect present in all of the four committees. For instance, it involves international humanitarian laws, one of my greatest passions,” she said. Her great interest in debating led to her successful participation in two MUN conferences: Saint Petersburg Model United Nations (SPIMUN) and Galati Model United Nations (GALMUN). In addition to that, she was one of the three female finalists for the position of the official UN Youth Delegate, as part of Romania’s delegation. Even though the outcome turned out to be impressive, Madalina’s first contact with an international MUN could be described as an unsettling experience: “I can still remember the delegates’ vivid expressions and their devotion to their work.” Additionally, it was the atmosphere in the conference rooms that made the biggest impression on her: “It was like a fever, everyone there was caught in the tournament of ideas and argu-
ments,” Madalina uttered in a melancholic tone. If we were to describe the event in three words, from Madalina’s point of view that would be: exhilarating, overwhelming and frustrating. Exhilarating? Possibly. Overwhelming? Definitely. But why frustrating? “I experienced a bit of frustrations because everyone was so good!” she exclaimed. “One of the most challenging parts was the fact that I had to learn how to compromise in a way that I could still stick to my own ideas.” The two positions that she now occupies –Secretary General and Human Rights Co-chair – have had a great influence on her, shaping her perception of the world, her ideas and her way of thinking. Photo: Andreea Oltean
“Besides the responsibility that I had, it was more of a life lesson, in the sense that I had the opportunity to see how I can manage my own feelings and stress, how I can communicate with the rest of the team,” she explained. Even though Madalina occupies two of the highest positions in the MUN hierarchy, she didn’t let her privileged status go to her head. “The qualities required by a chairperson are professionalism, a good command of English, good debating skills and dedication to the project. Some previous experience in this type of events would be very welcome, too,” Madalina added with a broad smile. Apart from her great involvement in the MUN Conference,
Madalina is also member of the “Save the Children” organization. “Being part of this volunteering group was a milestone in my development and probably the root of my interest in Human Rights,” Madalina said. “I can see the relevance and meaning of such activities in society, and also in one’s life. IASIMUN is also a good example of volunteer service.” The Secretary General’s expectations in terms of achievements do not concern only her personal progress but also the one of the delegates. “In terms of academic achievements, I am positive that they will become more fluent in English, by practicing key skills and more knowledgeable in general, by researching their topics and understanding convoluted aspects of international politics, economics and law,” Madalina stated in her usual formal manner. However, it is one of MUN’s objectives to contribute to the development of the individuals more on the long term than on the short one. Additionally, she genuinely expects them to be outsmarted by the system as she once was. “I hope that they will gain as much as I gained from my MUN experiences and that one day they will want so badly to do a MUN, that they will be willing to sacrifice their time and effort and see it not as a sacrifice, but the only thing that could reveal itself as fulfilling.” So, keep in mind this precious piece of advice: “Be courageous! Take the word, speak up and enjoy MUN!”
IASIMUN student leaders hold press conference Written by: Andreea Buteata
t was an exciting and exhilarating caucus! It is amazing to feel that people have a stake, that they struggle together to convince, bringing their own methods of persuasion,” Human Rights chairperson and Secretary General of the IASIMUN Conference, Madalina Secareanu, proudly affirms, describing the caucus. During the press conference at which all chairs participated, functioning together as a well-oiled machine, the leaders’ reactions
were mainly enthusiastic, bringing into light the main impressions regarding the delegates’ first official meeting. While the Human Rights Committee chair appreciates the delegates’ ambition and individuality, ECOSOC chairperson, Stefana Covalciuc, believes that what characterizes the members of her committee is cooperation, considering that the atmosphere created during the caucus was one very similar to a UN one. Moreover, chairpersons of
the Environment Committee expressed their pleasant surprise in what concerns the delegates’ preoccupation for the topics discussed, the high level of implication in the subjects, seeing their gathering as “a living organism, and we feel honored and privileged to watch them work, given the extraordinary dynamic of the caucus.” According to the leaders of each committee, each delegate has the possibility to stand out, even though they do not occupy the position of main or co-submitters, by
taking initiative in their position of “hope for tomorrow.” All in all, heated debates represented the central point of the day, some of them exceeding the chairpersons’ expectations, which, as we might rightly assume, were pretty high. Bearing in mind the fact that IASIMUN is not only a conference, but also a competition, the debates are expected to become even more interesting.
THE IASIMUN MICROPHONE by Ioana Gabriela Gorgoi Distinguished audience, time has come to pass the IASIMUN Microphone over to the delegates of the Political Committee. We expect them to be more than smooth talkers and share with us their past, present and future thoughts in the context of the IASIMUN Conference. How about finding out what makes politics so appealing? Would they want to do anything else in their lives? As far as they are concerned, it’s definitely worth trying. Let’s greet them with a big round of applause!
“Last year I had the opportunity of taking part in the Galati Model United Nations (GALMUN) that made me take to debating and problem solving.” Alexandru Goldura Galati – (Turkey)
“I chose to apply for the Political Committee because I think the political life of a country is very important for the development of its citizens.” Alexandra Grigorescu Cozneanu – Pucioasa – (Guatemala)
“In IASIMUN I seek to gain the ability of developing and transmitting my own opinions on global concerns. Moreover, my intention is to evolve both socially and academically.” Laura Galati – (Thailand)
“It was pretty hard for me to address in the third person all the time, as I am used to express my opinions with I. However, it was like playing a role for a few days; this way I was the delegate of Sudan in the first place and I had to put my own self in the second place.” Raluca - Maria Sandu Bucharest – (Sudan)
“The reason I chose to represent Yemen at the IASIMUN is that this is a small country, often stifled by internal conflicts. It is my intention to break the mould and prove that small countries also have an opinion and they can give very good solutions to the world’s problems.” Oana Caloiu Pucioasa – (Yemen)
“From taking part in the IASIMUN conference I wish to improve my English and my debating skills and this way who knows if I don’t end up working in politics in a few years’ time.” Matei Rusu Iasi - (Malaysia)
“I came to this conference to meet new people with different views on the world’s greatest problems and together find viable solutions to them. Of course, it’s fun as well as it givfes teenagers a sense of importance to pretend they have the power.” Raluca-Maria Sandu Bucharest – (Sudan)
“The whole training process was challenging. I found it challenging to search information for our topics, but the difference was made by our stances on these topics.” Oana Caloiu Pucioasa – (Yemen)
Photo: Andreea Oltean
The moment of relief Written by: Otilia Dobos
onorable delegates, distinguished readers, let me introduce you to the welcome dinner held at Cavalerul Medieval for all hard-working debaters , reporters and, of course, advisers and organizers. The dinner started at about 8 p.m., when the participants arrived eager to relieve the tensions gained during the opening speeches and schmoozing. The atmosphere was entertained by live music and hosts dressed in medieval costumes. The band was provided by the restaurant and the range of music styles varied from traditional Romanian music to well known hits, engaging everyone in a relieving dance.
Also, as delegate Raluca Popescu declared, the food was excellent and it mostly consisted of traditional Romanian food. Chase Doyle described the dinner as a”really wonderful way to end a stressful day,” declaring he had a lot of fun and also got to know the other delegates and advisors better. Moreover, he confessed he was surprised to see not only the chairs, but also the delegates dancing in such a relaxed way when he was used to seeing them dressed formally and following a certain discipline. Students also had a lot of fun; they enjoyed the music and had the chance to build relationships with the other delegates. To prove how much they enjoyed the welcoming dinner, Loredana Gavril said “I would like to have another night like this one”.
Photo: Otilia Dobos
Photo: Otilia Dobos