WORLDMUN DAILY MARCH 24, 2009 Volume 1
Daily WEATHER FORECAST
Small rain showers. Low 2c, high 7c. Average wind.
Night Rainy night, clouded skies.
OUTSIDE WORLDMUN WALLS ‘World’s cheapest car’ to be launched in July NEW DELHI (CNN) -- India’s Tata Motors Monday announced it would begin delivery of the Nano, billed as the world’s “cheapest car”, in July. It will sell at $2000. ECB to cut rates to buoy ailing German economy (The Guardian) Europe’s central bank set to act as Commerzbank’s chief economist forecasts Germany’s economy could contract by up to 7% this year EU moves to secure Ukrainian gas BRUSSELS (BBC) Ukraine has signed a deal with the EU in Brussels paving the way for $3.4bn (£2.4bn) of Western investment to upgrade Ukraine’s gas pipelines.
Opening ceremony was a great succes! By Carolien Gerards During the opening ceremony, José Dominguez Alvarez told us in his speech that during the last few months of his board year he learnt that doing the good thing, is different from not doing the bad thing. Oh how nervous he must have been, working for almost a year on the organization of, amongst other things, ‘getting people’s Dutch on’. Jozias van Aartsen, the mayor of the Hague, gave an interesting opening speech stressing the fact that municipality functions as legal capital of the world, is not simply a marketing stunt. The years when grave violations of humanitarian law would go unpunished are over, Van Aartsen argues. When Kenya was struck by a wave of violence in 2007, causing the lives of 1500 people, the population knew that only the ICC in the Hague could bring the perpetrators to justice. Since the establishment of the ICTY in 1993, it is clear that the principle of non-intervention is an idea that belongs to the past. Rector Magnificus of the Radboud University, Professor Kortmann, invented another idea. All delegates should stick a note under their chairs, giving advice to the delegates of the next week’s conference on Afghanistan. The Editorial Board hopes you will follow this idea and do not put offensive notes there. Alternatively, Kortmann, who obviously likes it the traditional way, gave us the opportunity to send them a postcard. But most of all, the rector encourages you to listen carefully to other delegates instead of defending your own position all the time. One of the most famous Dutch poli-
ticians and former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, gave an inspiring speech in which he stressed the im-
This year’s Secretary-General, Timur Kalimov, gave an insight in his own personal way of dealing with the fact that he experienced two
portance of spirituality. It is the key for the celebration of life. Troubled by the fact that his kids could start developing photos in the river the ‘Maas’, instead of swimming there he wanted to contribute to a better environment. This resulted in the Eart Charter, an international declaration of fundamental values and principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century.
different cultures. He does not feel American nor Russian, but considers himself a global citizen. What a coincidence, after these words, all of a sudden people wearing flags came in! We hope that how global you might get at this conference, you will still cherish the orange color of your bags!
Committee sessions Disarmament and International Security Council
Lebanon blast ‘kills PLO leader’ (Al Jazeera) At least four people, including a senior official from the Palestinian Fatah movement, have been killed in an explosion at a refugee camp in southern Lebanon, security officials say. U.S. wants Afghanistan exit strategy, meets NATO BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The United States met NATO allies on Monday to outline its policy review for Afghanistan after President Barack Obama said it would contain an exit strategy and greater emphasis on economic development.
By Paula Gil An overly-large auditorium and a lack of microphones hindered The Disarmament and International Security Council (DISEC)’s opening session Sunday. Delegates worked hard to overcome these initial obstacles. The discussion of the agenda at the beginning of a committee is always a difficult moment for the delegates. It’s also a moment that will change the entire course of events. Topics define politics, positions, aspirations and alignments in the committee. Irene Niessem, assistant-director of DISEC, was impressed with the “participation of the delegates specially taking into consideration how big the room is.” The lively debate on the setting of the agenda clearly shows the awareness of the delegates that only one topic will be discussed,
said Niessem. “Delegates are definitively motivated and excited and that is shown on the activity you can see all over DISEC”. Russia urged delegates to a decision. “Silence is all we hear from a victim of terrorism, silence is all we hear from the States that want to place weapons in the space. Russia wants to hear all the states, not silence!” Delegates settled on discussing ethnonationalist and separatist terrorism in the XXI century through a simple majority vote. The focus was on establishing a framework for enforcing actions, and on the need for a definition of terrorism that would allow the distinction between a terrorist and a freedom fighter.
Human Rights Council
High Commissioner on Refugees
By Danae Mercer Conversation in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) focused on the role of refugees. According to expert speaker Arjan Hamburger, an Ambassador of Human Rights under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “A lot of governments don’t want to recognize groups that have specific rights to land. That’s the issue we need to work with now.” “We have the possibility to make the voices of indigenous people be heard better than ever before,” said Hamburger. Tradition also must be balanced with human rights. “We believe that human rights are universal. No government can hide behind tradition or culture. Now universality doesn’t mean uniformity. We just are saying, you can’t hide behind things.” “There are basic fundamental human rights, so fundamental t hat nothing can move from it,” said Hamburger.
By Danae Mercer Burma and Myanmar were the focus of Arthur den Hartog, the director of Asia and Oceanic area Foreign Affairs and expert speaker at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UN-HCR). “How can we accept undemocratic, flawed elections? With so many political prisoners? Where people from different parties aren’t allowed to vote?” Asked Hartog. “That’s the problem we’re facing: how do we cope with this situation?” Many conferences and diplomatic efforts are required to bring peace to the area. “Through this, we can resolve the situation and achieve better life for the Burmese people.” Through working together, the UN can bring about change. For instance, “the presence of the Security General in Burma put a lot of pressure on the regime to change,” explained Hartog.
Jozias van Aartsen
more on page 5
2 Columns JOEP GEURTS ImPRESSed and underdressed Like Timur Kalimov said in the opening ceremony, there are a lot of different people with different points of view at this worldMUN and you should try to get to know them all. Although seeing so many various cultures I still got the feeling I am an outsider with a whole different point of view.
As I entered the World Forum on Sunday I noticed a similarity between all those present: everybody was dressed neat. To fit the dress code I changed my vest into a black blouse but totally forgot to bring decent shoes. Therefore I was the only one in the whole building wearing all star shoes. To make it even worse, I have to admit I do not even own a suit! It feels a little like being a peasant in the big city. But hey! That does bring in another point of view, doesn’t it?
“To make it even worse, I have to admit I do not even own a suit!” Being underdressed brings consequences. As I entered the Peace Palace yesterday morning to visit the press conference I was immediately exposed not to be part of the board or of any importance at all. Although being the black sheep it was a really interesting experience to be at a conference as a part of the press. Attending the Social Venture Challenge the benefits of being in the editorial board came forward. It is really a great joy to hear all the ideas of participating students. I was impressed by some of the plans the delegations came up with and by the enthusiasm and dedication of the delegates. If I had some more money I would invest it in one of the ideas. But as I am a student as well, money is not something I have too much of now. Talking about money, I learned an interesting fact at the opening ceremony. Mr Lubbers stated that something is not valuable when you did not have to pay for it. Therefore according to Mr Lubbers idea, to make this column more valuable to you, you should spent money on it! So if you meet a jeans and all stars wearing, limping (he ran half a marathon six hours before the opening ceremony) not fitting in with the rest, odd looking guy, buy him a beer. It is not guaranteed, but it just might make tomorrow’s column more valuable.
WORLDMUN DAILY MARCH 24, 2009 Volume 1
Opening doors for youth on the world stage By Heleen Struyven Have you always wondered why, where and how to become a UN Youth representative? Then you are at the right place! As a student, you might encounter a lot of closed doors but the doors of the UN are not as closed off as you might think. Yesterday, Wouter, Jody and Yanisa, as youth representatives of the Netherlands and Thailand, gave us an inside look. They made clear that young people deal with specific problems that require specific attention. In fact, 50 percent of the world population is below 24 years old and of that demographic, 85 percent of world youth worldwide is living in developed countries. The only way to deal with this is by encouraging young people to collaborate with the UN. In 1995, this was confirmed by a General Assembly Resolution urging all state members to include young people in the national delegations. Also, United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan stated that “no one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. Young people must be included from birth. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline.” So the UN is definitely ready to give a voice to the youth of
every country. But what do UN Youth Representatives do? They are chosen to serve a two-year term in order to work with the General Assembly in New York. They give speeches, participate in lobbying and agenda-settings and are treated as diplomats to make sure that the youth is heard on a daily basis in the activities of the UN. In their home countries, they give lectures and give presentations at high schools to make sure young people know what the UN is all about. They also animate debates and workshops to receive input and receive feedback to represent their fellow citizens even more. Unfortunately, only 17 countries have youth delegates: Australia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Jamaica, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland and Thailand. As you see, there are almost no African countries represented which is a true shame, even more when you realise that 50 percent of the African population is between 15 and 24. So we call upon all you guys to set it up in your country! But how do you become a Youth Delegate? It differs from country to country. Often
selection goes through National Youth Councils in cooperation with Foreign affairs. If you want more detailed information about it you can surf to www.unyouthdelegates.org which is a website designed by the delegates themselves. You can also go the www.un.org/youth, which is the official site of the UN. If you want to know how to set up a new group of UN Youth delegates in you countries, you can e-mail email@example.com. Yanisa was the first Youth Delegate of Thailand in 2007 and is currently using her own experience to help Rwanda, Pakistan, Indonesia and France with the first steps to their own youth representation in the UN. The obstacles you might encounter are a lack of cooperation of the government or for the funding. Other countries don’t have an actual youth council or are afraid that the delegates lack diplomatic training. But with some help of the actual Youth Delegates and a lot of perseverance, you will be able to overcome all these obstacles and you will have an experience of a lifetime. Because, as motivated WorldMUN’ers, you all know that there is nothing more exciting that sharing diverse ideas from different backgrounds to try and make a difference for the day of tomorrow!
Law five years earlier, it was a logical choice. The idea of World Peace was blooming in the end of the 19th century and there was a huge international peace movement. After six years of construction, the Peace Palace festive opening was in 1913. It is a large, square-shaped building with a beautiful tower. As this building is accessible to the public through guided tours, it is one of the most photographed landmarks of The Hague. The palace is surrounded by gardens that are considered to be among the most successful designs of the English landscape architect Thomas Mawson. The Dutch are well-known for water management and this is also proven in the gardens. A wa-
ter stream rises in the nearby dunes and flows along the watercourse underneath the ponds to a large pond in the center of The Hague, called the ‘Vijverberg’. As you enter the Peace Palace, you will be astonished by beauty of the Entrance Hall with its marble floor, pilasters and inlaid art work. A lot of art will be found through the whole building. If you have a meeting there, please take a minute to walk and look around and be overwhelmed by the magnificence of this place. As the outside already predicts it is really worth it to visit the Peace Palace.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization By NATO Directors At the first session of NATO, the committee focused on welcoming guest speaker, Jamie Shea, warmly and professionally with many questions needed for further discussion of the topic that had already been set before his arrival. The topic NATO chose to tackle first is the situation in Afghanistan. In preparation for the official meeting next week, the first day of this session was largely spent on the issues of warlords and drugs. And of course also: how to tackle them both. Also, NATO decided to adopt the official NATO rules of procedure instead of the regular rules of procedures. “There’s an amazing atmosphere inside this committee” says United States delegate Aditya Jhaven. “Everybody is participating and the delegates are really devoted”. With seven working papers the NATO delegates made a good start yesterday of an hopefully satisfying draft resolution.
Peace Palace By Joep Geurts The Peace Palace in The Hague is home to some important international judicial institutions, including the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration and The Hague Academy of International Law. This week, the Peace Palace is also one of the places where WorldMUN participants will have their discussions. In 1899 the first World Peace conference was held in The Hague at Russian’s request. As the Netherlands had always stayed relatively neutral in European conflicts and The Hague hosted the Conference on Private
EXCHANGE STUDENT RADBOUD UNIVERSITY Name: Mike Kowalick Study: Political Sciences Home university: University of North Carolina (USA) By Radboud University My home university encouraged me to go and study abroad, but I thought ‘no way!’ I met some guys from the UK who had a great time at UNC, and now I would recommend it to everyone. It’s an experience of a lifetime, a wonderful way to meet new people, to learn about other cultures.
I go everywhere in Nijmegen by bike, which is an excellent way to keep fit. I love it, as long as the wind is behind me! This is my first time in Europe and Holland is an easy place to travel from. I can very easily visit my friends in the UK and will stay on after my course has finished to travel around Europe. Nijmegen is a good place to live as a foreign student; I live in a place with lost of nationalities, all visiting. We have great parties and eat together. I am not a big city guy, Nijmegen is not too big, but has a good cultural life. The locals are friendly and helpful and understand you don’t know everything, apart from the bus drivers that is. The language is hard to learn, but most people speak English. I might even stay to do my Master’s here.
WORLDMUN DAILY MARCH 24, 2009 Volume 1
INTERVIEW WITH RUUD LUBBERS
Principality of Andorra Government Parliamentary democracy and Coprincipality Head of Government Albert Pintat Episcopal and French Co-Prince Joan Enric Vives Sicilia and Nicolas Sarkozy Capital Andorra la Vella Area Total 468 km2 Population 71,822 Official languages Catalan Main religion Roman Catholic Currency Euro
By Heleen Struyven Peter, a delegate representing Andorra, claimed Andorra is proud of its good, laid back lifestyle. For example, Andorra has a very low rate of poverty and unemployment and the highest human life expectancy in the world (83 years). Andorra, the sixth smallest nation in Europe, is located in the eastern Pyrenees Mountains and bordered by Spain and France. The country mainly consists of a major road that connects the French border and the Spanish border.
“Andorra [...] has the highest human lifexpectancy in the world” Andorra became a member of the UN and the Council of Europe in 1993 and it has since become a popular tourist destination. Tourists are attracted by Andorra’s wonderful ski resorts in winter, shopping and hiking facilities in summer, and the large tobacco industry. Andorra is often called a tax haven, but unfortunately it is also known for its numerous money laundering operations. Peter said that it wasn’t easy to find the position of his country on the various topics. Not only because it’s a small country, but also because it is a very stable and neutral state.
“Andorra is know for its numerous money laundering operations” The national motto “Strength United is stronger”, is something that might appeal to all delegates present at WorldMUN.
“It’s time for the green change” By Servaas van der Laan Ruud Lubbers, former prime minister of the Netherlands and former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, was the keynote speaker for Opening Ceremonies of WorldMUN 2009. Having worked as a businessman and Minister of Economical Affairs, Lubbers argued for environmental management and sustainable development. Currently an active member of the Earth Charter Commission, Lubbers consistently promotes the message of the Earth Charter: that humans should strive for sustainable investment in a green environment. Lubbers’ visit to WorldMUN provided an excellent opportunity to get to know him. Members from the editorial staff met with Lubbers just before his keynote speech. WorldMUN is a place where students from all over the world gather to share their views on various international issues. MUN didn’t exist when you were in school. Looking back, do you see that as a missed opportunity? The beautiful thing about life is that things change. There are a lot of dramatic changes, but WorldMUN is an example of one of the good changes we’ve seen in the world since the ending of the Cold War. Where you politically active during your time at school? I have always been a worker, and I believe that men have to gain experience first before talking about society. I have always been interested in history and society, but I became a businessman and a good father for my family first. I had my first political experience when I was 27. What explains your sudden interest in politics? In 1966 a friend asked me to join the Christian Radicals, a sect of the Catholic Labour Party. After a while the Radicals became somewhat more extreme. I believed in changing things from the inside of politics, and I felt that debate was more effective than rioting in the streets. I joined the Catholic People’s Party and in 1973 I became, at the age of 34, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs. In 1978 you became the leader of the Christian Democrats, and in 1982 you became the Dutch Prime Minister. You were both the youngest and the longest-serving Prime Minister in Dutch history. What advice would you give WorldMUN delegates on how to achieve such impressive goals? During life, we encounter a lot of things. It’s important to make something with these opportunities. Don’t let them pass by. Do something with the things that have your interest, but make an effort and work hard to achieve your goals. Find a balance between wanting something and listening to other people. If you keep your ears open, it’s easier to achieve your goals since you’ll discover where difficulties are and you’ll learn
how to face them. Listen to words from others carefully and use your own wisely. People often think that I believe in compromise, but in fact it’s all about finding similarities in two opposite points of view. People who don’t listen to each other get frustrated and will easily fight. I find such fighters very unproductive and that they absolutely wont accept change. Luckily two people are needed for a fight. Since I always refuse to play along, I avoid getting dragged into a tussle. You emphasize the importance of change. Did you change? I am 70 years old now and you can say I’ve changed quite a lot over the last 40 years. Over the years, my way of thinking didn’t change much. I always have been an independent politician operating from a businessman’s perspective. Maybe my current interests lie in civil society more than before. I believe that there should be more interaction between companies and civil society. Only if these two sectors cooperate will we be able to work on sustainable development. Currently we are in the middle of a global economic crisis. When you became Prime Minister in 1982 you fought the recession through extensive cutbacks on public spending. What is your view on this recent crisis? At the end of the Cold War everybody, including me, was very happy that communism had come to an end. In this period the neo-liberalism arose, under which the credit system became a very dominant factor. The idea was that business makes welfare instead of politics. This crisis proves even a free market needs good policy planning. I see this crisis as a perfect opportunity to take important steps towards a
green economy. In the 1930s America spoke about the new deal. Today, this world needs a “Green deal”. We need to make a transition to an economy built on green investment. I invite all youngsters to switch to the “green gear” in order to guarantee a healthy environment for future generations. You were already striving for sustainable development in the 70’s. Why does it take so long for us to understand that we really need to make this green investments? Young people always want to see results immediately, but climate change isn’t visible for us. When I grew up I saw the smog, dust and a dirty Maas streaming through Rotterdam. The current climate change is of a more abstract nature. Al Gore makes beautiful documentaries, but the next day when you’re sitting on your bike you have already forgotten about them since you actually don’t see the harming climate effects. This is just like nuclear threat, in that it’s too far away for people to really worry. It’s also a question of passing responsibilities to others. We need a common responsibility in a world with so much difference in welfare. We have abandoned colonialism... now it’s time to implement a global approach on world issues. The United Nations brings nations together, but the will to develop should originate from individual countries. The economy is still very important, but one must be aware of false prophets like the Neo-liberalism. Invest in your own environment. The green gear is the way!
The second part of this interview will be put in the WorldMUN Daily tomorrow.
more on page 5
World Trade Organization By Jochem van der Veen The World Trade Organization (WTO) had to do without expert speakers this morning, However, the absence of speakers was a double-edged sword, as it left the WTO committee with more time to negotiate on the Doha Development Round. The Doha Development Round is the current trade negotiation round of the WTO. Its objective is to lower trade barriers around the world. This allows countries to increase trade globally.
As of 2008, talks have stalled due to a divide on major issues, such as: agriculture, industrial tariffs and non-tariff barriers, services, and trade remedies. Large differences exist between a developed nations bloc, led by the European Union (EU), the United States (USA) and Japan, and a developing countries bloc led by India, Brazil, China and South Africa. Considerable contention exists between the EU and the US over maintenance
of agricultural subsidies, which are intended to operate as trade barriers. In a working paper the UK, Japan, US, Malta, Czech Republic, France, Sweden, Romania, and Hungary sugested to reintroduce the topic of the Doha Round with the aim of resolving the existing deadlock. The WTO had already resolved some of the former deadlocks and wanted to intergrate certain points immediately in order to kickstart negotiations.
WORLDMUN DAILY MARCH 24, 2009 Volume 1
The humor in war and the war in humor By Carolien Gerards It seems hard to find something to laugh about when it comes to war. We, the outsiders, think we understand what it must be like to be in a war. We can feel the atmosphere when we visit Auschwitz, we remember ‘those who gave their lives fighting for our freedom’ and see the images of wars in Afghanistan or Iraq due to the presence of media there. But our faces look convulsive when victims joke about the wars they have been through. The idea that they joke about it seems paradoxical for one who did not witness the conflict. The general consensus seems to be that you should not joke about tragedy. In this essay I will show that humor in war serves different functions and that we, the outsiders, are in fact allowed to laugh. Theories on humor Although different people appreciate different types of humor, there is a general understanding of what humor is. In the dictionary it is defined as ‘the quality that makes something laughable or amusing; funniness’ or that ‘which is intended to induce laughter or amusement’. According to scholars humor serves different functions. One of the oldest existing theories is the so called ‘superiority theory’. The basis for this idea was laid down by Plato who said humor should be censored from stories about gods. The main reason for this censorship was because he was afraid that “if children were amused by the gods, they would feel themselves superior and hence would lose respect for them.” Aristoteles added to this that “we will laugh at the ugly, because we feel a joy at being superior to them.” The superiority theory was later expressed by Thomas Hobbes in his work ‘Leviathan’. Hobbes stated “that the passion of laughter is nothing else but sudden glory arising from some sudden conception of some eminency in ourselves, by comparison with the infirmity of others, or with our own formerly.” The superiority theory explains why we laugh at people who trip over a banana skin or to the teacher who sits on a thumbtack. The fact that a person looks clumsy, incompetent or simply stupid makes the other person feel better about himself. The philosopher Robert Solomon questioned the idea that the feeling of superiority is necessary in order to make a certain situation funny. There are several situations which we regard as funny, without people actually being laughed at. In his ‘inferiority theory’ he objects to the central idea of the superiority theory by saying that being able to laugh at yourself, shows that a person does not take himself too seriously. Solomon demonstrates his theory using the concept of the ‘three stooges’. We find the three stooges funny because we recognize our own flaws in them, which shows our ability to identify our own shortcomings. One of the other most prominent theories on humor was developed by Sigmund Freud and Herbert Spencer. In what was later called the ‘release theory’ they claim that most or all laughter is the result of a release of (excessive) energy or tension. Freud claimed that making a joke, gives you the opportunity to release repressed feelings of sexuality or hostility. The theory also serves as an explanation for why we sometimes laugh at events that are not humorous such as a funeral and why we have the expression ‘to blow off steam’ after a stressful day at work. The problem with this theory is that it is a circular argument. Even when we do not perceive ourselves as under stress, the theory can always answer that we were building up stress unconsciously. Kant and Schopenhauer also wrote about laughter, including absurdity in their theories. “In everything that is to excite a lively laugh there must be something ab-
surd. Laughter is an affection arising from the sudden transformation of a strained expectation into nothing.” These theories were brought under the term ‘incongruity theory’. Humor in war In war, we recognize the different classic theories on humor, but there are also several differences. My idea is that humor in war can serve the functions of ‘coping’, ‘binding/excluding’, ‘criticizing’ and ‘propagandizing’. When we take a closer look, it can also be argued that we can make a distinction between ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ functions. While humor as a coping strategy and humor as a means of binding a group together can be seen as positive, humor as a propaganda tool and to a lesser extent, humor as a way of criticizing, is mainly negative. While the positive forms of humor focus on a sense of relief, the negative functions of humor focus on disagreeance or even rebellion. Humor as a coping strategy Recent research into the role of humor as a coping strategy has shown that amongst emergency workers, humor works as a coping strategy. It makes it easier to deal with a difficult, stressful situation. Furthermore, black humor is seen as a mechanism for coping so that ‘negative feelings can be developed into positive acceptance’. One example of this comes from Artan Sadiku, a psychology student from Kosovo, who said: “I paid a visit to the Srebrenica memorial, and while almost everyone was crying, a Bosnian guy (also crying) said: “Even Chuck Norris would cry now.” The joke can be compared with holding your breath for some time and breathing out after a while. There is a sense of relief, which Freud recognized in his theory. On the other hand, black humor can also serve as a shield that makes you look unattainable. Humor as binding/exclusionary mechanism Related to the last function is the idea of humor as a way of binding a group together. This was demonstrated during the bombardments of NATO on Serbia. The Serbian people started wearing badges saying target. When the air raid sirens went off, a pub in Belgrade played the tune love is in the air. And the citizens of Belgrade started greeting each other by saying bombar dan instead of dobar dan. Since humor can bring people together it by definition can also exclude others. Valerie Holman and Debra Kelly explained in their article: “Most nations take pride in their sense of humor, which serves to strengthen the bond of their own national culture and their distinctiveness from others. Humor is both cohesive and divisive.” The example of the Serbian population also works in both directions. While the population got closer together, they also formed a closed circle no one could enter. Humor as a propaganda tool One of the main forms of ‘negative humor in war’ is the use of humor as a propaganda tool. During the trial of Vojislav Seselj (a Serbian nationalist politician), at the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) the public does not have to worry about the hearings being boring. Seselj continuously uses abusive language which by some are regarded as funny. One of his many ‘funny remarks’ was his claim that he could smell gas when a German judge entered the courtroom. On YouTube many videos circulate of Seseljs’ excessive behavior during the hearings. In one of the most famous ones, the judge asks him to read a text. He tells them “that they can all suck his dick, because that’s what the text says.” The reason why the use of humor by Seselj is so effective is because of its
apparent seriousness. The humor is implicit because it seems that Seselj actually does not intend to make the joke. But the situation in the courtroom is presented as so overly ridiculous that one cannot do otherwise then joke about it. This sends a strong message to the Serbian people not to take the ICTY seriously. It is even more ironic when we realize that the Tribunal is in fact struggling to be recognized as a serious institute. Although some might disagree on whether the comments of Seselj can be classified as humor, it is evident that his humor increases his popularity among Serbs. He actually admitted that many of his statements made were false. However, he says he makes them because it is amusing to the Serbian public. He also expressed his pride over the fact that the former prosecutor of the ICTY, Carla del Ponte, called him a ‘scandal-monger’ in one of the files of the prosecutor. Another example from the nineties, using humor as a propaganda tool, was the genocide in Rwanda. In the magazine Kangura, Hutu propagandist used caricatures to spread their message to the mostly illiterate population. The magazine was especially effective, because of its connections with the ruling elite. Therefore, it seemed that Kangura knew what was going to happen, before it did. Critical humor Another function of humor that could be classified as ‘negative’ is humor as a way of criticizing. As is known, the minister of propaganda in the Third Reich was not too fond of humor: “Humor is like a frog. They both die if you dissect them”. Humor in fact worked against the propaganda machine installed by the regime. Therefore the Nazi Government created a law against ‘treacherous attacks on the state and party for the protection of the party uniform’. People were put on trial for calling their dogs and horses Adolf. It is estimated that between 1933 and 1945, five thousand death sentences were handed down for treason, the reason of a large number of them being humor. In his paper ‘Humor and the Holocaust, John Morreall gives an example of a Catholic priest who had told some of his parishioners the following joke: “A fatally wounded German soldier asked his chaplain to grant one final wish. “Place a picture of Hitler on one side of me, and a picture of Goering on the other side. That way I can die like Jesus, between two thieves.” Critical humor also gives the opportunity to speak ‘the awful truth’ or as Pierre Purseigle stated in his analysis of cartoons during the First World War as a way of speaking the ‘unsay able’. Since jokes are associated with laughter, the combination of making a joke with an indecent content, enables to say what normally for moral reasons cannot be said. If you do not find the joke funny, you will be accused of having a lack of humor. Moreover, the joker will always be able to hide behind the shield of the comment ‘I was only making a joke’. One of the most evident examples of the use of humor as a means to speak the unsay able are the cartoons that led to protests in the Islamic world in 2005. Twelve editorial cartoons that depicted Muhammed were published in the JyllandsPosten, a Danish newspaper. In one of the cartoons, the prophet was depicted wearing a turban with a lit fuse. The cartoon seems to have the intention to make a controversial statement, wrapped up as a joke. When the cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, was asked whether he felt sorry for the drawings he said he considered them perfectly acceptable.
Conclusion People constantly disagree over what is funny and what is not. When a certain subject is politicized it becomes difficult to make jokes about it, which was shown by the Danish cartoons. This in turn might lead to self-censorship, which is something that every journalist will experience in his career. During a different MUN-conference where I contributed as a journalist, a photo of one of the board members of the organizing crew was missing in their handbook and as a joke I wanted to write: “Don’t worry, it’s just because you’re Jewish.” But the organization did not allow me. They were afraid this would send out the ‘wrong signal’. It is an innocent example, but shows that people often do not understand that a joke serves a function. Even if someone would have felt offended by the joke, I would not have cared. It is a strange idea that a writer, a journalist or cartoonist should keep in mind what effects his writings might have on the world. He or she is not responsible for the reaction of other people, no matter how the writing or the cartoon is misused by others. Besides, research on brainwashing has actually shown that making jokes is one of the most important strategies to block indoctrination. Moreover, the self-censorship of jokes actually denies the seriousness of the joke. Or as Mark Twain, a famous comedian put it: “Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven.” Being able to laugh at a joke, shows that you are able to understand the tragedy behind the joke. And is understanding not the first step to solve problems in the world? Literature 1. The free dictionary. Retrieved March 16 2009, 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
from http://www.freedictionary.com. The Science Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 16 2009, from http://science.jrank.org/pages/9715/ Humor-Superiority-Theory.html. Aristotele, Poetics,1449ac, p. 34-35. Hobbes, T. (1840). Human Nature In Molewsworth (Ed.), English Works: Vol. 4. London, vol. 4. Smuts, A. (2006). Humor. Retrieved March 9, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/h/humor.htm. Smuts, A. (2006). Humor. Retrieved March 9, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/h/humor.htm. Kant, I. (1951). Critique of Judgment. (J. H. Bernard, Trans.). New York: Hafner. Smuts, A. (2006). Humor. Retrieved March 9, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/h/humor.htm. Moran, C. & and Massam, M. (1997). An evolution of humour in emergency work. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 3. Moran, C. & and Massam, M. (1997). An evolution of humour in emergency work. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 3. Fisk, R. (1999). Only atrocity Belgrado knows is the NATO bombing. The Independent. Retrieved March 9, from http://www.independent.co.uk/ news/only-atrocity-that-belgrade-knows-is-thenato-bombing-1085789.html. Holman, V & Kelly, D. (2001). Introduction. War in the twentieth century: the functioning of humour in cultural representation. Journal of European Studies. Radio Netherlands - International Justice. Retrieved March 9, from http://www.rnw.nl/internationaljustice/tribunals/ICTY/090212-seselj. De Bondt, W. (2007). GACACA: De Rwandese schreeuw voor een op maat gemaakte justitie. Retrieved March 9, from http://www.statbel. fgov.be/studies/ac842_nl.pdf. Temple-Raston, D. (2002). Radio Hate. Legal Affairs, 2002. Retrieved March 9, from http:// www.legalaffairs.org/issues/September-October-2002/feature_raston_sepoct2002.msp. Morreall, J. (1997). Humor in the Holocaust:Its Critical, Cohesive, and Coping Functions. Retrieved March 9, from http://www.holocaust-trc. org/holocaust_humor.htm. Morreall, J. (1997). Humor in the Holocaust:Its Critical, Cohesive, and Coping Functions. Retrieved March 9, from http://www.holocaust-trc. org/holocaust_humor.htm. Moran, C. & and Massam, M. (1997). An evolution of humour in emergency work. Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 3. Troost, N. (2008). Danish Cartoonist: Dutch politician should air his anti-Quran film. Volkskrant. Retrieved March 16, from http://www.volkskrant. nl/binnenland/article511518.ece/Danish_cartoonist_Dutch_politician_should_air_his_antiQuran_film. Morreall, J. (1997). Humor in the Holocaust:Its Critical, Cohesive, and Coping Functions. Retrieved March 9, from http://www.holocaust-trc. org/holocaust_humor.htm.
WORLDMUN DAILY MARCH 24, 2009 Volume 1
Social and Humanitarian Council
World Health Organization
By Allison Roy A finger was pointed in the direction of Dutch policy-makers this morning. The first committee session of the Social and Humanitarian Council began with a speech by Radboud University professor, Kees Groenendijk, on the topic of European immigration barriers. In his speech, Groenendijk questioned the intentions and outcomes of the various civic integration tests within the European Union. The Netherlands became the first European country to assert that the process of integration should begin in the migrant’s home country and introduced the Integration Abroad Act in 2006. This legislation stipulated that certain foreign nationals that wished to migrate to the Netherlands to join family or to marry must pass an integration test before they are granted entry to the country. This was subsequently emulated by the British, French, German and Danish governments, yet the Netherlands continues to receive a barrage of criticism from the media as well as other countries about the test’s difficulty. According to a BBC report in 2005, the Dutch government argued that these tests were implemented to cut down on so-called “import brides;” however, professor Groenendijk offers a dissenting perspective. “The main dishonesty about these tests is that their main goal is exclusion,” Groenendijk said. A research specialist in EU asylum law and the privatization of immigration control,
Groenendijk suggests that an underlying sentiment that multiculturalism threatens Dutch social cohesion may provide the foundation for such immigration policies. The tests are administered in the migrant’s country of origin, in Dutch, over a series of intricate questions and often cost over €1,000-. Groenendijk indicated that part of the reason why Dutch policy-makers are quick to instate such a requirement is the threat of the immigrant vote. While countries like Germany and the UK feature small parties with little influence and function off a 5 percent threshold, countries like the Netherlands and Denmark are at the mercy of large parties with strong influence. “Immigrant voters can easily sway the outcomes of elections and this makes Dutch politicians very uneasy,” said Groenendijk. The Human Rights Watch repeatedly requested that these tests be eliminated from the immigration process, and in 2008, the Dutch government conceded to a few alterations. Although the HRW has voiced appreciation for the efforts of the Dutch government, Groenendijk urged delegates of the Social and Humanitarian Council to continue to question the nature and intent of such immigration proceedings and encouraged them to make the distinction between integration and immigration control in the resolutions they would write this week.
International Atomic Energy Agency By Jochem van der Veen The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) commenced with two expert speakers Monday. Ho Nie, a representative from the actual IAEA, discussed current and past IAEA efforts regarding commercial exploitation of atomic energy. Ewoud Verhoef discussed the various ways of storing nuclear waste. Verhoef explained there was no reason to doubt the quality of the storage canisters for nuclear waste. IAEA viewed footage of nuclear testing progress, impressing many delegates. The video showed many things, such as: the dropping of a canister from a helicopter flying at 1km; a rocket propelled train ramming into the canister; and an enormous metal rod shooting through the canister. The metal rod totally vaporised and the test-canister was indistinguishable from a new canister. Clearly, Verhoef said, packaging is not an issue. Safety and security were the focus of Nie’s speech. A nuclear facility should be secure for obvious reasons. But if you make a secure barrier, this barrier shouldn’t prevent people from reaching critical safety switches during crisis situations.
The Chernobyl accident showed the world that nuclear guidelines are necessary. The IAEA exists to give these guidelines, Ho Nie explained. Yet the IAEA is not a regulator. The most important thing is that there is a safety culture, a constant awareness from all involved parties of the dangers involved. The other topic focused on during the IAEA opening session was the storage of nuclear waste. Waste sometimes emits radiation for thousands of years. Medium and light radioactive waste can be stored above ground in secure building. Highly radioactive material however can’t be trusted to society. This material sometimes emits dangerous amounts of radiation for 100,000 years. Societies change too often to plan anything for that amount of time. The only option is to store the waste in earth formations. Suitable locations are scarce and legislation prohibits exchanging radioactive waste as well as storing it offshore. Solutions for this problem can only be found in international partnerships in the whole atomic energy chain.
By Heleen Struyven Two interesting speakers gave an inside look into various topics yesterday during the first committee session of the World Health Organization (WHO). These speeches allowed delegates to make an even better choice on setting the agenda afterwards. Stefan Uhlenbrook gave a presentation about water scarcity and health. Uhlenbrook is an expert in this matter due to his hard work at UnescoIHE. According to Uhlenbrook, 10,000 to 20,000 people die every single day from preventable water-born diseases. Every 15 seconds, a child dies from a disease caused by lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene. 42% of the East and 37% of South Asia don’t have access to water sanitation. Uhlenbrook said there are two key components to the water issue: climate change and population growth. 70% of water use goes to agriculture,
and in the future more water will be needed to meet demands of a growing population. To provide this, new technology is needed. Agriculture could be managed more effectively by increased irrigation. Change is also needed in international diet, primarily concerning meat. 1 kg of beef requires 20 liters of water. One delegate noted access to ground water is an issue because it necessitates a lot of energy. More research is required in this area as ground water is a very stable source (no dams are needed). The extraction of ground water offers a lot since it is already purified in a natural way. Uhlenbrook said he was very pleased to see that the water issue was put on the program and that through Monday’s discussion at least the 200 people of the committee learned more details of the problem.
International Court of Justice By Samuel Vermeulen The International Court of Justice was in session today with Judge Dasher presiding. Situated in the small court room of the Peace Palace, all the robe wearing justices enjoyed the beautiful paintings and sculptures around them, while deciding on setting the agenda. With a narrow majority the court decided to discuss the Pakistan v. Poland case on extraordinary rendition before going into debate on the Avena case between the United Mexican States and the United States of America later. Then suddenly, the court was trashed by an army of journalists who might put us on the front paper of the major Dutch
newspapers. Subsequently, the court had to set its priorities for the coming days. While this occupied the court for quite a while, eventually it came to the conclusion that it first should decide which acts were actually committed and under which legal definition they could fall. Near the end of the session, the Court summoned Mr. Muhammed Rafiq as an expert witness on torture. Being tortured himself, Mr. Rafiq gave a graphic display of the horrors involved with this process. For the coming days, the International Court of Justice will be very busy with preparing the delivery of its judgement on Friday.
Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminial Justice By Paula Gil Dr. J. Prins introduced delegates of the Commission on Crime Prevnetion and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) to the specifics of regulating, enforcing and preventing internet-based identity theft and fraud. Prins showed how internet vulnerabilities could lead to crime and how the specifics of a country (culture and law e.g.) could be a barrier to regulation. “On the internet there are no borders, no countries, and states need to learn how to combine their efforts,” Prins said. Emphasizing deforestation, Dr. W. Douma discussed international
deforestation law. Douma stated that although the debate has focused the public’s attention on environmental problems there is still much to be done on the state umbrella, which is closely connected corporate and industry interests. Affan Taj, delegate of Comoros, wishes to “lay foundation of a framework to protect environment hand-in-hand with the increase of transparency to prevent corruption; the control of illicit traffic of timber; and the protection of local communities highly dependent on resources.”
To intervene or not to intervene By Heleen Struyven Humanitarian intervention is a topic that for discussion at a MUN conference. As it is a very complex, interesting and controversial theme, the delegates of the Legal Committee had the opportunity to get an interesting introduction to the subject by professor Nico Schrijver, who teaches International Law at Leiden University. His résumé of the issue provided a clear vision of the different stakes at hold and we are glad to share them with our readers. For years now, the UN has debated on how to define the circumstances under which the international community and some states have the right or the opportunity to intervene. The historical examples are multiple. France had intervened in Lebanon to protect its Christian values, India fully supported the Bangladeshi guerrilla forces in their independence struggles against Pakistan and, more recently, NATO started up its Kosovo campaign, without the authorization of the UN Security Council, in order to hold suppression of the Albanian people. At the other hand, the list of international con-
flicts where there was no humanitarian intervention at all, is even more extended and the number of casualties in Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Darfur, Myanmar and many more sadly shows that the concept of humanitarian intervention is applied selectively. Professor Schrijver identified three clashing concepts. First, you have the sovereign state structure of nearly 200 countries opposes to the international community that has its own regime. Then you have the principle of non-intervention, one of the foundations of the UN emphasized by article 2.1. of the UN Charter, that sometimes conflicts with the need to protect universal human rights world-wide. And last but not least, the principle of prohibition to use force clashes with the right to provide humanitarian protection, with violence when needed. Two out of three problems were particularly highlighted, as the professor believed them to be not as absolute as people usually think. To begin with, the concept of sovereignty does not have the same meaning
in 2009 as it had in 1648, when the system of sovereign states was established. Today, states cannot rely anymore on the argument stating that “its” citizens are not the business of the international community. In addition, the use of force is one of the most difficult topics in international law as it is extremely different to regulate. It was only after the second World War, that article 2.4. of the UN Charter put a ban on the use of force. Nevertheless, there are still exceptions in the Charter, such as art. Besides the Charter, there are other essential criteria that can be taken into consideration. According to a prevailing opinion, humanitarian intervention can be lawful when the sole purpose is humanitarian, without political side objectives, when it’s proportional, realistic (when it comes to the probable effectiveness of the operation) and in accordance with international humanitarian law. In addition, there can be a humanitarian necessity to use military force in case of mass, flagrant and objectively reported violations of human rights, when all other
peaceful means to react are exhausted and the Security Council machinery is used to its last extend. Finally, professor Schrijver explained that there were two angles in the movement to justify humanitarian intervention. Firstly, peace is not considered anymore as just the absence of war. Today, we agree that international peace is also in danger when there is a mass violation of Human Rights and when there is a great threat to the safety of citizens. The second justification is the responsibility to protect. And when a state isn’t able to protect the life of its citizens, there is a secondary obligation of the international community to help in case of very serious situations such as genocide. It should be the responsibility of the Security Council to act but often it is paralyzed due to a lack of agreement. The responsibility to protect theory is then a method of pressure on the Security Council to make sure human life and safety are protected.
6 Today’s Schedule
WORLDMUN DAILY MARCH 24, 2009 Volume 1
Where to go out in The Hague
Tuesday, March 24
By Peter Jaap Blaakmeer For the delegates who have their mind in the wrong place and still insist on not going to the fabulous Rock Your WorldMUN party tonight, we decided to make a list of places for you to go.
By Danae Mercer It’s time to rock, roll and dance the night away! After committee session Tuesday night, delegates with social events tickets can go to the Trojan Horse, one of The Hague’s most popular night clubs. Built in 2003 by master architect Rem Koolhaas, the Trojan Horse boasts a modern atmosphere, spacious dance floors, and of course secret corners for late-night caucusing. The bands SOCKS and So What will sing and shout throughout the night, encouraging delegates to kick off their heels and just dance. Let the stress of the day dissolve into sweat and pulsing music. “I’m so excited! Tomorrow, we get to know the Netherlands better,” said Paul Gragl, delegate from the Algerian legal committee. Andres de Jongh, faculty advisor from the Universidad Metropolitana, was also looking forward to dancing at the Trojan Horse. “I’m not sure exactly how the event’s going to go,” said Jongh. “But we know it’s going to be a good time.”
09.00am - 11.45am 09.00am - 12.00pm 09.00am - 12.15pm 12.15pm - 02.00pm 12.30pm - 01.15pm 12.30pm - 05.30pm
12.45pm - 01.45pm 02.00pm - 04.00pm 02.00pm - 04.00pm 04.30pm - 06.00pm 05.00pm - 07.00pm 07.00pm - 09.00pm 09.00pm - 01.30am
Committee Session III (Group C) Committee Session III (Group A) Committee Session III (Group B) Lunch Head Delegate/Faculty Advisor Meeting In-conference visits to: • International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia • The Special Court for Sierra Leone • The International Court of Justice WorldMAP Career Panel Symposium on International Criminal Law Netherlands Court of Audit Workshop Workshop on International Negotiation Drinks for Diplomacy Committee Dinners Rock Your WorldMUN - Club Night
• • • •
Drinks for Diplomacy By Carolien Gerards Always wondered whether diplomats are also nervous when they have to give a speech? Are you curious about what their tactics are in negotiation? Today, you will have the opportunity to have a drink with the ‘Corps Diplomatique’ at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Representatives from all continents will be represented at this event, so there is a
good chance that the ambassador of the country you are from or are representing will be able to give you some tips. Or vice versa of course! Drinks for Diplomacy information • When: 5:00pm-7:00pm • Where: The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs • Dress: business professional • What: To meet up with diplomats
Symposium on international criminal law By Heleen Struyven Every year, United Netherlands organizes the Radboud international Model United Nations (RiMUN), which traditionally has an interactive symposium with speakers, spurring dialogues and discussion. This year, since WorldMUN 2009 is hosted in The Hague, Radboud University has organized a symposium on international criminal law. The delegates will have the honor of hearing speakers representing all roles of an international court room and will be able to ask them questions about the immunities of state officials, international criminal tribunals and the accused’s right to a fair trail, peace vs. Justice, terrorism and the rule of law. We will have Dr. H. Bevers (Office of the
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court), Prof. M. Wladimiroff (Prominent International Criminal Lawyer and President of the International Criminal Law Network), Dr. F. Harhoff (Judge ad litem at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia), and Prof. Y. Buruma (professor of criminal law at Radboud University Nijmegen). Symposium information • When: 2:00pm-4:00pm • Where: Radboud University Hall • Why: because The Hague is thé place to be when you’re interested in international law
For Salsa, go to ‘t Syndicaat at the Nieuwe Molstraat 10, starting at 21:00 For laying low and regaining strength, go to the Filmhouse at Spui 191: Bulgarian movie with English subtitles for only €5,50 at 19:30 For jazz music, go to the Koorenhuis at Prinsengracht 27, starting at 21:30 For a fun nights out, go to the Holland Casino at Scheveningen Combine the Holland Casino with their restaurant, “The Navigator” For live piano music, go to the world famous “Crazy Pianos” at the Scheveningen boulevard
After all these tips I can imagine you’re excited to check them out, but consider going to the Rock Your WorldMUN one more time, because it’s going to be legen.....wait for it....dary !
Where: Paard van Troje (Trojan Horse) When: 14:00-1:30 Dress: Casual or rockstar
Social Venture Challenge By Joep Geurts The Pacific and Atlantic Foyers were filled with enthusiastic delegates yesterday afternoon. They were there to present their ideas to everybody who was interested, and more importantly, to a judging panel that will decide which idea will receive seed funding in order to be implemented. The initiative for the Social Venture Challenge was inspired by the WorldMUN alumni. During one of their meetings, they were discussed all great ideas thought of in a week of MUN, but that would never be implemented. They raised money to invest in this year’s best concept. In addition to money, the alumni also help the winning delegate to implement the idea in the real world. Ideas include a website for a nonprofit company that can act as an intermediate party between a buyer and a seller. Another delegation is going to try to orga-
nize a World Day of Pray to get all religions together and to let them understand that the differences between them are not that big. The delegation of Russia is trying to win funds with a green garbage idea. They want to make governments aware of the problem of waste since there are still countries where the garbage is dumped on the street where it will lay until it rots away. The delegation wants to use this SCV to get attention so they can launch a pilot of their plans in Venezuela. Although the ideas are very diverse, the judging panel has to decide a winner in the final round tomorrow. It would be great if more funds would come available in future, but until that time delegations have to do their utmost best so their ideas will be realized.
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Students to tour Hague UN Bodies
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By Allison Roy Since Monday afternoon, delegates will have the opportunity to attend tours and workshops in various organs of the United Nations throughout the week. The in-conference visits are an annual event of WorldMUN that allow attendees the chance to explore highlighted features of the host city. This week, the doors of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the Court of Audit, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court for the Former Yugoslavia will open for WorldMUN delegates. In the OPCW, delegates will be offered a tour and presentation of the organization. At the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the ICJ, delegates will hear a briefing on court proceedings and, depending on the progress of the Charles Taylor trial, may be given the opportunity to attend a hearing there or at the International Criminal Court. “I am looking forward to visiting the ICJ as a student studying international law,” said University François student, Ramayana Syroziniki. Although many are similar to Syroziniki in their excitement for these visits, registration for these activities was only available for a brief time; however,
delegates not attending the in-conference visits will still have plenty to do around the Hague. “I wasn’t able to register for the inconference visits, but I still plan on going to see the city,” said Joseph Callaway, a sophomore at the United States Military Academy at West Point. “It’s my first time at WorldMUN, but it seems that there is lots to do.” In-conference visits dates and times Tuesday, March 24 12.30pm - 05.30pm • International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia • The Special Court for Sierra Leone • The International Court of Justice Wednesday, March 25 12.30pm - 05.30pm • International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia • The Special Court for Sierra Leone • The International Court of Justice • Court of Audit Friday, March 27 01.00pm - 03.30pm • Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
WORLDMUN DAILY MARCH 24, 2009 Volume 1
TIME TO LEARN ABOUT...
Investing in education pays
By Danae Mercer Stretching the African and Asian continents through the Suez Canal, Egypt is a land of ancient history and modern times; a place of sand, camels, mystery and passion; a region with thousands of mysteries hidden in tombs and glistening with the gold of fresh splendors. Famous for it’s ancient monuments, like the Great Sphinx and the Giza pyramid complex, Egypt’s history has long been the fascination of many. From pharaohs to dynasties, Egypt progressed and shifted throughout the ages.
rounding land. Since 1953, Egypt has been a republic and is currently governed by Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif. Concerns over legitimacy of election have led to low voter turnout and general suspicion regarding democracy. Egypt’s economy emphasizes media, petroleum, tourism and agriculture. Millions of Egyptians work abroad, as the rapidlygrowing Egyptian population tends to tax local resources. Fun Facts
Today, most of Egypt’s 76 million people live along the flowing Nile. Without the Nile, Egypt would be mostly a desert, as only 2.5 centimeters of rain fall each year. Yet each year the small amount of rain floods the Nile and the river floods over sur-
• Official Name: Arab Republic of Egypt • Form of Government: Republic • Capital: Cairo • Population: 78,887,007 • Language: Arabic
By Oxfam Novib Investing in education in developing countries works! But much work still needs to be done before all children are going to school in 2015. At the moment 75 million children do not get any education. An extra 18 million teachers are needed to educate all the children in 2015. That is why Oxfam Novib is campaigning for more and better education for all. And you can join us. Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world. In the last decade the number of children in school has doubled. But 800,000 (one in three) children still do not get any education. And when they finish their primary school four in five pupils can hardly write their name. One in three children drops out before finishing school. Especially girls, because they have to help in the housekeeping, because the school is too far away and the road is too dangerous. Lucky Children in rural areas have the least chance of getting an education. Those that live in Siramana, a small village in the south of Mali, are lucky. The almost 800 inhabitants even have two schools. These community schools were built by AADeC, a counterpart of Oxfam Novib. Together these schools accommodate 150 pupils, among them 62 girls. AADeC provides them with teaching material and trains the teachers, who are often the parents. In addition to Siramana, AADeC works in another seven villages with this approach. Better results At AADeC’s schools children not only learn the traditional subjects, they also get in
Press conference update
Exciting committees, expensive lunches By Danae Mercer Human rights may be priceless, but lunch will cost you €5 to €10. Delegates complained during Monday’s lunch break about the overwhelming price of non-free food. “This pizza is good,” said a representative from Costa Rica. “It tastes nice, but it really is quite expensive.” Other delegates, nibbling on burgers or stir-fried goodies in pink boxes, agreed. “I need to go find a grocery store. This is too much,” said one representative. One member of the Editorial Board staff noted that he was not a city boy. “Perhaps hotdogs cost more here,” he speculated. Committee sessions seemed to be going well overall. “Things here are quite interesting. It’s so amazing to see the whole
package of the states. The UN is complicated and we are learning a lot,” said Hannah Opitz, a representative of Canada. Delegates from Petersburg felt a bit overwhelmed. “We haven’t quite prepared. To be here for the first time… well, people are smart,” said Illya Chudinov. In spite of hunger, delegates were getting into heated committee debates. “There were like a thousand notes sent in the first ten minutes of session,” said Shea Doughtery, a student from the School of Oriental and African Studies. “Some people are just so intense. I was wondering: why are they sending all these notes to Lichtenstein? I guess they have a lot of notes,” bemoaned Doughtery. “We’re just all MUN geeks at heart,” added in fellow delegate Rachel Chang, of the University of Bristol. “So we actually really enjoy it.”
By Carolien Gerards Having a press conference at the Peace Palace at 8am in the morning was a wild idea! Luckily there were not only friendly people from the press, but also nice sandwiches to keep the journalist company. UNL-president Niki Frencken and Victoria Phan held the press conference. Several organizations were present there to hear everything about United Netherlands and WorldMUN. Unfortunately, the technology wasn’t exactly awake either. Computer problems forced Niki Frencken to speak from memory. Several actual media were present, wondering aloud about the connection between WorldMUN and the conference about Afghanistan next week. They also speculated on possible outcomes of WorldMUN 2009. Firstly, Sylvia van der Weerd from the Radboud University gave a short introduction about the cooperation between WorldMUN and the university. Van der Weerd said the university was enthusiastic and proud when the UNL-crew got the idea to organize WorldMUN. Little did they then
Committee diners By Danae Mercer Committee sessions will become a lot spicier Tuesday night, when delegates move out of conference rooms and to dinner tables. During committee dinners, delegates are encouraged to put down their placards and pick up their plates.
formation on HIV and AIDS and hygiene. And the classes are much smaller than in public schools. In regular schools 70 pupils to a room is no exception. Another advantage of the AADeC’s community schools is that the teachers are more motivated, because the community is more engaged. The effect of this approach is that the children that go to a community school get better results than those that go to a public school, that there is less dropout and that the number of girls going to school has risen from 35 to 75 percent. That is 54 percent more than Mali’s average. Keep the promises The example of AADeC in Mali shows that investing in education pays. Education is the key for people to escape poverty and build a livelihood of their own. In 2000 189 government leaders recognised this and made a promise: all children in school in 2015, known as one of the Millennium Development Goals. You can join us Since that day there has been some improvement, but there is a long way to go before education is available, accessible and affordable to all. That is why Oxfam Novib launched a campaign for more and better education on March 17 and why Oxfam International has started the ‘Big Promise’ campaign. These campaigns make clear that education and other essential services are important tools for reducing poverty and that governments need to keep the promises they made. You can join us and increase the pressure on these leaders. More information: www. oxfamnovib.nl or www.thebigpromise.org
know all they were in for! Frits Hoefnagels and Sander Dekker from the municipality of The Hague explained their main reasons for stimulating the organization of WorldMUN 2009. The Hague has a long tradition with international law, going back to the philosophy of Hugo de Groot. In 1899 and 1907, two peace conferences were held in the Peace Palace. After World War II, the building functions as the host of the ICJ and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Some say that creating a better world begins in the Hague. Speakers at Monday’s press conference seemed to agree. After committee sessions, there will be NGO workshops, in-conference visits, and workshops in international negotiation. WorldMUN also organizes an event called the ‘Social Venture Challenge’. This project was started by an alumnus of Harvard and awards a project stimulating a good cause. The projects are proposed by the delegates at WorldMUN. The winner of the proposed ones of last year will be announced this week!
Diners will enjoy various restaurants throughout The Hague. Beginning at 7 and over by 9, the delightful dinners will give delegates enough time to go home and glam up before Tuesday’s social event. Tuesday promises to be quite the adventure. Conference, committee meals, and dancing madness!
8 Gossip HOROSCOPE By Joep Geurts Aries You survived day one, it is possible you will survive day two as well. Just try to stay focused with what you are doing and stay awake during meetings and you will do just fine. Taurus You will have a strange feeling in the stomach today. Could it be that you’re having butterflies? Or is it the delicious Dutch food again? Gemini You’re having troubles making up your mind today. Bring a coin with you,
WORLDMUN DAILY MARCH 24, 2009 Volume 1 wherever you are going, flip if you have to think for longer than seven seconds.
your face as long as possible so everybody can enjoy.
on inspiring them and you will get appreciated.
Cancer Did not find you love yet? Try to seek harder, or somewhere else, or on another time, or, yeah whatever.
Libra Although you are feeling tired, you will have a surprisingly efficient day. Don’t ask why and don’t wander about it. Just go with to flow and see where it takes you.
Capricorn Some days are just great days. Everything you touch will turn into gold. Use it to your benefit but be careful. There is always a catch…
Scorpio Your good intentions will be rewarded. But don’t get to enthusiastic about it, because then it just might disappoint you.
Aquarius Follow your instincts. They may not always be right but nobody will notice. As long as you don’t draw too much attention.
Sagittarius The stars give strong energy for you today. You will feel fit and awake, in contrast to the people around you. Keep
Pisces You are a real sensitive person. Some dreams can come true. Just pick your dreams carefully.
Leo Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everybody can have a bad day once. But remember that the emphasis is on the last word of that sentence. Virgo Sometimes you just want to lie in bed and not come out all day. Luckily this isn’t the case today. You are full of energy and everybody should know. Keep that smile on
COLOPHON Editor in chief Servaas van der Laan (University of Groningen)
Editors Danae Mercer (Creighton University)
Allison Roy (Creighton University)
Heleen Struyven (MUN Society Belgium)
(University of Eindhoven)
Jochem van der Veen (University of Groningen)
Martin Vlachynsky (Masaryk University)
Eelke Boezeman (Radboud University)
Carolien Gerards (Radboud University)
Design Peter Jaap Blaakmeer
(University of Groningen)