XXVII

BERMUN 2018

Strengthening Global Cooperation:

Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting World Order

 

November 14-17, 2018

John F. Kennedy School, Berlin

BERMUN 2018

Strengthening Global Cooperation:

Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting World Order

November 14-17, 2018

John F. Kennedy School, Berlin

1
Students
1
Schools
1
Countries
1
Continents

Dear delegates of the SpC,

Welcome to the Special Conference at BERMUN 2018!

This year we will be discussing topics surrounding the central theme of “Strengthening Global Cooperation: Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting Global Order.” In a world where the global power dynamic is shifting and dispersing amongst other nations, issues such as combating terrorism and ensuring the security of networked infrastructure have been pushed to the forefront. Possible solutions to questions concerning migration, terrorism, and cyber security are ones which have been discussed in the past and will continue to be debated as the conditions affecting these questions are constantly changing. Power shifts occur due to a multitude of reasons which, in turn, create an array of consequences ranging from those of a political stem to those of an electronic one.

MUN has served as a means by which I have improved my public speaking skills and have met numerous people who have similar interests to mine, as was my intention when I joined the program in 9thgrade. However, at that time I was not aware of how quickly I would become infatuated with this activity. When I am not participating in Model United Nations, I enjoy rock-climbing and listening to music. During BERMUN I will be in 11thgrade at Berlin Cosmopolitan School, but I was born in Vienna and grew up in the United States. This conference will be my eighth, and my fourth as a chair. I aim to contribute in making this conference memorable for all delegates by using my experience to conduct debate and foster informative and interesting dialogue.

Hopefully, this experience will inspire delegates to look into difficult and contemporary topics, such as the ones we will be discussing, and carry on the dialogue outside of MUN, as I’m sure I will.

I look forward to meeting you all in November and am excited to witness the debates which will take place.

Sincerely,

Zoë Perkul

President of the Special Conference

Dear Delegates,

The topics of this year’s Special Conference are decidedly relevant to this era and address some of the most immediate issues plaguing our world on both a national and international level, including national security, forced displacement from areas of conflict, and terrorism. In the run-up to BERMUN, I will be acting as expert chair on the latter issue, specifically that of Combating Terrorist Networks in Zones of Weak State Control. International relations are increasingly put under pressure by a perpetually shifting international political atmosphere, especially with terrorist and fundamentalist ideologies being allowed to flourish. In order to reduce terrorism and mitigate its effects, we must combat the ideology at its core and appreciate the effect of it on both international relations and on the people whom it most affects. Forced displacement is an inevitable outcome and is most prevalent where weak or corrupt governments fail to take action. I hope that delegates will address this and attempt to reach a universal understanding and an effective course of action.

I am sixteen and am currently Secretary-General at Westminster School in London and of my conference, WESMUN. However, my first love has always been music and its history, especially that of JS Bach. MUN is a really worthwhile experience and is a great way to meet new people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. I urge delegates to seize this opportunity and make the most of it by preparing thoroughly and developing a personalised response to these issues as a representative of your country.

So yielded.

Best wishes for a great conference,

Jay Chitnavis

Assistant President of the Special Conference

Dear SpC Delegates,

At this year’s BERMUN I will have the privilege of serving as your Chair of the Special Conference. Previously, I was given the opportunity to act as a Judge in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in BERMUN 2017, a delegate at THIMUN 2018, and as the Vice President of the ICJ at the most recent BERMUN2. For the forthcoming conference I have focused on the issue of “Strengthening international organizations and non-state actors to regulate the flow of refugees and internally displaced persons in areas of weak state control.”

The question of internally displaced persons and refugees affects how global cooperation is manoeuvred through power politics and may shift the world order. Some states, for example Syria, Central African Republic or Turkey are fragile and cannot even sustain stable living conditions for their citizens. When they have to house refugees they need the help of international organizations and non-state actors to solve the issue.

This conference is a chance for us to challenge ourselves academically outside of school and practice methods of argumentation and diplomacy. In the earlier conferences I discovered the importance of meticulous notetaking and active listening, and thus it helped me while discussions became unproductive to share a new viewpoint. We should exploit this opportunity to the best of our ability by keeping our focus and using every chance to further the debate in a productive manner. If we use our preparation time to increase our knowledge about power politics and the shifting landscape of international relations, I am sure, we will have more substantial discussions at the conference. New insights will feed into our future studies and provide us with a better grasp of global politics.

I look forward to meeting you in November!

Zeynep Kienast

Assistant President of the Special Conference

Dear Delegates of the Economic and Social Council,

It is my distinct honor to welcome you to this year’s BERMUN conference.

When The Economist’s column on current events opened on the headline “Protectionism is Back” in March of this year, the pages that followed stood testament to what some, amongst growing fears of an all-in global trade war, consider an end to international cooperation as we knew it. At the time, US President Donald Trump’s controversial tariffs on steel and aluminium were yet to come into effect, and it remained unclear which countries would be hit. Even if exemptions were to be expanded beyond Mexico and Canada, it was clear that this step would mark a strong shift in policy for a West traditionally inclined towards freer markets. Mr Trump, in ever fervid optimism, tweeted that it was for the best, presenting that America would be better off, it’s jobs revived, workers employed and industries returned from the foreign countries that had “stolen” them.

After a series of geopolitically challenging years, developments such as these have experienced a dramatic resurgence. Discussions of global economic and political affairs are increasingly premised on the zero-sum assumption that global dynamics must produce clear winners and losers, and, as nations compete for what are perceived to be limited assets, resources or land, stability and sustainability are placed second to the volatile belief that competition and conflict harbours a greater individual wield than cooperation.Whilst these notions have long established themselves as a serious risk to global stability and cooperation, the international community has yet to embrace a truly multilateral approach on how best to tackle this dynamic.

When we convene in November, this issue, along with those proposed by fellow Presidents Heather and Malka, will constitute our agenda as we strive to strengthen cooperation and explore the economic and social dimensions at the heart of power politics in a shifting world order. We count on your passion and preparation to make this unique experience worthwhile.

On a more personal note, I would like to reiterate that it is an absolute pleasure to be welcoming you to this conference. As a senior, it will soon be my turn to say goodbye to an incredibly special program and team that have, for years, shaped much of how I have learned to engage with and better understand the world around me. Whilst I will not miss the late nights or office clean-ups, the passion I have developed for this conference is something I hope you will come to share. In that spirit, let’s make this conference a good one! I am certain that, with our efforts and zeal combined, this council will prove to be an invaluable experience to both experienced and first time delegates. It is my goal as President to provide you with the opportunity and tools to exchange ideas, learn from one another and leave with an increased understanding and, hopefully, plenty of fond memories too. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

I look forward to meeting you all soon!

Sincerely,

Tristan Strzelczyk

President of the Economic and Social Council

Dear Delegates,

It is with utmost pleasure that I welcome you to this year’s conference.

At The World Economic Forum in 2017, it was made apparent that the balance of economic power on our planet is changing. As an example, the global influence of the US is declining whilst China’s rises, and so our world must be open to adjusting to a shift in our methods of international relations. I believe that it should be a priority for everyone to realise that it is our differences which will guide us towards greater success in cooperating worldwide.

Cooperation is a very important part of global politics. We are able to live harmoniously when we help one another wherever possible with the common goal of achieving a more developed and sustainable socioeconomic environment. With almost half of our global community living in poverty, I believe there is no time like the present to formulate set plans to ensure cooperation. On an ever-shifting global stage, strengthening the alliance between states that are stable enough to help, and states that need support to survive, should be the aim of all nations.

Having lived in the Middle East almost my entire life, I am very much aware of the significance that interdependence can have on a nation that is going through struggle,as I have seen the impact poverty has had in communities going through political revolutions such as those that took place during the Arab Spring in 2011 or through the cold and unforgiving nature of systematic impoverishment. I have a personal connection to the real-life steps taken to relieve this financial stress. As the saying goes, you’re only as fast as your slowest team member, and so it is important for the members of the United Nations to weigh poverty as the paralysing epidemic it is. I am anxious to chair the debate on this and learn of the solutions you all will be producing.

In terms of my MUN experience, BERMUN XXVII shall be my seventh and last conference before I graduate with the class of 2019. As it will be my first time chairing an international conference, I am as nervous as I am excited to meet you all.

As the expert chair on the issue of Supporting Developing Countries Escape from Poverty Traps, please feel welcome to contact me with any questions you may have.

I look forward to meeting you all!

Sincerely,

Heather Murphy

Assistant President of the Economic and Social Council

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the ECOSOC!

The goal of the Economic and Social Council is to create a sustainable world by addressing complex issues with innovative solutions. This year, the ECOSOC will be discussing three important issues, all with the goal of fostering international diplomacy. You will be focusing on promoting positive sum economics, assessing soft power and supporting developing countries to escape from poverty. The understanding of the relation between social and economic standpoints on the issues is one that delegates in this council will have to reflect on in their resolutions.

My research report focuses on assessing soft power as a means to foster international diplomacy. The impact of soft power is a fascinating subject to explore, especially as the influence of both military might (hard power) and cultural attraction (soft power) of different member nations is changing so drastically. Asia’s recent rise in soft power and the USA’s decline of cultural influence are some examples of shifting power. Most sources agree it is generally preferable to hard power; yet should it really be encouraged if it comes with numerous dangers, including the abuse of power politics, loss of various aspects of culture and propaganda?

This November will be my fifth MUN conference overall, but my first as a Student Officer. I look forward to working with all of you to find creative solutions to the ECOSOC’s topics.

I can’t wait to meet you all in November!

Sincerely,

Malka Beere

Assistant President of ECOSOC

Dear Delegates of the Security Council,

This year’s conference theme – Strengthening Global Cooperation: Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting World Order – is as relevant to the present world situation as never before. Both issues which we will explore in the Security Council, namely “The Situation in the South China Sea (SCS)” and “The Situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)” are deeply rooted in said shifting world order and reflect contemporary power struggles. They entail countries’ ambition to increase their influence through means involving violence, the demonstration of military might, and/or the non-compliance with international law.

Imperialism and its decline have significantly impacted the situation in the OPT. In 1947, Great Britain retreated from Palestine and delegated the resolution of disputes between Palestinians and Israelis to the United Nations. This led to the state’s division and to the intensification of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, costing countless lives and provoking the contemporary rivalries.

Since the South China Sea is rich in natural resources and one of the world’s most active trade routes, attaining jurisdiction/sovereignty in the SCS is of chief strategic importance in states’ efforts to become global powers. China issued a map in the 1940s which included a dashed line that was to outline its claims in the SCS. However, its claims remain ambiguous and the situation unresolved. The Philippines, Viet Nam, Malaysia, and Brunei have additionally made claims in the region.

While building consensus through controversial and fruitful debate, I hope that you will seize this opportunity to improve your public speaking skills and to meet other open-minded students from around the globe.

One of the reasons why I am so passionate about the MUN program is because it teaches future generations that international dialogue is crucial – not solely for the maintenance of international peace and security. The program conveys the notion that cooperation is essential for the overall advancement of humanity, in a world in which nationalistic interests are increasingly prioritized.

On a more personal note, I am currently attending the twelfth grade of the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin. In addition to MUN, I sing in choir, do community service, write for my school’s newspaper, and promote women’s rights through the John F. Kennedy School’s Feminist Initiative. After graduating from high school, I plan to study law, an interest which the MUN program has strengthened as I have gained insight into various international conflicts and their legal backgrounds.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me in person or through the Security Council’s Facebook Group.

I am looking forward to meeting all of you in November!

Sincerely,

Clara Lindemann

President of the Security Council

Dear SC Delegates,

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the Security Council at BERMUN 2018. I am a 17-year-old from Prague, Czech Republic, currently studying at an IB High School. I attended my first MUN when I was 13 and ever since then, it has been an integral part of my life. It has allowed me to develop my skills, but also to develop my mindsets – from my competitive drive to my will to make real, tangible progress. BERMUN will mark my 12th conference overall and my 4th time being a chair.

It is privilege to chair the Security Council as I find it to be the very cornerstone of the United Nations diplomatic framework. It is by far the most important, and thereby also the most challenging of all the UN bodies to simulate. The world relies on its ability to preserve peace and maintain global security.

This year, we, as the Security Council, will have the unique opportunity to address two issues that will determine future political and social landscapes in their respective regions and in doing so attempt to find solutions that veteran, career diplomats have been struggling to find for years.

Notably, although the two topics hold a shared complexity, they differ greatly in the contexts from which they stem. During the debate on the South China Sea, the Council will need to untangle the nuances and intricacies of international law whilst remembering various national and economic interests and the deriving real life implications of interstate conflict and interference (whether direct or indirect) – assessing how to deescalate an impending conflict whilst refraining from undermining the norms of international law. In contrast, during the debate on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, we will be faced with finding outcomes of an ongoing conflict and how to prevent future human suffering.

I am looking forward to embarking with you on this journey, and hopefully helping you towards successful resolutions.

Sincerely,

Simon Olmer

Assistant President of the Security Council

Dear Delegates,

It is my pleasure to introduce myself as one of the assistant presidents of the Security Council. This is my fourth year as member of the MUN program and BERMUN 2018 marks my fifth MUN conference. Learning how to phrase arguments and convincingly represent a country’s policy as a delegate has prepared me to chair at BERMUN 2018, my third chairing experience. My MUN experiences have opened my eyes to current political events and to the fact that we must stand for our values and take action in our communities and societies. The MUN program is a platform which has taught me how to raise my voice and to speak up for what I believe.

With the escalation of the conflict between Israel and Palestine and previous attempts at peace having failed, the situation concerning the OPT is of utmost importance for the UN. Military engagement has left thousands of civilians dead in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, while Israeli blockades have left Palestinians in inhumane conditions. With previous peace attempts being rejected by both sides and a controversial two-state solution having failed multiple times, the UNSC must address this topic now in order to end the humanitarian crisis in the region.

The chair at my first conference inspired me by being a charismatic and encouraging all participants to contribute to debate, which I hope to do the same in our committee. In this year’s SC, we will try to find original solutions and ways to implement change during this BERMUN conference. I have no doubt that we, SC participants, will use this experience and widen each other’s social and political understandings.

Sincerely,

Jonas Dills

Assistant President of the Security Council

Dear HSC Delegates,

Welcome to the 2018 BERMUN conference!

This conference the Historical Security Council will be simulating the Security Council debates over the Suez Canal Crisis in 1956.

The imperial powers of Europe were engaged in a constant struggle to gain the advantage over one another through expanding their dominion to the four corners of the world. In 1865, the French engineer Ferdinand de Lesseps began the construction of the Suez Canal, providing the French and British with quicker access to their colonies in Asia. At the end of the Second World War, the world order of the imperial powers began to crumble, along with their influence around the globe. Nationalist movements, such as Nasser´s in Egypt, emerged all around the world, challenging the domination of colonialism which had been prevalent for centuries. Nasser cut off the lifeline of the two empires by nationalizing the Suez Canal. The failure of the subsequent invasion of joint British, French, and Israeli forces proved to the international community that these two empires were living in the shadows of their former selves, and that the world was transitioning away from the hegemony of European empires to a new world order.

This year I will have the privilege of serving as a Chair for the third time and am looking forward to gaining the experience. In total this is my sixth BERMUN conference. I am 17 years old and attend the 12th grade of the John F. Kennedy School. Outside of the MUN program my pastimes are soccer, golf, and bike riding

.If you have any questions, feel free to contact either James or me via the BERMUN Facebook group or email. I am looking forward to seeing you all in November!

Sincerely,

Edward Brand

President of the Historical Security Council, BERMUN 2018

Dear Delegates,

It is an absolute honor to welcome you all to this year’s BERMUN conference!

I am a Turkish, 16-year-old senior with a passion for politics, currently attending the American School of Warsaw. I was born in Belgium, raised in Costa Rica, and recently moved to Poland. The variety of cultures I have experienced, ranging from Middle Eastern to European as well as Latin American, have helped me gain an appreciation of foreign culture and diversity. Most importantly, these travels have triggered my interest in international relations, a driving factor behind my love for MUN.

This year’s topic of the Historical Security Council is the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956, an event that prompted the United Nations General Assembly to establish the first United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to secure an end to the crisis. Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal acted as a catalyst for the joint Israeli-British-French attack on Egypt. The attacks resulted in political turmoil as the world condemned the three nations for their lack of respect for Egyptian sovereignty and their neo-colonial behavior. In the aftermath of the Suez Crisis, British and French influence was significantly weakened, marking the beginning of the end of their colonial power.

This year, I will have the utmost privilege to serve as a Chair for the second time in my MUN career. During my time as Chair, I will approach any difficulties you experience with an open mind, while maintaining the esteemed forum, as we simulate the Security Council debates over the Suez Canal Crisis. I am certain that this will be an excellent opportunity to express different perspectives regarding a historically significant global issue and allow for a thoughtful resolution to be passed.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I am eager to meet you all in November!

Sincerely,

Defne Onguc

Assistant President of the Historical Security Council, BERMUN 2018

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the 2018 BERMUN Historical Security Council.

This November we will be reexamining an important event of the Cold War era: the Suez Crisis as of October 31, 1956. The control of the Suez Canal means solidifying a country’s, and in this case, political ideologies’ grip on the world. With the Egyptian President Nasser backed by Soviet weapons, the imminent loss of the canal threatens the Western Bloc’s stronghold in the Middle East. The United Kingdom, France, and eventually the United States, attempt to create a board of countries to manage the Canal. However, the constant military intervention by the UK, France, and Israel, forces the US to sanction them in an attempt to restore peace.

Amidst this turmoil of invasions and the struggle for diplomatic solutions, the role of the Security Council was of paramount importance in the resolution of this conflict. Now the situation faced by the diplomats of the 1950s poses a suitable issue to be reexamined at this year’s BERMUN HSC. The Suez Crisis is a prime example of power politics of a world order now past, and how the solutions of yesterday, can influence how we approach the issues of today. I have great faith that you will adequately research and debate this topic to come up with innovative solutions.

I am a student at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin. BERMUN 2018 will be my 11th MUN conference and my third conference as a chair. This conference will be an opportunity for all of us to expand our knowledge and experience of diplomacy and international cooperation.  During my free time I enjoy writing and reading poetry, as well as taking part in political discussions.

I look forward to seeing all of you at BERMUN 2018!

James Gromis

Assistant President of the Historical Security Council

Dear Delegates,

Power politics has and will continue to shape foreign policy. Governments pursue their self-interest, but the spirit of compromise, however idealistic it may sometimes sound, is the foundation of diplomatic relations. In order to navigate the shark-infested waters of power politics, the international community needs to consider the importance of cooperation. Our goal in the political committee is to encourage and sustain global cooperation – the overarching goal of the conference.  Fair and free elections are a core principle of democracy, and it is important we consider the role of democracy in the international system. We must work together to prevent further infringements of the UN charter in the interference in elections of member states.

Over the course of the upcoming months, we should all work to become experts on the complexities of election interference with well-rounded country policies. Perhaps, take 15 minutes a day to read an article and note the important aspects for our discussion. Knowledge is power, and to be well-informed is quintessential for an interesting debate. I trust we will find a way to enjoy the process to get the most out of what this BERMUN experience has to offer.

BERMUN 2018 will be my fifth MUN conference, and having grown more confident through experience, I hope we can overcome any nerves which may arise. Originally, I’m from the US, however, I moved to Berlin in 2016 to attend high school at JFKS. Since living here, I’ve been able to grow as a young woman by better understanding multicultural differences and exercising independence in a city different from what I was once used to.

I hope you are all just as excited as I am to have this week together, and I am looking forward to seeing you!

Until November,

Christine Cook

Dear Delegates,

I am honored to welcome you as co-chair of this year’s conference, where we will be debating topics related to the theme of “Strengthening Global Cooperation: Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting World Order.” Specifically, in the Political Committee, we will be covering topics relating to addressing illiberal democracy and preventing foreign government interference in elections of member states. As we go through these debates, we will have the opportunity to address some of the most prominent problems our global community faces.

MUN topics typically reflect the changing environment of the world today, and I truly believe these topics are very well suited to foster cooperation and participation throughout all corners of the world. The shifting order of transnational relations has created a world where all voices need to be heard, and thus it becomes increasingly crucial to encourage cooperation between state and non-state actors in order to prevent individual countries from once again dominating international politics. Serving as a forum and a platform for equitable international dialogue, the UN’s role will be crucial in the development of international dialogue if power politics are to expand further.

In terms of experience, I have been the presiding officer for many rounds of congressional debate, or mock US senate, which has the same responsibilities as a chair does in MUN. Essentially, presiding officers have the responsibility of running the “chamber” or committee, which includes picking speakers, questioners, keeping time, making sure recency and precedence are valued in the round, and maintaining decorum. I’ve presided on the local, state, and national level and look forward to transferring those skills to BERMUN. That being said, my goals for this conference lie in attaining full participation from all UN members. I encourage all of you to take full advantage of the opportunity that is MUN, and come fully prepared for challenging debates.

On a personal note, I’m a 15 year old sophomore at Xaverian High School in Brooklyn, New York. Aside from MUN, I’m on the debate, swim, and track teams. BERMUN XXVII will be my 2nd conference and I’m very excited to see how you all respond to this theme.

I look forward to seeing you in November!

Emma Cassidy

Co-Chair, Political Committee

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the Political Committee.

We know about the horrendous events that took place 75 years ago in Europe during World War II. The rise of the fascist illiberalism led to dreadful horrors that mankind will never forget. The decrease of liberalism, as we see it occurring across the world now, is reminiscent to what happened in the 1930s according to a 2018 Foreign Policyarticle, “Democracy Is Dying by Natural Causes”. Today, many democracies have either dramatically abandoned liberalism and its value of human rights or are in danger of doing so. They, moreover, have detached themselves from international agreements and associations. On the other hand, many elites in reaction to populism, are increasingly willing to forfeit democracy in order to achieve liberalism.

I am 18 years old and a junior at the John F. Kennedy School. I have lived in Switzerland, Bavaria, Berlin, and the United States. In my leisure time I like hiking, American football, and playing the piano. Also, I love interacting with people and getting to know new people from all backgrounds. My interest in MUN originates from a general interest in politics and an interest to think about how to solve contemporary problems the world faces.

My goal is to provide the opportunity for interesting debate and a unique memory of the conference for all of you. No matter what our backgrounds, our experiences or our political beliefs, I hope that our experience at BERMUN will allow us to meet new and exciting people from all over the world and think more critically about the state of democracy and liberalism.

I’m looking forward to meeting you in November!

Constantin Ertel

Chair of the Political Committee

Dear delegates of the Human Rights Council,

Seventy years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we find ourselves in a world order in which major international powers violate the fundamental principles and fundamentals protecting the rights of the individual. Especially citizens in conflict areas are vulnerable to being denied the necessities laid out by the UDHR. Delegates of the HRC will try to protect human rights by cooperating with other nations to ensure that the tenets of the declaration are fulfilled to specifically protect specifically civilians in conflict areas and ensureing equality for ethnic minorities.

With the experience expertise of chairing at two previous BERMUN conferences, I hope to enrich all of our time together during the four days. Besides getting to know new people, which will enhance cooperation and the atmosphere, we will strive for interesting and qualitative debate. Together with my co-chair, we chose themes that we thought will interest and engage you beyond the conference and its preparational work.

Aside from my position as the Student Council President of the John F. Kennedy School, I play tennis, take dance lessons and engage in community service projects.

I am looking forward to a wonderful time in the HRC.

David Kirschner

Chair of the Human Rights Council

Dear Honorable Delegates and Esteemed Guests of the Human Rights Council,

Welcome to the 27th annual session of BERMUN!

This year, I have the honor of serving as one of the deputy chairs for the Human Rights Council, addressing both the topics of protecting human rights for civilians in conflict areas as well as realizing equality for ethnic minorities by fostering intercultural tolerance.

As our committee topics address some of the most prominent issues in our globalizing world today, this valuable four-day conference should be a chance to learn and reflect on how privileged we are, as well as to rethink about what we can do to help the causes. Wars still exist today in ways we cannot imagine, abusing civilian rights due to mass destruction of homes, despite what peaceful environments we may seem to live in. Citizens are left without homes and have nowhere to go. For our second topic, equality is crucial for society to progress, and therefore we need to work towards gaining those rights for all citizens. Our society cannot be known as forward or as developed until we are able to garner awareness and more intercultural tolerance for groups with differing traditions.

When BERMUN comes around, I will be a senior at Taipei American School. I enjoy playing soccer, playing both the cello and piano, and doing art in my free time. As for MUN, I truly believe that it is a program not just about politics, but an activity that allows the younger generations to gain awareness in order to contribute to all causes and instill hope and confidence in which we can then use to craft a better future.

I look forward to meeting you all at the conference!

Sincerely,

Sarah Su

Co-Chair of the Human Rights Council

Dear Delegates,

As a soon-to-be senior at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin, I am delighted to serve in this final high school year as one of your chairs of the Human Rights Committee alongside Pin Hua Su and David Kirschner.

Through the Berlin Model United Nations program, I have acquired access to current political debates that gave me the impulse to further my civic education and start thinking about actively shaping our world. I am particularly interested in the issues of health and development of children since a world full of fair opportunities can ensure a stable democratic world order. Being both of German and Romanian origin, I am curious about the harmonious development of our entire world community. From Myanmar to Romania, the rights of ethnic minorities are threatened, and thus our topic in the HRC, “Realizing Equality for Ethnic Minorities by Fostering Intercultural Tolerance”, which I have focused on, is as pertinent as ever.

At BERMUN we reflect and exchange our views in a collaborative effort of building a good world. I wait with expectation for our insightful contributions to the general topic of this year’s conference “Strengthening Global Cooperation” with the reality of a shifting world order. Historically seen, fine shifts have sometimes lead to evil, inhuman escalation, and concentration of power. It is up to us to be politically aware in order to understand the early signs of conflict.

I look forward to meeting you in November.

Sincerely,

Ariane Schmidt

Chair of the Human Rights Committee

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the Environment Committee! This year’s conference theme is “Strengthening Global Cooperation: Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting World Order.” At first, it seems hard to think of any environmental issues related to this topic. However, in our modern world, where oil equates to power and economic profits are put above environmental preservation, the environment and power politics are linked closer than ever.

Reducing international dependency on crude oil is essential to ensure global stability. With the availability of crude oil decreasing rapidly, the consequences of continued dependency could be catastrophic. For one, more and more conflicts will arise between countries, attempting to access what little is left of the resource.

The Environment Committee’s other topic, limiting hydropower to protect international ecosystems, explores how the attempt of renewable energy can actually cause harm. Hydropower can interfere with and destroy aquatic ecosystems, which often span across borders. This means that the issue has to be solved on an international scale, factoring in policies and politics.

Personally, I am 16 years old and attend year 12 at the Nelson Mandela School in Berlin. In my free time i enjoy playing the piano, dancing and walking through the city. BERMUN XXVII will be my 11th conference and my fourth as a chair, however it will be my first time chairing the Environment Committee and I am excited to see what the committee has to offer. I am confident you will approach the topics with original ideas and innovative solutions.

I look forward to seeing you in November,

Yara Abdel-Ghany

Chair of the Environment Committee

Greetings delegates and welcome to BERMUN 2018!

In this year’s Environment Committee, we will be dealing with the issue of hydropower, which is widely recognized as a cleaner alternative to fossil fuels such as crude oil.  We often think of hydropower as beneficial, but this year we will be debating the detrimental impact of hydropower on the environment, for example, wildlife destruction. Although we humans can benefit from hydropower, does the environment also benefit?  How can member states work to reach a common consensus about limiting hydropower? As delegates of the Environment Committee, our planet must be considered as we continue to adopt more advanced technologies to generate energy.

Keeping these considerations in mind, you delegates, as members of the Environment Committee must seek consensus to solve this important issue at hand in the most effective way possible while still making sure that everyone’s rights are considered.  I hope that you will take advantage of BERMUN to improve your public speaking skills, gain further knowledge on this current environmental issue and seek solutions that will benefit all member nations.

I am currently a senior at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin, and am honored to have been granted this unique opportunity and hope to make this conference a memorable experience for you all.  Do not hesitate to contact me or my co-chairs through our BERMUN Facebook group if you have questions concerning conference preparation.

I look forward to fruitful debates and meeting all of you in November!

Erin Ziccarelli

Assistant President of the Environment Committee

Dear Delegates of the Environment Committee,

I am honored to welcome all of you to the 2018 BERMUN Conference! This year, the conference theme of “Strengthening Global Cooperation: Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting World Order” calls for unprecedented coordination. Most experts agree that world power is still centered on the USA. However, in these uncertain times, other countries are rising to power. In the EC, we will be dealing with the power that access to energy resources represents. Access to large reserves of fossil fuels, for example, is considered as an economic advantage to many nations. However, the use of these resources has caused environmental problems. In this way, energy is a crucial resource in the never-ending battle for power. Our second committee topic pertains to the use of hydropower. This topic may split the house because the policies will vary between those that are more valuable for a single nation, or the protection of international ecosystems. These controversial subjects will hopefully spawn fruitful debate.

Outside of the conference I’m a student at the John F. Kennedy school who enjoys geeking out with his friends in activities such as Quizbowl. This will be my third time chairing and my tenth conference in all. Over my 10 conferences I have gained much experience and thoroughly enjoyed my time as a delegate. My previous conferences as a chair have also taught me how to help delegates to find other nations with similar policies and to piece together resolutions.

I look forward to meeting this year’s batch of bright delegates who have have prepared well for the conference.

Octave Mouton

Co-Chair of the Environment Committee

Dear Delegates of the Disarmament Committee,

It is my absolute honor and pleasure to welcome you all to this year’s BERMUN conference. In the DC, you as delegates, will be discussing the issues at hand of chemical weapons and of artificial intelligence. Both of these topics are extremely current and pose an immediate threat to society and thereby concern to the international community.

The rapid growth of Artificial Intelligence and its influence on technology are truly frightening and must be regulated, especially in weaponry. Chemical weapons continue to plague our society and chemical warfare is still being used against the people of this earth. The world as we know it is changing and governments use power politics to change their position in the never-ending race for influence and power. That is why the international community is coming together to enhance global cooperation and guide society through this transition.

Last year’s BERMUN conference was my first ever MUN conference experience. I  participated in the Political Committee as a delegate of Japan. At BERMUN2 last year I continued as a delegate of Japan, but this time in the Disarmament Committee. My first chairing experience was at the Baltic Model United Nations (BALMUN) conference in 2018 as head chair of the Political Committee. I anticipate seeing all delegates involved during the Disarmament Committee’s debate. I am absolutely excited and cannot wait for this truly wonderful opportunity that we will all share together.

On a personal note, I enjoy listening to music and playing sports. I appreciate electronic music, including EDM, techno, and house. I like watching and playing basketball, soccer, and baseball. I also love cooking in my free time.I look forward to seeing you in November!

Robert Cornwall

Chair of the Disarmament Committee

Dear Delegates,

It is my honour to address you as the co-chair of the Disarmament Committee. It will be my very first time participating at BERMUN, so I am both excited and humbled to be able to share this experience with you. I am from the Czech Republic, where I attend the 11th grade of an international gymnasium and BERMUN will mark my fourth time being a Student Officer, raising the number of the MUN conferences I attended altogether to eight.

What I find enlightening about the First Committee of the General Assembly is how clear and direct the task at hand presents itself to be – simply to disarm. Disarmament, in its essence, is giving up some power in the interest of world peace – giving up an advantage a nation might have over its enemies, breaking up the power play and setting any ulterior motives aside in favor of the greater good.

Of course, nothing is really that simple – in fact, facing that the future is now with the regulated integration of Artificial Intelligence into our warfare and the abolition of chemical weapons that take lives of millions of innocent civilians are neither clear nor easy to solve issues. Nonetheless, I would still like you to keep this thought of disarmament in mind when you attempt to find your solutions and present them to the committee. To me personally, MUN should not be about power play and the desire to win arguments, losing sight of the real task at hand – but to be conscious of the issues our world faces and try to gain insight on how they might be solved – in theory, and learn how to present your arguments as well as accept compromise – in practice.

I am looking forward to some fruitful debates in November!

Lucie Čapková

Co-chair of the Disarmament Committee

Honorable Delegates of the Disarmament Committee,

It is with great joy that I welcome you to BERMUN XXVII. Even though I only joined the MUN program in 2017, having attended two conferences as a delegate, I have received an incredibly interesting view into the MUN world which I now am excited to be a part of as a chair. I hope to bring the same feeling to you in the upcoming conference in November.

I specifically wanted to be part of the DC because weapons have been the major obstacle to building connections in the world of power politics. I believe that this is one of the greatest issues of our time. The topics we will discuss touch on an extremely relevant problem, especially as the situation in Syria grows more severe by the day. Secondly, the fear of Artificial Intelligence in future wars has already posed major roadblocks to global cooperation.

As especially the latter issue is one of great importance and fine nuance, it is of the utmost importance to be conscious of one’s country’s views on the matter. Being aware of these will guarantee our committee’s success in the upcoming fall.

Aside from MUN, I enjoy riding and archery. Singing is also a passion of mine as I sing in several choirs at JFKS. After my graduation I am looking to study architecture either in Berlin at the UDK or at a school abroad, most likely on the east coast of the United States.

I look forward to discussing this very important issue at the upcoming conference!

Sincerely,

Sophia Raucci

Co-Chair of the Disarmament Committee

Dear Participants of the ICJ,

Particularly for first-timers, serving in the International Court of Justice can be a daunting task. The procedure and goals pursued in the ICJ are different from the other committees. This difference, however, offers new opportunities to learn about international law and policies. The ICJ consists of a panel of neutral judges and four advocates representing two countries. Whether you will be attending this conference as a judge or an advocate, passion for the truth, an open mind, and a willingness to learn will make this an engaging and valuable experience.

We will be examining the case Croatia v. Serbia. Croatia filed an application to the International Court of Justice in 1999, accusing Serbia of committing genocide in Croatian territories and breaching international law by violating the  “Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”. The violations in this case occurred during The Yugoslav Wars between 1991-1999, after the break-up of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia resulted from a shift in the world order after the fall of the USSR. The origin of the conflict stemmed from the cessation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia. The lack of cooperation and diplomacy between the individual states and the increase of hostilities through the use of propaganda promoting Serb nationalism and xenophobia toward the other ethnicities in Yugoslavia led to human rights abuses and possible breaches in international laws.

I am currently an 11thgrader at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin. In addition to learning and deliberating about international law and politics, I enjoy playing cello, doing martial arts and reading. MUN, specifically the ICJ, has become an integral part of my life. At the last two BERMUN conferences, I have had the privilege of serving as the Registrar and then the President of the ICJ respectively. I am delighted to once again welcome you as the President of the ICJ to this year’s annual BERMUN conference.

I look forward to meeting you at the conference!

Sincerely,

Isabel Tscherniak

Dear ICJ Participants,

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience of serving as a judge on the International Court of Justice at BERMUN and then as Registrar of the ICJ at BERMUN2. It was truly fascinating analyzing important documents relevant to the case and learning the particulars about ICJ procedure and international law. I find that the ICJ is a great way to experience the environment of a courtroom. As the Court consists of less participants compared to other committees, each individual has many more opportunities to engage in the case throughout the conference.

This year at BERMUN, we will be entertaining the case “Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia).” The case examines whether or not genocide was committed in the early 1990s in the former Yugoslavia, and whether state actors were responsible. This case is closely linked to the conference theme, “Strengthening Global Cooperation: Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting World Order”, because it addresses the legal situation during a changing regional order and how the resulting legal issues can be addressed from a present-day perspective.

Although I was born in Berlin, Germany, I’ve spent most of my life in Belgium and have American and Lebanese roots. Since returning to Berlin in August of 2016, I have taken part in the weekly MUN debates at John F. Kennedy High School. My other hobbies include Gaelic football and hurling.

I look forward to meeting all of you at BERMUN!

Louay Sattar

Assistant President of the ICJ

Dear BERMUN Participants,

Welcome to the International Court of Justice at BERMUN 2018!

The ICJ is a unique committee which will simulate the case “Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia, 1999)”.

In this case, Croatia is accusing Serbia of having committed genocide. The defendant, Serbia, claimed that Croatia also committed genocide. The issue dates back to the Balkan Wars when the former Yugoslavia fell apart. Emerging states, including Croatia and Serbia, fought for territory and minorities were displaced. Although the Court delivered its final judgements in 2015, the UN was conducting trials for alleged war criminals of the Bosnian War until December of last year with the established International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It is difficult to fathom that genocides can still happen in our modern world, especially with the prevalent power shifts, which relates back to the central conference theme “Strengthening Global Cooperation: Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting Global Order”. Judges and advocates will learn under which circumstances a modern genocide could occur.

Having lived in five different countries, I have a had a multicultural experience that has extended my view of other cultures.  This is why I decided to become a part of MUN. I have come to appreciate the role of MUN in providing a foundation of skills and values. In addition to participating in MUN, I enjoy swimming, playing piano and photography. I am a student at thee Berlin Cosmopolitan School and will be in 11th grade in November. BERMUN will mark my fifth conference.

Judges and advocates of the ICJ, let us arrive with an open mind and to use this conference as an opportunity to grow. I look forward to meeting you in November!

Sincerely,

Leoni Payano

Registrar of the International Court of Justice

Dear Youth Assembly Participants,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2018 Youth Assembly!

The YA is unique to the BERMUN conference because students do not only represent themselves and their personal views but also craft realistic action plans rather than hypothetical resolutions. These then serve as frameworks for grassroot initiatives which will actually be implemented in local communities all over the world.

At this conference, we will focus on strengthening the engagement of the next generation in their local community and its civil society to help shape a more engaged, open-minded youth. Our goal is to become substantial, long-term members of local initiatives and leaders in grassroots activism.

Throughout the conference, we will encounter students coming from places all over the world. We will draw from these diverse perspectives and compile effective ways such as internet campaigns or other, contemporary ways to be involved in the task of informing and engaging in your local or national politics as well as the international political world.

I hope you will connect with other students and work your hardest to compose a cohesive action plan in order to fully make use of the collaborative, open hearted setting BERMUN provides.

Having participated in two previous BERMUN conference as a member of the Youth Assembly, once as a delegate and once as a chair, it will be my honor to serve as your chair in my second conference as a Student Officer and my fourth conference overall. I strive to provide interesting and unique perspectives on the topic and to create a motivating, comfortable, and inspiring atmosphere.

I have been attending the John F. Kennedy High School for two years. Before moving to Germany, which is also where I was born 17 years ago, I lived in the United States, Egypt, and Canada due to my father’s occupation with the German Federal Foreign Service Office. Thanks to this lifestyle of constantly traveling, I am fluent in German and English and even speak some French.

I look forward to meeting you in November and experiencing your innovative ways to tackle the topic!

Nadine Pertsch

Director of the Youth Assembly

Dear participants of the Youth Assembly,

Welcome to the 2018 BERMUN conference!

In today’s world, in modern society, people’s awareness of political issues, their engagement and commitment play a major role when it comes to political participation and speaking up for those who don’t have a voice.This year, the Youth Assembly will address the issue of “Strengthening Engagement in Civil Society through Continuous Cooperation and Grassroots Activism.

The YA, though a part of the BERMUN conference, is unique amongst the committees.As participants, you will represent your own views and opinions, create realistically implementable resolutions,debate, cooperate and develop strategies to further youth empowerment locally and nationally,as well as beyond borders on an international level.

Throughout the conference you will work together closely with students from all around the globe. Seeing as that this will enable you to tackle the issue from various different, diverse perspectives, you will be able tobe far-sighted and approach the issue in a comprehensive way and thus create action plans that have the possibility to inspire and encourage the young generation and actually make a change.

Having participated in the Youth Assembly myself, it is my distinct honor to serve as its Co-Director at the 2018 conference. Over the years I have developed a truly deep passion for Model United Nations. Having started out as a delegate, I got to experience MUN as Student Officer and member of the Secretariat, as well.

Personally, I am currently in my senior year at the Innerstädtisches Gymnasium Rostock, Germany. Besides that, I consider myself a food-admiring, music-loving, sun-addicted nocturnal active.

Being a part of MUN has furthered many of my character traits and skills, especially public speaking, long-sighted, surveying thinking and teamwork. Furthermore, I made many of my very best friendships through MUN.

I strive to motivate and support the YA participants, create an inspiring, congenial and fruitful atmosphere and thereby, hopefully, make this year’s BERMUN the best yet. Participants of the Youth Assembly, I encourage all of you to speak up, voice your opinion and make great things happen.

I am looking forward to meeting you in November!

All the best,

Simon Johannssen

Co-Director of the Youth Assembly