Faculty of LawComenius University Bratislava

The First Slovakia Model United Nations Conference – SlovakMUN 2015 Lived Up To Expectations

20. 01. 2016 12.27 hod.

After more than a year and a half of its preparation, Bratislava hosted a number of active, motivated and internationally engaged university students from all over the world last week who had a unique opportunity to experience the taste of the top diplomacy while participating in the model UN conference.

From 4 November to 8 November 2015, Comenius University in Bratislava and the National Council of the Slovak Republic became venues at which the very first university model UN conference in Slovakia was held – Slovakia Model United Nations (SlovakMUN) Conference 2015. The project was co-organised by Comenius University in Bratislava, European Law Student' Association (ELSA) Bratislava and the Office of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. Furthermore, the project was organised under the auspices of the President of the Slovak Republic – Andrej Kiska.

The opening ceremony of SlovakMUN 2015 was held on the historical premises of the auditorium of our alma mater with the attendance of the invited guests. The ceremony started with a speech given by Professor Mária Patakyová, Vice-Rector of Comenius University in Bratislava. Iveta Radičová, former Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic and special advisor of the European Commissioner for Justice, was among the key lecturers. Subsequently, other diplomatic missions representatives, namely Félix Valés y Valentín Gamazo (ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Slovakia) and Richard Lyons (on behalf of the US embassy) gave a speech followed by Michal Mlynár, Slovak diplomat who primarily focused on the benefit of Slovakia being a UN member state in his speech. “Even little countries may and should aim for a change”, he said to the participants. After a very emotional as well as inspiring speech given by the general secretary of the conference, Pavol Krajči, who officially opened the conference, a reception took place during which the delegates, heads of the committees and invited guests had an opportunity to have discussions in a very enjoyable atmosphere.

During the following two days, the event was held at the National Council of the Slovak Republic, the supreme legislative body of the Slovak Republic. After an opening briefing during which the delegates spoke with a special guest – Mario Nicolini, the founder and the president of honour of the Euro-Atlantic Centre, the delegates were divided into 6 committees in which they tried to resolve the current political social, security or economic issues around the world together. The discussions were chaired by respective presidents of the committees and their representatives while being conducted in English and in accordance with the etiquette, good manners and diplomatic terminology. At the end of the second day of sessions, each committee adopted its final resolution on the debated issue.

During the second stage of the model UN conference which was held in the auditorium at the Faculty of Law of Comenius University in Bratislava, all delegates were given an opportunity to experience the course of debate at the UN General Assembly. There was a very varied socialising programme organised in the evenings during the entire conference during which the delegates, presidents of committees and members of the organizing team had an opportunity to get to know each other and have informal discussions in a very enjoyable atmosphere. Visitors from abroad could experience the taste of the traditional Slovak cuisine, beer or the nightlife in Bratislava.

The conference was concluded by a final ceremony followed by a gala reception held at the historical building of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. The attendees could listen to further speeches given by a number of special guests, including Eduard Burda, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Lucia Mokrá, the Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of CU in Bratislava, Martin Berto, Vice-Chairman of Bratislava Self-Governing Region, and Milan Černý, the First Deputy Mayor of Bratislava.

In the very end, the course of the conference was evaluated; its best delegates were awarded and all its partners, delegates, presidents of committees, organisers and all assistants were thanked for their effort and cooperation. The conference was concluded by Pavol Krajči, the SlovakMUN 2015 Secretary General, quoting Madeleine Albright, the former US Secretary of State: “If the people have a chance to choose, they also have a chance to change” and adding to the quote the following: “I am positive that each of you will make the right choice after these days which we spent together”.

The project was sponsored by: Bratislava Self-Governing Region, National Cuncil of SR, UNIS Vienna, Embassy of the United States to Slovakia, SPP, NOTES Slavošovce, EY, Korytnica, Hotel Tatra, Nadácia Tatra banky, JAVYS, Dru, Municipality of Bratislava.

Media Sponsors: RTVS, Sme, TASR

We are looking forward to SlovakMUN 2016!

Romana Fridriková