The Special Conference of the child outlined Stella Panou, SCC
The workshop started off with some fun icebreakers where delegates of the Special conference on the Child, introduced themselves and said something interesting about them- selves. The presentation began with the introduction of some humanitarian organizations such as SCC and Hope for the Children, elaborating on the responsibilities and rights of the child.
Furthermore, the Chair prepared the delegates by giving them information about the structure of the position papers followed by an open debate occurring for the concept of written communication, amendments, motions, and lobbying.
Resources for researching were given, as a list of useful websites as well as MEDIMUN resources to help the delegates form their resolutions.
A presentation booklet familiarized the delegates with Mr. Joseph Var- ughese, the general director of Hope for Children, who came in as a special guest and talked about the aims and projects this organization.
In addition, there was an open discussion of ideas about child marriage, responsibilities and rights, children refugees and children with disabilities. Delegates had the opportunity to express their thoughts freely and hear what others had to say in order to form a rounded background of information.
Lastly, delegates were assigned the countries they would represent and a closed debate took place, they had the opportunity to prepare their speeches. Thus, they gained an idea of what to expect in the next conference in February.
Interview with: Mr. Joseph Varughese (General Director) and Christine Shahbenderian (Project Officer)
–What is one of the most crucial issues that Hope for Children fights against in Cyprus?
Sexual abuse against children is the toughest issue we deal with because it is a taboo and children are not willing to speak up. We have a very good structure in Cyprus since 2017, which is called the children’s house. It is a structure where all the authorities are in one place. The council of ministers have decided that all the sexual abuse cases have to be handled in the Children’s House. It is one stop shop where the police, the welfare, the ministry of health, the doctors, the psychologists, the social workers, everybody is in the same structure which is a model brought from Iceland.
-What are Hope for Children’s goals for the upcoming year?
We are already participating in decision making and international and European institutions but to have more effective participation in the EU, United Nations as well as locally.
-On the site for Hope for Children there is reference about an EU and local project on the right of the child such as JudEx. Can you tell us more about it?
(Answered by Christine) Specifically it was a European project coordinated by us with partners from 6 different European countries. The project finished in 2017. The aim was to make the judicial proceedings of children that were victims of sexual abuse. Basically, to train professionals i.e. doctors, judges, lawyers, teachers, police, in order to support children in a more child friendly way and to be more aware of the problems that they were going through in the judicial proceedings. Now we run 24 European programs. We are coordinators of 2 major projects; one has to do with providing support to children older than 18, who are ageing out of care like shelters, through their transition period from teenagers to adults. It is called INTEGRA and it started in June. The second project is called Hate Interrupter Teams, and this is to empower and train young people where different state holders and opinion formers will also come in the project to tackle hate speech and behaviour against migrants. One of the most concerning issues now is the grey areas of the internet and children’s rights in digital enrollment as it is new and there is a big hole in the laws all over the world because it is a new scenario and this needs to be dealt with in order to create a proper law. We need a lot of support from children for this matter because they know better how things are done now rather than adults.
– What is the importance of the coins of hope? Can you elaborate?
The coins of hope were printed on a 2 euro coin in 2016. We man- aged to convince the Central Bank of the European Union to print these coins to raise awareness.
Stella Panou, SCC
I see humans but no humanity
Hope for Children is an international humanitarian and independent institution based in Nicosia Cyprus, established on the standards and principles of the UN convention on the Rights of the Child. The primary objec- tive of Hope for Children is to develop and implement policy for the protection and pro- motion of children’s rights. The Humanitarian Division of the institution aims to support and facilitate humanitarian aid by providing material or logistical assistance, typically in response to humanitarian crises including natural disasters or man-made disasters such as war. This beneficial aid aims to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity.
Moreover, it also combats the risk of social exclusion of children and youth living under extreme poverty and ensures access to basic social and legal services for all children internationally. Poverty pronounces material and social deprivation, while social exclusion impairs a person’s or a group’s ability to participate in social, economic, political and cultural life, damaging their relationships with others. Children, in particular, have to face the concept of rejection in forms of social exclusion due to their low financial standing, which results in mental disruption. Living on $1.25 or less a day has a substantial impact on the lifestyle and psychology of children while growing up, since it is not enough to cover basic needs, thus creating a toxic and very unhealthy environment for children to live in.
Furthermore, it focuses on dealing with the violation of children’s rights by raising awareness through different media tools and sharing widely important projects such as the “judicial proceedings in cases of sexual violence against children: the child’s experience”. This was a European project coordinated by Hope for Children, with partners from six different European countries. The aim of the project was to initiate judicial proceedings for children that were victims of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse against children is probably the toughest issue
that the humanitarian arm of Hope for Children is dealing with, because children have difficulty to speak up and share their traumatic experienc- es. For this reason, the project involved special training for judges, lawyers, police, doctors and teachers to increase their awareness of the problems children were going through during the judicial proceedings and to enable them support these children in a more child-friendly way. Since 2017 the Cyprus government, in collaboration with Hope for Children, has further facilitated this process through the introduction of the Children’s House, a structure where all relevant authorities are represented in one place to handle sexual abuse cases for children.
Having organisations like Hope for Children is critical for changing the world’s perceptions and establishing the children’s economic, social and cultural rights. Initiatives like this bring out the human side of society and make the world a better place.
Stella Panou, SCC
Report on the course of the day in ICJ
Danae Xanthi & Marilia Danae Patsalidou International Court of Justice
The chairs began the day by introducing themselves and stating the main objectives of the day’s workshop.
The atmosphere at the beginning of the meeting was icy and awkward, as most of the delegates inside the assembly were relative strangers yet somehow the ice needed to break. Firstly, they played some ‘ice breakers’ like two truths and a lie through a fun game so we could get to know each other a better which was very exciting and entertaining since we met more people from different schools, nationalities and cultures.
At 9:40, the chairs started presenting the general information on the International Court of Justice, and then proceeded to explain the course of the debate. They stat- ed the roles to be assigned to the delegates, in which the chairs were acting as the leaders of the court, and the advocates were responsible for the memorandum that was analysed in detail. The chairs related the rules of international law to the topic, while the witnesses were called to support the judges, playing the role of ambassadors.
After a break the chairs discussed specific information regarding the case between Ukraine and Russia as well as showing a video to enhance understanding of the topic.
Another icebreaker took place which related to memory, as the delegates had to remember items stated by previous delegates. We then played “never have I ever”. The chairs asked a question and to whom- ever it applied to, raised their hands. There were moments when the whole assembly was bursting with laughter as it was clear that the atmosphere became lighter and welcoming.
We then proceeded with the mock debate at 11:25. The leaflets as well as the memorandums of the advocates were handed out around. The chairs allowed reading time, during which the chairs gave helpful reminders to guide the delegates – especially the judges-. The advocate of Croatia brought Serbia the grounds of violation of prevention of genocide suggesting clear genocidal intent on behalf of the country. While the advocate of Serbia sur- prisingly admitted other crimes against humanity however he specifically and categorically denies the intent of genocide.
The chairs gave the judges some time to deliberate and reach a verdict. The judges voted by raising hands, and the majority voted in favour of Serbia, which seemed to be a surprise to the chairs perhaps due to the sentimental nature of the case. Overall, it was a day filled with gaiety and bliss.
REPORT ON HISTORICAL SECURITY COUNCIL
Paraskevi Economou, Historical SeCurity Council
At 9:00 delegates, start gathering into the room of the historical security council for the workshop to begin. Each delegate represents a different country: United Kingdom, United States of America, Italy, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, Russia, France, China and Afghanistan. Some of the delegates are a bit late [shame!].
What a delicious beginning! A bowl of colourful m&ms passes around the room. The chairs explain that this is our first icebreaker. To eat the candy, there is a condition: everyone has to say something about themselves. Those who get more than one piece of candy need to reveal one thing about themselves for each piece they take! Within minutes, total strangers start becoming friends. Chocolates do a good job of getting people to open up to each other!
Twenty minutes later, an informative presentation begins. The presentation focuses on the February debate. The chairs in- form the delegates about the two main questions. The first ques- tion is about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, in 1989. The second one is about the Tiananmen Square crisis of 1989. Details about the historical background and the time period in which the debates occur are thoroughly provided. Moreover, the chairs elaborate on details in order to better pre- pare the delegates for the workshop, for example how to conduct research as well as how to write resolutions. The structure of ‘a debate’ is presented, as well as the different terminologies that could be used. For example, point of information, point of order etc. Lastly, the committee decides to form a Facebook group, so that they will be able to easily communicate with one another.
At 9:40, it is icebreakers time again. A metallic “egg” that contains questions inside is thrown across the room. The ball almost hits someone on the head twice. Thankfully, there are no victims! So far, so good! This game is, in fact, a lot of fun. Laughter fills the room. Next game is ‘Never have I ever’.
At 10:10, the mock debate is about to start to give delegates a chance to practice. The question is a very controversial issue that will surely cause many interesting discussions between the “countries”. It is about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. France submits it and the historical date is the 18th of September 2001. The delegates go on and on, arguing about their positions and providing evidence to support their views. The most talkative and involved countries are France, USA, UK, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Russia. The delegates elaborate on their arguments and tension is building up! Collaboration and difference, persistence and documentation, all views convincing, yet contrasting!
What an interesting day this is! The group agrees and disagrees but, magically, a feeling of community develops. Apparently, the icebreakers have been successful, as delegates leave the room as friends.
Report on Security Council , Anna Monoyiou
The workshop started at 9:00. People came into the room, for a friendly chat. In the room we have the delegates of Peru, USA, Russian Federation, Bolivia and Ethiopia. The delegates of Poland and Kuwait have arrived late here. Shame on them. At the moment we are starting with a crowd pleasing icebreaker of two truths and a lie. Special reward: whoever wins gets chocolate!
After some time, we started the icebreakers with the chairs and delegates playing two truths and a lie. The atmosphere was very pleasant and everyone was having a lot of fun! Everyone made jokes as if they knew each other for years! Going on to m&m challenge which means that everyone picked an m&m and for each color there was a question which they had to answer to eat the candy. Surprisingly six out of 13 people got blue which means that they had to say what their most embarrassing moment was. What are the odds! The delegate of Kuwait once went to school wearing his pyjamas! After this, the icebreakers were done. We continued with an introduction of the Security Council. The chairs gave instructions on how to prepare for the conference e.g. Delegates have to know the history, geography, policies, allies of the country etc. The question of Ukraine seems to be the most popular question and according to the chairs it’s hard and needs a lot of research but it’s the ‘’most fun and intense’’. Then they talked about operative clauses, allying, voting, the veto power etc.
After the introduction was done and we had some time before the break so we had some more icebreakers, continuing the m&m challenge. Many people picked green which is if you could visit any place in the world where would it be and why. Everyone seemed to want to visit Japan-mainly for the amazing food! Sushi is said to be the ‘’Japanese koupepia’’ by one of the chairs! Another icebreaker game was a card game where the ace is the murderer, the king is the detective and anything else was a peasant. The murderer winked trying to kill people. If the detective noticed him, the murderer would lose! After this was done, we had a break.
When our 30 minute break was over, the mock debate was ready to begin. If anyone was late after the break they would have a ‘’punishment’’ which would be to dance. Unfortunately, no one was late. What a shame. The delegates read their speech, preparing for the mock debate. The delegate of Bolivia started talking about the issue of THAAD, a protection from missiles that might be given to South Korea. The delegate of Bolivia talked about the ways we should address the problem. There was a lot of discussion between the delegates of Bolivia, Kuwait, Russia and especially the USA. After that, the delegate o the USA stood up for his speech, supporting THAAD. There was a lot of discussion with the delegates of Ethiopia, Peru and Russian Federation. After this debate part was over, no one seemed to want to read their speech so the chairs continued with the voting. Two supported THAAD, the delegates of Russia and Bolivia. Five people were against it. The delegates of Kuwait, Ethiopia, Peru, Poland and the USA. After that, we continued with the spontaneous clause. The delegates had 7 minutes to prepare.
When the 7 minutes were over, we had a debate for 15 minutes. The delegate of Ethiopia thought that it problematic and that it doesn’t directly address how it would directly benefit the government. After a long discussion with the delegates of the USA, Russia and Kuwait where they talked about the weaknesses of the clause and how the DPRK is a serious military threat, the delegate of Ethiopia thanked the delegate of USA and the chairs ask the delegates to write any amendments they have. At that point everyone realized that the delegates of Peru and Poland didn’t talk at all while the delegate of USA had a lot to say! Ironically he was very quiet in the icebreakers and they were very talkative! The delegate of Russia had an amend- ment about this clause being vague and ambiguous. Everyone agreed with it. In the voting, four delegates voted for the clause, the dele- gates of Peru, USA, Poland and Russia. There were three votes against it by the delegates of Ethiopia, Bolivia and Kuwait. The debate part of the workshop was now over and everyone applauded very loudly with a big smile. Since we had finished early, we had our final icebreakers. Everyone formed a circle and answered a question if they got the string. The weirdest thing a delegate ate was snails!
In another question of who’s the most handsome delegate an admin answered that it was the USA delegate. Everyone seemed to be very comfortable with each other. The delegate of Kuwait told us about his story of passing out in one of the biggest cities in the world in China after getting drunk! The delegate of Russia tried to joke some- one for not inviting her to their party, turns out that it was a surprise party that she didn’t know about! How embarrassing! The delegate of Peru’s hardest decision was to move to Cyprus. Now she is very glad to be here. Also the most unexplainable thing that happened to her was to see a plane in the sky, not moving. At the end, everyone broke the part of the string they were holding, letting it fall to the ground while laughing! The day ended with some interviews of the chairs, the delegates and the admins. This workshop was really fun for everyone! We all loved getting to know each other better!
Report on GA4 Irene Leonidou, GA4
Upon their arrival in the early morning of the 12th of November 2018, swarms of nervous but driven delegates took their seats at GA4. Instantly, the room filled with smart outfits and chit-chats amongst friends, while conversations struck between complete strangers who were all eager to feel the ultimate MEDIMUN experience.
The day began with the familiar ice breaker “Never have I ever” involving a ball being passed around and whoever caught it had to state something they have never done. Then, the people who had done that had to remain standing up. As the game went on, more secrets were revealed and even the highly debatable subject of pineapple on pizza was brought up.
The welcoming atmosphere after the ice breaker left the delegates energized and relaxed. The Chair, Karolina Panayiotou, began her informative presentation on what delegates are expected to do, preparing them for the conference in February, by giving tips on how to deliver speeches and write resolutions and explaining the procedure and useful terms.
After a thirty-minute break, the delegates returned ready for their mock debate. The delegate of Albania took the floor, delivering a passionate speech on combating the glorification of Nazism and Neo-Nazism. The apprehensive delegate stressed the fact that this issue still prompts racism, discrimination and xenophobia, which in turn violates human rights. As the debate progressed and eventually came to an end the resolution did not pass, with 18 votes for, 24 against and 0 abstentions.
Following the debate came another fun ice-breaker, a memory game called “Supermarket”. A person begins by saying one thing they bought at the supermarket starting with the letter A. The next person must repeat the A item and add to the list something starting with B. By the end of the game, the last person has to re- member 26 items in alphabetical order. There were some rather interesting choices of items and many delegates had an awfully bad memory, making the rest, explode with laughter. The highlight were when the delegate of Cambodia had to state an item starting with K and she said potassium…get it?
Finally, the delegates were given 15 minutes for lobbying, which is when delegates walked around the room discussing with each other and trying to make alliances to prepare for the confer- ence in February. The workshop officially came to an end and the delegates left prepared and filled with enthusiasm for the upcoming conference.
Report on GA3 Eva Michael, GA3
8:30. The room starts to fill up gradually with formally dressed delegates anxiously waiting to begin whilst simulta- neously our Chairs, Olga Prepis and Michalis Marcoux, get organised while patiently waitting for everyone to arrive. The delegates are introducing themselves to other unknown delegates and are reu- niting with their friends. By 9am, the room is full, everyone has settled down and the workshop has officially begun!
The workshop begins with our chairs introducing themselves and then they proceed to the ice breakers. Two truths and a lie, a ball being thrown (and accidentally hitting people in the head), and all that jazz. After a variety of ice breaking activities, the delegates familiar- ized with each other and they were eager, ready to begin with no stress or uneasi-
MEDIMUN 14th Annual Session
ness. Afterwards, the chairs conducted a presentation which explained thoroughly to the delegates the entire procedure and structure of Medimun, from the history and start of Medimun, to how to research their country, as well as their topic, effi- ciently to prepare their resolutions. Fur- thermore, the delegates that came in late, have received their “punishment” – danc- ing to “Macarena” in front of all the dele- gates. Almost half of the rest of the dele- gates stood up and joined them; and start- ed jamming and singing as well. Everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves!
After a well-deserved break, the mock debate commenced. Its topic was: the accommodation of minority religious beliefs in schools, particularly MEDCs. Its purpose was to show an accurate reenact- ment of a proper debate and how to deliv-
er speeches. The delegates were given 5 minutes reading time and then followed the speeches in favour and against the resolution along with the voting proce- dure. The end of the mock debate marked the end of the workshop and demonstrat- ed briefly the entire experience of Medimun.