Indonesia motions for…

Delegation from Indonesia
Me with my fellow co-delegate representing Indonesia.

For the past few days I’ve been really busy – I did not attend any classes, but the AIMUN conference. AIMUN is a model United Nations, so students are representing a country and the county’s opinions in different committees. For example, I was in the ASEAN 10+3 committee, representing Indonesia. Although this is not an official UN committee, it was simulated at AIMUN. Compared to other committees like the General Assembly’s DISEC committee, the ASEAN committee was relatively small, so everybody needed to play an important role.

The simulation follows the rules of procedure of the “real” United Nations. So delegates are setting up a speakers list (including determining speaking time), vote on when to suspend the meeting and when to have “caucus” with other delegations. When you first start with such a simulation, it seems to be very formal, because everything needs to be voted on: If one delegation wants to suspend the meeting so that delegations can use the time to talk or work on a draft resolution, it needs a simple majority to pass this “motion”. I was really glad that I had participated in a “rules of procedure” training in Tübingen.

Motions raised by the delegates from different countries.

All delegates were dressed in business style clothes and every delegate was fighting hardly to get its country’s opinion into the resolution to be passed. In the end we finally reached consensus in our topic, the creation of a free trade agreement between the ASEAN member countries and China, Korea and Japan. Before that, we were discussing high-tech goods, agricultural products and other issues where countries differ in their point of view.

In between we had a “crisis” situation. We were confronted with the incident at the Krue Se mosque in Thailand, and had to find a joint announcement on how to react on the situation. In this conflict Thailand and later Myanmar were threatening to temporarily leave ASEAN, other countries considered to withdraw their investments from Thailand if the unrest was not stooped fast.
Indonesia was concerned about the situation of the refugees that left Thailand towards Malaysia, and the safety of the (Muslim) population in the southern provinces of Thailand. We worked closely together with Malaysia to amend the announcement by a clause that would ensure our interests to be recognized in the statement. Therefor we intensively used notes that were passed to the addressed country by the AIMUN staff, unfortunately our seats were really far apart, so I felt sorry for the person carrying our messages…

unmoderated caucus
Formulating a resolution during “unmoderated caucus.”

During this conference there have also been some social activities: One night we went to Houhai, the Chinese called it “Houhai bar street”, I think this description fits very well…
Yesterday there was another party at the university, it was fun to meet people taking part in AIMUN. Most of the delegates came from different Chinese universities, but there where some from Asian countries outside China, Europe and the US, as well. As some of these Chinese universities are located in Beijing, I actually might have the chance to see some of the students again. Their English generally was really impressive, and as English was the working language, it was not a problem at all to understand what people were talking about. Only sometimes during unmoderated caucus, some delegated switched to Chinese to accelerate the process of negotiation…

I really liked being a delegate, and enjoyed the atmosphere at the conference. However, it seemed that some of the other students were much more familiar with the situation in south-east Asia than I was…


3 Responses to “Indonesia motions for…”

  1. feaverman Says:

    Hi Matthias,

    You are really keeping yourself busy. There is a similar simulation in Bonn called B(onn) I(nternational) M(odel) U(nited) N(ations) where students from all over the world participate.

    Take care

  2. Ohm (New Zealand) Says:

    Thanks for your photos. I really love them.
    I’m in Bangkok now. It’s very hot. I’m working at Centre for European Studies since I graduated a week before going to AIMUN.
    I hope you’re fine.

    Keep in touch

  3. Chinese City Without Bicyles? Two Days in Chongqing « Beijing 2007 Says:

    […] of the city centre, we had a the luck of having someone to drive us around. When taking part in the AIMUN conference at Beijing University I had met a student from Chongqing but studying in Beijing. We had kept in touch after AIMUN and […]

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