The first session of ECOSOC, EuroMUN 2019
MECC, Maastricht (CNN) – The first session of the Economic and Social Council for EuroMUN 2019 began with an invitation from the honorable Chairs “not to be afraid” in this room of strangers but rather to be emboldened – to “be the you you wish to be”. Just don’t use any pronouns while you’re doing that!
The room today was filled with delegates representing 28 nation states, most of whom were fairly new to EuroMUN. During a round of initially tentative but lighthearted introduction, we learned that peaceful negotiations will definitely be preferable in a room full of Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Krav Maga enthusiasts. India motioned to open the debate. The topics these delegates will be engaging with over the next few days are Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in Africa alongside the issue of national sovereignty, and recovery from natural disasters. Belgium motioned to first debate recovering from natural disasters and then the issue of Foreign Direct Investments and national sovereignty. After two misvotes, and rigorous counting by the Chairs which increased in volume from vote to vote, the motion failed with 10 votes for and 18 against. With that, the opening speeches began. As Vietnam pointed out with concern, there was much division on FDIs. Algeria highlighted the importance of allowing African countries to determine their own futures. Bangladesh strongly admonished providing Africa with much needed economic and maintaining sovereignty. Belgium highlighted the difference between help and invasion, and China argued that foreign investment as a collaboration rather than colonialism would improve not impede sovereignty. Germany apologized for the mistreatment of African nations and proposed the continued stimulation of local growth. Rwanda sang us “Blackbird” by the Beatles and called for ‘flight out of poverty’. In under an hour and a half, the chairs declared that this was the first time they had seen opening speeches concluded in such time, at which point members realized they could have addressed both topics in their speeches and motioned for longer speech time. This first session was an interesting start to the next few days, with many newbies finding their feet and their passion. We look forward to the ensuing debate!