United Nations Students Association Barcelona
Activities of the Year 2013-2014
As an association we participate in numerous events of different categories at a local, regional, national and international level. Moreover we organize our own events and activities directed to the university community in its whole.
The Model of United Nations (MUNs) are simulations of the organization and activity of the United Nations. They are mainly directed to university students and in some cases high school students. Reproducing the dynamics, organizations, committees, topics and protocols of the UN, MUNs have expanded all over the world and today can be found nearly one per city or metropolis. In the Spanish case it is still an activity to exploit; nevertheless, within the Anglo-Saxon world they have a long history as part of extracurricular activities within secondary studies. In many cases the MUNs receive participants not only from Students’ Associations, but also from public organizations related with the UN or with governments and international organizations. The level of professionalization has reached a point where even the UN considers such forum a great opportunity to develop the necessary capacities for every professional within the 21st Century.
MUNs have proven to incentivise a higher participation, interest and integration of young people in societies both locally and internationally. It is an activity that builds an open and capable mind for global challenges. Not only do they encourage abilities such as public speaking and communications but also it fosters adaptability, effort, self-control etc.
Without any doubt MUNs are advantageous for participants as well as in society and environment. Throughout MUNs and specially the Students’ Associations dedicated to them, a stronger implication with the civil society is incentivised with an express interest in participating in the enrichment of our environment and become, both individually and collectively, a change for those who surround us.
The first example of the previous is CMUN (Catalonia Model United Nations), which is held in Barcelona and has celebrated its 10th anniversary. It is one of our main activities due to the proximity of the event and the organizing authorities (ANUE, United Nations Association of Spain). We have participated in this MUN since it’s beginning, which coincide with the founding of our own association. With one decade at our back, we have collaborated with this MUN bringing more than 400 participants to it. The participation in CMUN has enables all these people to develop their communication, investigation and interaction capacities. This year we have been able to bring 40 delegates under the representation of UNSA Barcelona, from which we have received one special mention to the individual achievements of our delegates.
In second place, we have participated for fourth consecutive time in EUROMUN (European Model United Nations), which is held in Maastricht. This year a delegation of ten has attended the event from which we have been awarded with several special mentions for the quality of our members. This event is especially important in the annual MUN calendar due to its quality. Organized by the Maastricht University it is one of the most prestigious MUNs internationally with more than 500 participants from all around the globe.
Finally, we have attended with a delegation of 10 MILMUN (Milan Model United Nations) for our second time. In this model we have also been awarded a special mention to three of our delegates, who have outstand from more of 300 participants from the entire world. Specially focused in human rights issues and the International Court of Justice, MILMUN has provided us a different perspective from the international path of MUNs.
UNSA Barcelona, as the second consecutive year we are convinced that further from MUNs we must bring International Relations closer to the university community. Because of this we organize different conferences and seminars through the academic year with an international content, which will enable students to grow their perspectives in global and current issues of their interest. Throughout this year we have organized two events: being the firs “New challenges of the 21st Century Diplomacy” to which attended Juan Antonio Marc and Fernando Perpiña Robert, held on November the 27th 2013. This event enables assistants resolve important questions over the future of diplomacy and viability of the same. In second place we’ve held the event “the necessity of a Catalan Diplomacy” on January the 23rd 2014 with Albert Royo, Secretary General of the Public Diplomacy Consilium of Catalonia. Within this session, attendants could understand the role of the Catalan diplomacy and compare it to other entities.
At the beginning of September 2013 the Association is centred in the organization of the seminar “United Nations: challenges and future of the organization” that lasts a month and a half. It is a deepening course on the UN done by Dr. Pablo Pareja, expert on the subject. The Pompeu Fabra University recognizes this course and its successful attendance means the recognition of two ECTS credits of free choice, which are to be recognized in any European university. Throughout this seminar several general aspects of the UN are covered as well as it peak moments during history, deeply covering the particular cases that have meant a remarkable moment in the organization’s history. At the end of the seminar, participants participate in a simulation of the UN, which dealt with the possible entry of Palestine as a member state in the UN. This session is part of the evaluation process for the seminar as well as for the selection process for students to participate in MUNs under the UNSA Barcelona delegation.
During the months of January until April, we organize an open seminar directed mainly to those students who will participate to any MUNs under the UNSA Barcelona delegation. This course is intended to enhance their preparation and capacitation for their MUNs. The most experienced and veteran members of UNSA Barcelona are the ones carrying out this seminar. It is a complimentary course to the one held during the first trimester, completing the necessary instruction for a successful participation to MUN at an international level.
As part of the activities within the Solidarity Department, we organize throughout the year a series of home-made cake selling whose benefits are sent to the several NGO projects with whom we partner. Moreover we’ve participated in the annual food collection campaign organized by the Food Bank, having our headquarters at Pompeu Fabra University.
On April the 23rd we organized a rose stand in Francesc Macia Square in motive of the Saint George festivity. The benefits we collected were donated to the NGO Ajuda en Accio.
On November the 5th, we started the campaign that UNSA organizes each year in collaboration with ANUE, the Solidary Studying Olympic (OSE). This activity is held within the Solidarity Department and pretends that each student counts his studying hours. For each studied hour, different entities and organization will destine 1€ to a specific project determined by ANUE. This year the project has been the reconstruction of schools in Haiti. The project has been an outstanding success as UNSA Barcelona has exceeded their assigned hours.