Congratulations to the winning CEU team at Vienna Human Rights Model United Nations

April 17, 2018

On April 11th, 2018, ten students of the Department of Legal Studies’ Human Rights and Comparative Constitutional Law programs participated in the Vienna Human Rights Model United Nations (VHRM MUN). MUN is a simulated session of the UN Human Rights Council, organized by the University of Vienna and the Academic Council on the United Nations System. MUN took place at the Vienna International Centre, the campus and building complex hosting the United Nations Office at Vienna.

By participating in MUN, our students got an insight into an UN diplomat’s work and the functioning of the UN. They improved their public speaking and negotiation skills, got a better knowledge about global affairs, and enhanced their research and policy analysis capabilities.

Our students and students of the University of Vienna Master of Arts in Human Rights formed delegations of two members and took roles as diplomats. They investigated international issues, debated complex human rights problems, and developed solutions to these problems. Delegates represented different countries and argued as realistically as possible in the country’s position. CEU students were randomly assigned the following countries:

Indonesia: Kenan Sadovic and Lejla Hodzic.
Greece: Claire Lops and Maha Ali.
Hungary: Ganna Dudinska and Milica Nesic.
India: Malak Harb and Nayomi Gonzalez.
Afghanistan: Aqeel Ahmad and Findlay Glynn.

It is with great pleasure that we inform our CEU community that the MUN organizers rewarded the delegation of Afghanistan, represented by Mr. Aqeel Ahmad and Mr. Findlay Glynn, with a certificate as one of the best two delegations of the conference.

This is how Mr. Aqeel Ahmad recalls his experience:

“It was a great honor to represent CEU at the Vienna Human Rights Model United Nations Conference. This conference held at the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna allowed us to take part in a simulation of the Human Rights Council and present the position of Afghanistan on the issues of restricted freedom of movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; and the detention of children in immigration.

These are two of the most pressing and the most complex human rights issues of our day. It was both challenging and illuminating to discuss these issues at the forum and recognize how some of the rights and interests of one group i.e. the freedom of movement and the prohibition on detention of children during immigration could come in conflict with key interests of another party, i.e. national security and certain economic rights, as aptly and articulately put forth by some of the delegations. Alongside, the quest to reach consensus and pass resolutions in that politically charged atmosphere enabled us to experience a dimension of the protection of human rights that could not have been explored properly in an academic setup.

This one day conference filled with debates, caucuses and diplomacy was a great learning opportunity. I would like to extend my gratitude to the University of Vienna for organizing, the Legal Studies Department at CEU for encouraging and facilitating our participation, and my learned colleagues from the legal department for their understanding of these issues that kept us on our toes throughout the conference. I am especially thankful to Professor Oswaldo Ruiz-Chiriboga for coaching us and steering us in the right direction. Lastly, a major shout-out to my co-delegate, Mr. Findlay Glynn, for his brilliant articulation and valuable insights throughout the conference.”

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