From February 14th to 18th, part of our delegation went on a trip to Geneva. Geneva hosts the head quarters of many UN organizations and is home to many diplomats from around the globe. Travelling to Geneva was therefore particularly interesting for our preparation for NMUN, since we had the chance to visit some institutions related to the UN, as well as two organizations that will actually be represented by some of our delegates – namely the WHO (World Health Organization) and the IOM (International Organization for Migration).
On our first day in Geneva, we started with a guided tour through the Palais des Nations. The Palais des Nations is the European headquarters of the UN. Afterwards, we visited the German Permanent Mission in Geneva and had a meeting with a real diplomat, who has been working for Germany for years. He gave us a detailed insight into the work of a diplomat and into the working processes withing the UN, which was very interesting for us. The last stop on Thursday was the ILO (International Labour Organization), where we were told about the tasks and the goals of the ILO and how the different actors – states, employers, employees, etc. – come together and work on improving the working conditions for all.
The next day saw our delegates visiting the WHO first. There, we got an introduction into the action processes and protocols that inure in case of emergency – like the Ebola outbreak a few years ago. We were also introduced to another part of the work of WHO – mitigating the risks of health hazards like smoking with the help of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). In the afternoon, our next stop was the IOM, where we were lucky enough to get an expert for each of the three topics our delegates of the IOM will discuss in New York. Therefore, we learned a lot about Migration in Libya, Climate Migration and Cross-Border Displacement, as well as IOMs work with Civil Society. Our final appointment led us to the OHCHR – the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. There we were told about how the UN and their network of state and non-state actors controls the implementation of Human Rights in the member states of the UN and helps improving living conditions. To relax after the long day we went to the Lac de Genève where we enjoyed delicious cheese fondue – at least those of us who eat cheese.
All in all we had a very informative and extremely interesting trip to Geneva and it is safe to say that we have learned a great deal and that this knowledge most certainly will come in handy in New York.
We want to thank all of the speakers and persons that made time for us from their (already very tight) schedule to give us an insight into the mechanisms that keep the UN working – we are very grateful for your assistance and the knowledge you shared with us!
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