Our delegation embarked on its first adventure this semester break. From February 11th to 14th we visited the beautiful city of Geneva and the many organizations that are located there. Our journey began in Tübingen where we met at the train station at 10:30 – cheerful, excited and motivated. However, three hours later we had not made it very far, all thanks to the storm „Sabine“ that had swept across Germany the day before. We ended up waiting in Horb for two hours before taking a train to Singen, Zurich and finally Geneva, arriving at about 7:30. By then, we were all tired and starving – thank God we had brought about 10 kilos of pasta that we cooked that night in our cute little hostel.
The next morning we made our way to our first appointment of the trip. We visited the UNECE and learned a lot about cooperation in Europe, be that in economics, environmental policy or transport. The presentation was especially interesting for one of our delegates as she is representing Azerbaijan in the UNECE in New York. Afterward, we had lunch in the UN cafeteria where we found out that it is almost impossible to buy a meal for under 10 euros in Switzerland.
Our next stop was the WTO. We spoke about the advantages and disadvantages of the WTO system and the upcoming challenges due to the dissatisfaction of many members. The highlight of our visit was being allowed to enter the WTO conference hall – a great opportunity for many of us to take pictures. The rest of the afternoon we spent walking through Geneva and enjoying the beautiful weather, before heading back to our hostel for another pasta dinner. A part of our group went out for some drinks after dinner while the rest of us stayed behind and played charades. You could definitely tell we were inspired by what we had learned that day, which resulted in us having to act out words such as SDGs, capacity-building, and WTO.
On Thursday we began our busiest day with a tour at the Palais des Nations. Next, we rushed to the OHCHR to learn about human rights in the UN, specifically rights of disabled people. This was also extremely helpful to our GA3 committee, as rights of persons with disabilities are one of the topics they have to prepare for. We had no time to rest before hurrying to the UNHCR for our last presentation of the day. In the evening, our delegation celebrated its trip to Geneva by enjoying a typical Swiss meal – cheese fondue. Very yummy!
The last day in Geneva began bright and early with a presentation at the WHO. This was particularly exciting considering the recent developments with the Corona virus. However, we didn’t just learn about Corona, but also about the efforts to eradicate Polio. The visit was definitely super interesting! Our last stop of the trip was the ITU, where some of our delegates had the opportunity to ask some questions about the use of ICTs and cybersecurity.
Before getting back on our train to Tübingen, we spent the last couple of hours sitting at the bank of Lake Geneva, enjoying the sun and the mountains in the background. The trip was an amazing opportunity for us to get some answers to our questions before New York and learn more about what working for an international organization can look like. We also got to know each other better and discovered that we harmonize very well as a group. This trip has made us even more excited for New York!