A few students of Sciences Po Grenoble went to Sweden in order to take part to the Stockholm Model United Nations, a three-day UN simulation held yearly in the Venice of Scandinavia. Story of this international simulation under the snow by a young diplomat on the spot.
Hundreds of students gathered at the Stockholm School of Economics earlier this month to thrash over some of the most challenging diplomatic crises facing our world today.
Controversial topics were on the menu. The issues transcended national borders and were of indisputable importance. Students invited to the Swedish capital had the difficult task of finding common ground on matters such as controlling Arctic resources, responding to Russian expansionism, handling the post-Brexit political fallout and the revocation of the citizenship of convicted terrorists.
As we delivered our opening speeches, laying out our respective country’s positions, we began negotiating with other delegations. It was never going to be easy. Debates raged as delegates, me included, struggled to create accord out of discord. It seemed like an endless, passionate conversation as each and every one of us tried to hang on to our own arguments. Reluctantly, we began to accept that if we were to reach agreement then we would have to moderate our opinions and reconcile our differences.
Besides having a great time in the beautiful city of Stockholm and meeting overseas students, this experience gave us a powerful insight into how laborious it is to reach compromise. The positions of individual states were often contradictory. As Albert Einstein said: ‘out of clutter find simplicity’. The challenge was to find common ground.
Despite all the difficulties, the lesson was clear: international organisations like the UN are vital if we are to tackle the seemingly intractable problems in the world today. The UN simulation in Stockholm showed us that in a world where national borders are of decreasing relevance international bodies offer the only real hope.