War Studies students 'best delegation' at Model NATO Youth Summit
Posted on 19/07/2012
Six masters students from the Department of War Studies were selected to represent Estonia at the Model NATO Youth Summit in Brussels from the 8th – 13th July which was the first of its kind in Europe and the largest in the world. Rebecca McCartney, Thomas Baracos, Pauline Schu, Alek Filemonowicz, Stephanie Rutz and Nikolaos Prakas joined 214 other participants from 37 countries to take on the role of professional diplomats to engage in debates on the conference’s central theme: “Political responsibility through leadership, innovation and strategic thinking in the XXI century”.
After a week of intense negotiating, debating and communiqué writing, the King’s College Delegation came out as the best delegation with Rebecca McCartney, Alek Filemonowicz and Thomas Baracos receiving Best Delegate awards from their respective committees and Pauline Schu receiving a Best Position Paper award from her committee. The Summit’s Secretary General, Georgi Ivanov, remarked on “the consistency and systematic effort with which the Estonian delegation earned their top spots across all committees in the simulation”.
The highlights of the trip included the opportunity to visit NATO Headquarters and to attend a talk from Secretary General Rasmussen; to meet with the Estonian Permanent Representative to NATO, Ambassador Luik, to best understand Estonia’s foreign and defence policy; and to visit the European Parliament to hear from a panel of NATO and European security experts. Delegate Stephanie Rutz commented, ‘these experiences gave me a key insight into building a career in international security’.
The conference centred on the committee sessions that were modelled on NATO’s decision-making structure. The delegate’s diplomatic skills were tested as they worked together to produced often unanimous communiqués on their two agenda items; given the thoroughness and insight of these communiqués, they will now be passed onto NATO. In addition, Rebecca McCartney in the North Atlantic Council received a crisis simulation of a terrorist-led cyber-attack and missile launch into NATO territory which the committee had only forty minutes to unanimously come to a resolution.
Rebecca McCartney remarked 'It was an extremely rewarding experience that exposed us to new ideas and perspectives. I would strongly encourage students to participate next year in the 2013 Model NATO Youth Summit. '