Creativity, MUN

DARMUN Preparations!

Today, we had our first leadership meeting regarding DarMUN VII. Within this meeting we outlined each of our individual roles and responsibilities regarding DarMUN. This is one of IST’s largest and most successful events of the year and the fact that it is becoming an international conference with the inclusion of Aga Khan Mombasa means that there is a great deal to be done! My responsibilities and my plans towards each is as follows:

1. Country/Commission Allocations
I have already begun this task and have finished the majority of IST delegates’ country allocations. I think that this is probably the easiest of my tasks as I simply need to revise past country allocations and determine what commission/country would be appropriate for each delegate. I believe that this is where my involvement as a leader during our usual sessions truly makes a difference because I have personal knowledge regarding the skill and confidence of each delegate whom I have worked with. 

2. DarMUN Participant Handbook
This should be a relatively simple task as it is once more a case of revising and making the appropriate changes. The one area that I am unsure regarding is probably either technology or the use of the theme. I personally disagree a bit with the direction DarMUN’s theme currently however hopefully I will be able to showcase it well to incoming delegates.

3. Approval Panel and Printing
I am most keen for this position as I feel most involved with MUN! Approval Panel means that I will simply be checking the format of resolutions, approving them (hopefully), and printing the appropriate number of copies. It seems bizarre to be interested in such an activity but I feel that it will allow me to be more included in debate than my fellow leaders.

4. Video
Much to my dismay, I seemed to have dragged myself into this responsibility accidentally. I am not a very good videographer and will therefore be contracting Moustafa or another student for this video. The general goal is for the video to attract potential MUNers by showing them what we really work towards in the end.

5. “Enticing Grades 6-11”
This is another activity which I am quite excited for as it seems quite fun. I will be working with my fellow DSG, Meera, to attract students to MUN/DarMUN through the daily bulletin, Facebook posts, the video, etc. This will require a great deal of creativity, good communication, and overall fun brainstorming.

Creativity, MUN, Uncategorized

MUNing onto better things – hopefully

This year, I have finally built up the motivation to apply for a leadership position. The way I see it is that I hope to continue being active even in my senior year, and the only way to do so is to be a member of the organizing and leading team. I have decided to apply for the position of Co-Deputy Secretary General primarily because in the coming year it will include Director of Education and Development. I think that this is something I would be great at given my technical skills in MUN as well as my general hope to improve the program! Below, see my letter of interest sent to the teacher advisors.

Sophia Rafuse Letter of Interest

Creativity, MUN

DARMUN Preparations!

I’m incredibly excited to share the news that I have been selected to be the delegate of Russia to the Security Council in this year’s DARMUN Conference! First of all, the Security Council is seen as being one of the most competitive and *insert word* committees making it quite difficult and exclusive to get into and practically confirmed that the debate will be interesting and lively. Secondly, Russia being a veto power means that, not only is a very prestigious role, but I will also be able to make myself a critical member of discussion.

The two topics being debated (and my policy statements so far) are as follows:

  1. Measures to prevent terrorists from acquiring weapons of mass destructionThe Russian Federation sees the possibility of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as an issue of extreme concern to be dealt with seriously and immediately. A WMD is defined as a chemical, biological, or radioactive weapon which has the ability to cause widespread death and destruction. Currently, there are no terrorist groups in possession of nuclear weapons however the United States has confirmed a suspected chemical facility in southern Iraq and the disappearance in 10g of nuclear substances from the Iraqi government is leading officials to suspect that it could be in the hands of the Islamic State, posing a genuine threat to member states.
    Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian government has been adamant in their determination to reduce their stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction as well as protecting the world from the threat of nuclear terrorism and war. Russia is scheduled to complete the dismantling of their chemical weapons by 2020 and currently has 8,000 nuclear warheads, 3,000 of which are scheduled for dismantling. In terms of the physical protection of their nuclear assets, customs units and common economic space between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia have minimized the possibility of nuclear materials finding their way to the black market. Most recently, Russia has been determined to strike the issue of ISIS achieving nuclear weapons by bombing campaigns.
    Despite these efforts, the threat remains. Russia believes that the most important points to focus on would be the physical protection of stockpiles (including transportation), stricter end to corruption, improved security in terms of border control, as well as honouring agreements established in the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. In order to do these, there is a significant need for funding and international communication.

  2. Strengthening international cooperation in combating illicit financial flows resulting from criminal activities
    The Russian Federation maintains that in order to strengthen the global economy, international cooperation in terms of combating illicit financial flows resulting from criminal activities is absolutely vital. Currently, the black market is estimated to value US$1.81 trillion including profits from prostitution, the illegal arms, drugs, and animals trade, etc. In the modern age, technology is proving to play a significant role in terms of the flow of assets.
    The Russian Federation has made a commitment to attack this issue on a more domestic scale in order to overwhelm the root of most of the illicit financial funds. This can be seen through their commitment to anti-corruption measures through the National Anti-Corruption Plan and National Anti-Corruption Strategy. Along with this, a blow to the supply and demand of illicit goods such as drugs or prostitution has been a priority of Russia seen through stringent legislation against these commodities.
    Russia believes that the next step is to encourage international cooperation in order to decrease the accessibility to the flow. This should include regular meetings to establish a basic and agreed upon method in order to react to situations as well as improved communication between member states to not only recognize greater issues but also assist one another in resolving cases of large-scale illicit financial flows.
Creativity, MUN

THIMUN Reflection 29/01/2016

Below is an excerpt from one of my THIMUN blog post responses. I think that it best describes this experience:

This week can most accurately be described as a learning opportunity. Although honestly at the moment I’m not very confident in Ben and I winning our case, I can safely say that we did our best and the evidence was simply not in our favour. Each day has been a new experience to reflect on and I can safely say that there has never been a dull moment.

Our case began on Wednesday and it definitely was a whirlwind of emotions on my behalf. I gave the opening speech and feel as though the delivery was not executed as well as I could have done because of my nerves and then we proceeded with the evidence and cross examining the Somalian witness. Unfortunately, we were not as prepared as we could have been which I think came across as incompetence, something our coordinator did not seem to take well to. I was really impressed by my partner’s cross examination and definitely think that that was a plus in the whole day. In retrospect however, I don’t really understand why I was stressing so much; I got really great feedback from my judges which made me realize to be easier on myself.

Thursday was ultimately our final day of working and whatnot and I still cannot believe that 4 months of preparation led to this day. I think that we were able to confidently answer all questions asked to us and was really impressed honestly by the fluency and quality of our answers. Our opponents were definitely a tough match and so as long as we have a couple of votes in our favour, I will definitely feel like a success.

I realized this week that ICJ is really not for me. I would probably enjoy being a judge but honestly, I really miss debating and shutting people down and being able to argue to my heart’s content. It was a great thing to try but I can safely say that I will never be an advocate ever again.

Creativity, MUN

THIMUN Application

This week marks my official submission of my application for ICJ at THIMUN 2016! I think that writing a letter of motivation really helped me understand why it is that I enjoy MUN and am interested in furthering my involvement in the activity. Having the opportunity or an actual purpose to writing down my true thoughts regarding MUN provided me with a time to reflect on things I had never considered so much. Attached is my letter of motivation and after this, fingers crossed I’ll be accepted! Sophia Rafuse ICJ Letter of Motivation Draft III