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A Model UN connection stretching from Leiden to Costa Rica

All across the world, students are training and engaging in Model United Nations meetings, where they take up the role of a national delegation at the UN Security Council to debate current international issues. At a recent discussion with UPEACE Centre The Hague, members of LeidenMUN from Leiden University in the Netherlands were able to learn about their counterparts on the other side of the globe: the MUN of students at the UPEACE University for Peace in Costa Rica.

UPEACE Centre The Hague's communication advisor Diederik Kramers presenting the University for Peace and the Centre's Ukraine report to members of LeidenMUN.


LeidenMUN had invited the communications advisor of UPEACE Centre The Hague, Diederik Kramers, to give a presentation on the UPEACE university in Costa Rica, following the successful event organised by UPEACE The Hague on March 8, 2019. This is line with the Centre’s mission, as representative of the University for Peace in Europe, to inform and assist European students with following a Master’s at UPEACE in Costa Rica.


In the second part of the evening, the discussion focused on the crisis in Eastern Ukraine and the necessary conditions to deploy a UN peace-keeping force there, as proposed in a recent reportby UPEACE Centre The Hague. The Ukraine report is an example of UPEACE Centre The Hague’s efforts to promote peaceful solutions to conflicts by formulating proposals that could provide a model for actual Second Track diplomatic engagements.


The meeting, held at Leiden University’s department in The Hague, revealed an interesting parallel: just as the members of LeidenMUN are now preparing themselves for the next major international MUN contest in early May 2019 – EuroMUN in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht – students at UPEACE in Costa Rica had just been holding their own MUN.


The 17th edition of the UPEACE Model United Nations Conference (UPMUNC) took place on March 20, with speakers and delegates from national and international universities, and of course the student community of the University for Peace. This year’s MUN at UPEACE focused on Global Leadership and Shared Responsibilities for Peaceful, Equitable and Sustainable Societies.


Participants of UPMUNC 2019 put themselves in the driving seat of the UN General Assembly to discuss the situation in Cameroon; disarmament of non-state actors in Central America; human rights violations by Private Military Companies; education for migrant, refugee and dispaced children; and many other issues. In other sessions at UPEACE during the conference, students re-created debates of the Human Rights Council, the UN Environment Assembly, and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.


For the members of LeidenMUN, it was an eye-opener to learn that UPEACE students are engaging in the same processes as they are in the Netherlands. If they would choose to follow an MA at UPEACE, their next MUN may well take place in Costa Rica, at the 18th UPMUNC in 2020…