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Being in the shoes of a diplomat

HOW does it feel to sit in one room with representatives of world countries and discuss issues which concern global society? How is it possible to find the best solution to a problem when there are so many different perspectives? How to persuade the other side to pass your recommendations? These are just some of the questions one can ask when one thinks about the work of members of any international organisation. Though most people do not have a chance to attend the real negotiations, one Slovak university offers its students a course through which they are able to experience the work of diplomats.

HOW does it feel to sit in one room with representatives of world countries and discuss issues which concern global society? How is it possible to find the best solution to a problem when there are so many different perspectives? How to persuade the other side to pass your recommendations? These are just some of the questions one can ask when one thinks about the work of members of any international organisation. Though most people do not have a chance to attend the real negotiations, one Slovak university offers its students a course through which they are able to experience the work of diplomats.

Forum for the 21st century is a fictional non-governmental organisation which prepares annual forums at which students in their last year of study at the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Economics in Bratislava (EUBA) can bring together their theoretical knowledge with practical experience. The so-called Model Conference offers them a chance to feel like world politicians discussing and trying to find the most appropriate solutions to various problematic issues.

The fictional NGO was established five years ago with the aim of teaching students how to talk and behave during such discussions, and how to find a consensus in four main areas – security, economy, environment and culture. The whole course is divided into several parts resembling the real process of world negotiations. Students have to prepare first drafts, present them and prepare the final resolutions which are to be discussed by real experts and representatives of state and international authorities.

Since May 2011 students have prepared two drafts on each of the four main issues, discussing a range of viewpoints before reaching their conclusions, the EUBA wrote in the press release. Students focused on fighting poverty, protecting society from cyber crime, saving world water resources and preparing a new concept of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The results of the model negotiations will be presented during the final ceremonial conference which will be held in Bratislava in the auditorium of EUBA on Wednesday, December 7. It will be attended by representatives of the foreign diplomatic community living in Slovakia, as well as representatives of Slovak state agencies, NGOs and international organisations, including NATO and the World Health Organisation, and members of the academic community, EUBA informed.

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