Blog: Model Conference: A unique project linking knowledge with practice

The conference offers students the opportunity to find out that mutual understanding of various interests is as important as defending the national objectives of the country.

The organisers of the 2019 Model Conference.The organisers of the 2019 Model Conference. (Source: Courtesy of the Faculty of International Relations of the University of Economics in Bratislava)

What do security experts need to take into consideration when creating a strategy to prevent cyber attacks? Questions like this one will be discussed by the students of the Faculty of International Relations of the University of Economics in Bratislava when they step into the shoes of diplomats, who are trying to deepen cooperation between the member countries of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) at this year’s Model Conference.

The Model Conference of the Faculty of International Relations of the University of Economics in Bratislava (FMV EUBA) is a unique project on which students have been working during the course Negotiations in Diplomatic Practice. It has been offering students the opportunity to link the acquired knowledge with practice in the field of international relations and to address current global issues of world economics, politics and culture for already 12 years.

During two semesters, students have many opportunities to lead negotiations with experts, during which they can represent certain countries and preserve their interests. This year, the Model Conference will be held on April 9, 2019, at the Assembly Hall of the University of Economics in Bratislava.

The 12th year of Model Conference will be organised under the auspices of Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.

Interaction among students, teachers and experts

The Model Conference is a platform that provides the scope for interaction among students, teachers and experts, as well as representatives of ministries, international organisations and transnational corporations. It offers students the opportunity to find out that mutual understanding of various interests is as important as defending the national objectives of the country.

With the support of the University of Economics in Bratislava as well as the sponsors of the Model Conference, students of the 2nd year of master degree programme are able to create a high-quality and successful conference.

How does the Model Conference work?

Students who are participating in the Model Conference of FMV EUBA are divided into teams: organisational team and three negotiation teams.

Members of the organisational team are responsible for fundraising, communication with interpreters, protocol issues and promoting the Model Conference. It can be organised thanks to the financial support of sponsors.

Students who are part of the negotiation teams are divided into three sections: the Economic Section, the Security Section and the Cultural Section. During the two semesters, each of the sections had the opportunity to hold Round Table discussions with experts on the issues they are dealing with. On the basis of expert’s personal experience, students were able to obtain more knowledge about the discussed issues.

Each section has its focus

Each section focuses on different topic which is currently discussed on the global level.

The Cultural Section addresses the issue of the education of the youth in the field of culture and cultural heritage. The aim of this section is to raise awareness of the cultural uniqueness in the European area.

The Security Section focuses on Cyber security in the OSCE member states. Members of the Security Section want to highlight the importance of mutual cooperation among states against cyber-attacks.

The Economic Section deals with the project known as ‘the Belt and Road Initiative’. The members of the Economics Section do not just highlight benefits and advantages but also discuss the potential risks and threats of this initiative.

Negotiations under the UN Rules of Procedure

Students’ negotiations, held during the whole academic year, result in the adoption of the final document “Communiqué".

The aim of all negotiations is to come to a consensus based on mutual compromises in the discussed topics. Through the voting system students may express their positions and they may agree or disagree with the attitude of another state.

Thanks to this, students need to be familiar with policies of representing states so they can express their attitudes in the international community in order to be able to defend the national interests of the representing state.

Contribution of the Model Conference for students

This project offers students the opportunity to use gained knowledge in the field of diplomacy, politics and economics.

Students may experience what the preparation of an international conference involves. Moreover, they are able to use skills obtained during the studies at the FMV EUBA.

To learn more about the preparations of the Model Conference, visit the official website.

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