Young Delegates Discussed the Challenges of Energy Security

Youth Conference on Energy Security

Youth Conference on Energy Security

Model United Nations Slovenia Club (MUNSC), first Slovenian Model United Nations (MUN) Club which is part of the United Nations Association of Slovenia Youth Section, organized in cooperation with Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs Graz a MUN simulation titled Youth Conference on Energy Security. The conference was held between 8 and 11 July 2014 at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. The conference was attended by more than 40 participants from Slovenia and Austria, as well as from some other countries (Croatia, India, Italy, Macedonia, Kosovo, Poland and Serbia). Participants tested their negotiations skills as delegates in two committees: Joint Cabinet Crisis which discussed the situation in Ukraine; and G20 meeting with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) representatives at which the delegates debated about energy security and phasing out the reliance on fossil fuels. As part of the conference, round tables and workshops were organized.

At the opening of the conference, Professor Bojko Bučar, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and president of the UNA Slovenia welcomed the participants. Two roundtables were organized at the first day of the conference which were moderated by Assistant Professor Boštjan Udovič, PhD, from the Faculty of Social Sciences. The first round table titled Energy Security within the Framework of the European Union was attended by Ms. Tina Seršen, MSc (Slovenian Ministry of the Infrastructure and Spatial Planning), Mr. Dennis Hesseling, PhD, (Head of the Gas Department at the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators – ACER), while Mrs. Tamara Weingerl Požar, M.Phil (Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), was unfortunately not present due to urgent obligations, but, instead, she kindly sent her thoughts, which were presented by the moderator. The speakers presented the energy security in Europe and Slovenia and also spoke about open issues regarding fossil fuels, natural gas and its distribution and about European directives in this field.

The second round table titled Energy Diplomacy and its Current Challenges proved that diplomatic relations concerning energy issues are extremely important in today’s international arena. The round table was attended by H. E. István Szent-Iványi, PhD, Ambassador (Hungarian Embassy in Ljubljana), Mr. Christopher Yvon, Chargé d’Affaires (British Embassy Ljubljana), and Mr. Nathan Ringger, Political Officer (Embassy of the United States of America in Ljubljana). The diplomats also spoke about the importance of energy security in foreign and internal policies of states and touched upon the situation in Ukraine.

On the second day, a workshop on energy literacy was organized in cooperation with the project En-lite which was attended by Ms. Mojca Drevenšek, MSc (Consensus Communications), Mr. Samo Fürst (Gen energija d. o. o.), Mr. Darko Kramar (ELES d. o. o.) and Mr. Franc Žlahtič, PhD (Plinovodi d. o. o.). The speakers presented the sustainability of energy and renewable energy sources, energy supply security and geopolitical aspects of natural gas supply.

On the third day of the conference, the participants met with former president of the Republic of Slovenia Professor Danilo Türk, PhD, and discussed energy security and its current challenges and developments in the international community.

The closing ceremony was held at the Municipality of Ljubljana. The Deputy Mayor Ms. Tjaša Ficko, Msc, addressed the participants and presented the project Ljubljana – European Green Capital 2016.

The discussions during the simulation in both committees were lively and intense, participants improved their negotiations and rhetoric skills, established contacts with their peers from abroad, and certainly the newly gained knowledge on global issues will be transferred into the local environment of participants.

The conference could not be carried out without our partner organization Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs Graz and without the selfless support of our sponsors: Municipality of Ljubljana, ŠOU Ljubljana – društveno stičišče ŠOU v Ljubljani, Faculty of Social Sciences, U.S. Embassy Ljubljana, Union hotels, Mercator – Emba d. d., ŠO FDV, Spirit Slovenija, Pivovarna Union, Roiss dva, d. o. o. and e-Študentski servis. We would like to thank to all our sponsors!