The Finnish Model UN also known as the “Pearl of the North” Conference

Photo: FinMUN participants at the Swedish Embassy in Helsinki including Ambassador Anders Ahnlid; Secretary-General of FinMUN, Sandra Mitts; and President of UNYANET, Pau Petit

FinMUN 2017 has ended, delegates have returned home and the organizers have finished all their conference-related tasks. It’s been a while since the conference came to an end, so now is the time to look back and sum up the conference.


I sat in both the Environmental Assembly and in the Security Council, spending most of my time in the latter. Being the primary point of contact between the delegates and the organizing team in the days before the conference, I had gotten to know some of the delegates beforehand and I had an idea of the skills, experience and enthusiasm levels of all the delegates selected for the conference. Having said that, the level of research, commitment and professionalism shown by the delegates in both committees came as a surprise, a very pleasant one at that, starting on day one of the committees.


The conference ran smoothly, not a single person was lost and the organizing team was on top of their game on all things conference-related. The discussions and debates held in the committees was sometimes heated, but advances were made and both committees came up with resolutions that passed. This was especially impressive on the part of the Security Council, seeing that the topics chosen by the chairs were on issues that one or more of the permanent members, who have a right to veto any rulings, had an interest in, often not shared by other permanent members of the council.


The United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) focused on the minority rights and Arctic environmental protection, as well as sustainable tourism in the Arctic. UNEA passed a resolution as the first of the two committees, calling for joint efforts to fight climate change, increase economic opportunities in the Arctic and tighten environmental requirements of companies. The resolution also called for clean and renewable energy to be promoted within the signatories.


Photo: FinMUN participants during the visit to the Ministry of Environment in Finland

The Security Council (SC) focused on oil drilling in the Arctic and the demilitarization of the Arctic. Debate focused heavily on issues of national sovereignty, as member states from the European Union pushed hard on the two superpowers, Russia and the United States, to limit both oil drilling and military action in the Arctic areas. Tempers flared at times, as is normal when these issues hit so close to home, but the delegates assumed the views, behavior and rhetoric of the countries they represented extremely well. In the end, the superpowers could join the other members in accepting some limitations on both oil drilling and demilitarization, but the far-reaching goals of the European Union member states, and other members within the council, were left far out of the reach of the resolution.


Outside of the debates, FinMUN provided the delegates with visits to Finnish ministries, the embassies of the United States and of the Kingdom of Sweden, Helsinki City Hall and treated the delegates to a quick introduction to Finnish traditions, both student and regular, in the forms of a sauna evening and a sitz party. The delegates headed home happy and I believe we’ll be seeing many of them again next year.

Many thanks to the local Finnish team as well as to President of UNYANET, Pau Petit, for attending the conference! It was a great opportunity for the international and local teams of UNYANET to meet in view of the preparations of the General Assembly that will be hosted by UNYA Finland during 25-29 October 2017.

Photo: Many thanks to Sandra Mitts, Secretary-General; Selene Tenn, Director General; Kata Pääkkönen, President of FinMUN; and Pau Petit, President of UNYANET.










Head of Delegates, FinMUN 2017

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Photo: Sandra Mitts, Secretary-General; Selene Tenn, Director General; and Pau Petit, President of UNYANET.

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