Heated discussions on global refugee crisis at MUNSC Salient: Youth Conference on Global Matters


Opening ceremony

Dr. Milan Brglez speaking at the opening ceremony of the MUNSC Salient.

International youth conference MUNSC Salient, organized by UNA Slovenia, was successfully concluded. The conference was held under honorary patronage of Dr Milan Brglez, president of the Slovenian National Assembly.

MUNSC Salient was organized between 13 and 17 July 2015 at the Faculty of Social Sciences in cooperation with Academic Forum for Foreign Affairs Graz and Brussels Model European Union. It is a youth conference that supplements the traditional Model United Nations (MUN) experience with educational content in form of interactive lectures, roundtables, workshops and group exercises. The conference was attended by 70 participants from Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. Main theme of the conference was global refugee crisis and all three committees witnessed heated discussions. UN Security Council discussed refugee crisis and sectarian violence in Lebanon, UN General Assembly Third Committee (Social and Humanitarian Committee – SOCHUM) discussed reversing the current trend in refugee and IDP protection in Syria, and the European Council tackled revitalising European solidarity in the light of increased influx of refugees into the EU.

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UNA Slovenia Board has four new members

10423260_949502451748466_4901799925797983141_nIn the end of March, the members of UNA Slovenia gathered at the yearly General Assembly at which they adopted an annual program and financial report on the work of Association in 2014, reviewed the report of the Supervisory Committee for 2014 and adopted the annual program report for the year 2015.

Kaja Primorac, the newly elected president of the Youth Section, was presented for the first time to the broader membership at the General Assembly, which was opened by President of UNA Slovenia, prof.  Bojko Bučar. At this occasion the members presented Adriana Aralica, long-time and leaving president of Youth Section with a symbolic gift and thanked her for a successful previous work with a big applause.

The candidacy procedure and elections for the Board of the UNA Slovenia were also held at the General Assembly. Among the current members remain prof. Bojko Bučar as president, prof. Miriam Škrk, Ambassador Sanja Štiglic, Zofija Klemen Krek, Jože Hartman, Miloš Kosić and Boštjan Jerman.

Gašper Hrastelj, Danijel Crnčec, Adriana Aralica and Kaja Primorac, who were elected unanimously, filled the vacant positions. Prof. Borut Bohte was elected as a member of Supervisory Commitee.

UNA Slovenia Youth Section has elected a new Board

Longtime president of UNA Slovenia Youth Section Adriana Aralica (left) and new president Kaja Primorac (right.

Longtime president of UNA Slovenia Youth Section Adriana Aralica (left) and new president Kaja Primorac (right).

Together with this year’s March spring breeze came also a new team to the UNA Slovenia Youth Section. A new Board, which will lead young volunteers in the coming year, was elected at the fourth Member’s Assembly of the Youth Section on the 25th February.

A longtime activist Adriana Aralica, who is responsible for the establishment of the Youth Section, its excellent operation and commitment of its volunteers in the past four years, stepped down as the President of the Youth Section.

New Board of the UNA Slovenia Youth Section was elected, consisting of Kaja Primorac as a president of the Youth Section, Sabina Carli as a Vice President, Arbnore Avdylaj, Ajda Gracia Golob, Maruša Rus, Vid Tomić and Urška Učakar.

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Day of Changes at the UNA Youth Slovenia

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Headquarters of UNA Slovenia

Previous weekend the smell of dusty furniture, lively chatter of volunteers and youthful energy were spreading from the storage room at the headquarters of the UN Association of Slovenia. To mark the Day of Changes (28 March) the volunteers of Slovenian UN Association decided it was time to roll up their sleeves and arrange a cleaning action to organize association headquarters and make them ready for new projects of the coming year.

Friday and Saturday were devoted to team building and organizing the Association headquarters in Ljubljana, which have been home to UN Association of Slovenia since 1962.

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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!

Successful conclusion of the Summer School on the United Nations

UN Summer School

UN Summer School

United Nations Association of Slovenia organized the “Summer school on the United Nations: Youth competencies for the challenges of the globalized world” held from 10th until 12th September 2014 at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana. The 3-days conference was attended by 30 young activists from Slovenia and abroad.

The conference began with a welcome address by Professor Bojko Bučar, PhD, UNA Slovenia president and Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and the keynote speech by H. E. Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli who spoke about the role of youth in modern world. The programme continued with a lecture on diplomatic protocol presented by Assistant Professor Boštjan Udovič, PhD, from the Faculty of Social Sciences, and a workshop on employment opportunities in the UN, carried out by Martin Nesirky, director of the UN Information Service Vienna. The day concluded with a discussion with the Slovenian UN Youth Delegate Miha Pongrac.

Events at the UN Summer School

Events at the UN Summer School

The second day was dedicated to various aspects of peacekeeping operations. Assistant Professor Janja Vuga, PhD, from the Faculty of Social Sciences presented the concept of peacekeeping operations, and Blaise Ndamnsah introduced the concept of cultural mediation and International Protection Systems on the Case of CARA Refugee Centre in Gradisca D’isonzo (Italy). During the second part of the day, interactive workshops on peacekeeping operations and intercultural dialogue followed, which were carried out by UNA Slovenia volunteers.

During the last day of the conference, the participants gained knowledge on project management through workshop carried out by Boštjan Jerman from UNA Slovenia. The day continued with a leadership workshop carried out by Tjaša Arko and Jaka Kovač from Slovenian Philanthropy; and concluded with a lecture on various aspects of lobbying at national, European and international level, presented by Lousewies van der Laan, vice-president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

Events at the UN Summer School

Events at the UN Summer School

The participants’ feedback was excellent. The conference addressed various issues from the UN agenda and also various skills that are necessary for young people to effectively address the challenges of the globalized world.

For more information about the Summer School, please click here.

UNA Slovenia issues a publication “Youth and the United Nations” on the International Youth Day

international youth dayUnited Nations Association of Slovenia celebrates the International Youth Day (12 August) by issuing a publication “Youth and the United Nations”. The publication provides an overview of the UN activities in the field of youth and opportunities for youth to engage in activities from the UN agenda – the institutes UN Youth Delegate and UNESCO messenger, as well as the results of a survey in which UNA Slovenia researched the opinion of Slovenian youth on the UN. The publication was prepared in cooperation with the National Youth Council of Slovenia. In the preface, the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth for Youth Ahmad Alhendawi shared his thoughts. Introductory words were prepared by the president of UNA Slovenia Youth Section Adriana Aralica and the president of the National Youth Council of Slovenia Tea Jarc. Authors of the publication are Urška Učakar, Adriana Aralica, Miha Pongrac and Mateja Robnik.

The UN recognized the importance of addressing youth issues; youth is one of the priorities of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. This publication is a result of UNA Slovenia’s efforts to bring the UN closer to young people in Slovenia and abroad. Aim of the publication “Youth and the United Nations” is to provide the information on the UN and to encourage youth to get engaged in UN issues.

Summer School on the United Nations

summer schoolThe United Nations Association of Slovenia-Youth organizes the “Summer school on the United Nations: Youth competencies for the challenges of the globalized world” – a 3-days youth conference which will be attended by young activists aged between 18 and 30 years. The conference will be organized in Ljubljana between10 and 12 September 2014.

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UNA Slovenia – Youth Section honoured the International Day of Democracy

UNA Slovenia Youth Section, a member of the newly established UN Youth Association Network (UNYANET), prepared a special activity to honour this year’s International Day of Democracy. Young Slovenian UN enthusiasts decided to collect as many thoughts on democracy as possible in order to publish them on the web pages of UNA Slovenia and UNYANET. The activity was taking place at the Bazaar of Slovenian NGOs in the centre of Ljubljana on the 15th of September. Visitors of the bazaar were invited to the booth of UNA Slovenia where they were encouraged to share their views on democracy, discuss the role of UN in supporting democratic processes around the world and given a chance to read Secretary-general’s message on the Day of Democracy.

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