• Fiona Martha

SPUN - Experiencing Politics Firsthand

As many of you know, I am someone who is massively involved in politics. Two years ago, I took part in my first 'Model European Parliament' at school, and went on to participate on a national level this February. In September my MEP journey will take me to Budapest, Hungary, to give it a shot at internationals.

Last week, however, I took part in a different political model. While previously I'd only debated on an EU-level, this time it was within the entirety of the United Nations. And let me tell you, that's a whole different game.

The delegation of Kroatia in the Committee for Rights and Ethics!

I was in the Commission for Rights and Ethics, a committee which discussed probably the most controversial topics of the week: Abortion, Euthanasia, and Preimplantationdiagnositcs. I represented Kroatia, and had a hard time working together with conservative countries and the Holy Seat. It was an incredibly frustrating yet enriching experience trying to debate topics which everyone feels very strongly about and keep a cool head.

Not only did we spend the week coming up with resolutions for each topic, we also got to have fun - a lot.

On our first evening we had 'Nations Night', a relatively tame start to the evening activities of the week, where each country brought their traditional food. It was interesting to see how much effort each delegation put in.

Night two came around and we had the 'SPUN Olympics' which basically involved a lot of push-ups, beer, and an aggressive general knowledge round where everyone was out for blood. We finished up the night with some karaoke, belting ABBA songs until our throats were hoarse.

We did NOT get a lot of sleep - coffee was our only hope

The next evening ws 'Bonn Night' where we all went out on the town to do as we pleased. This was a magical night, where I also ended up having to write my application for university at 2am, surrounded by friends giving me drunken advice. The letter actually turned out pretty well, though, so maybe that's actually a cool trick.

My favourite event of the week by far, though, was the silent disco on the last night. Everyone was provided with headphones, there were three channels with different kinds of music, and so the entertainment for the evening was provided. My committee opened the night with a fabulously clumsy polka, too, so all in all it was a terrific time.

When I tell my friends about my trips to political 'model weeks', they usually seem to think it's incredibly boring. They wonder why I would voluntarily spend a week getting into the nitty-gritty of our political systems, staying up late to do research and work on speeches, and sacrificing my free-time to do something that 'we can leave to the actual politicians'.

In reality, the time I spend at these projects is always the best time of my life. The wonderful people I meet, the things I learn, the deeper knowledge of the world that I gain, is worth everything. I wouldn't trade it for the world, and I thank SPUN2019 with all my heart for the fabulous week this year.

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