Students of the club "OECONOMICUS" at Vi Russian affiliate member, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), in cooperation with the Moscow International UN Model Secretariat, simulated the negotiations of one of the world's major forums – the G20 - February 21-22.
A first in Russia, the idea for the "Students' G20" materialized two years after the model simulation of UNCTAD XII, and on the basis of the more than 20-year experience of UN Modeling. More than 60 students participated in the conference, under the motto “Our world, our ideas, our future!”
The preparation for the event started in the fall 2011 semester. Students were invited to participate, and presented their preliminary positions to their professors/supervisors. Several training sessions were organized in order to work out the main topics for the discussion, and choose the format of the event. Students spent many hours studying to understand the countries' positions.
During two days, students assuming the representation of 20 world powers, discussed the most important issues on the current global economic and political agenda. The simulation took place in four sections: Heads of States, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ministers of Economy and Trade, and Ministers of Finance. Each section was assigned a number of key issues for the discussion - although in the end an even wider range of topics was covered.
The Heads of States discussed the problems of sustainable development and global responsibility. Ministers of Foreign Affairs tried to address the consequences of the “Arab Spring” and prevent new conflicts in the Middle East and other vulnerable regions. Ministers of Economy and Trade worked on a position regarding the future of the multilateral trading system and tried to enhance WTO activities.
However, the toughest debate took place in the Ministers of Finance’s round table. Ministers of 20 countries, together with observers from international financial institutions and the European Central Bank, expressed their concern about the Euro-zone crisis, and suggested a reform of the IMF and World Bank system.
To conclude the negotiations, the Heads of States were tasked to bring together all that had been agreed upon by each section and draw up a communiqué. At the final meeting, the communiqué was adopted by consensus.
Thanks to the remarkable organization and the efforts of the participants and their supervisors, the conference was a tremendous success. The event proved that hard teamwork and a strong commitment are essential for success. The participants hope to promote this initiative and organize the same event at an international level in the coming years.
MGIMO considers the students' model simulation of events to be an essential part of the education process. It allows them to acquire practical experience, learn how to work in and/or manage a team, and get exposure to global problems. The future of the global world needs global leaders and we feel responsible for contributing to prepare them.