In diesem Jahr unterstützt Tuğba Karagöz unsere Delegation als Faculty Advisor. Mit Rat und Fachwissen steht sie uns zur Seite und begleitet uns auf unserem Weg nach New York. Bis zum März ist viel Arbeit zu erledigen, denn schließlich gilt es nicht nur ein fremdes Land ins Detail kennen zu lernen, sondern auch die zum Teil sehr verwirrenden Strukturen der UN zu verstehen. Wir danken Tuğba sehr herzlich für ihr Engagement und freuen uns schon sehr auf die intensive und interessante gemeinsame Zeit!
When does history cease to play a central role in the future of a country? This year, the Würzburg delegation to the National Model United Nations engages with this question. The Würzburg delegation is assigned to represent the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country that remained under the colonial rule of Belgium between the 1880s and 1960. Ever since the achievement of independence, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been highly prone to internal and external conflicts. The delegation aims to understand the relationship between colonialism and the contemporary political system and geopolitical situation of this country.
The recent turn to history in the fields of political economy and international legal scholarship sheds light on our country-study. Prominent economists Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson have written intensely about the historical origins of economic and social underdevelopment. In a recent study, namely ‘The Economic Impact of Colonialism’ (2017), they argue that the modern economic inequalities that we observe globally is a path-dependent outcome of European colonialism. From the legal field, Anthony Anghie and Martti Koskenniemi provide us with historical insights into the impact of colonialism on the evolution of international law. Anghie traces the colonial origins of the concept of sovereignty in his notable book ‘Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law’ (2005) while Koskenniemi discusses in his article ‘Empire and International Law: The Real Spanish Contribution’ that the modern concept of private property originates from colonialism.
Furthermore, Sundhya Pahuja provides an excellent analysis of post-Second World War international law and institutions in ‘Decolonising International Law: Development, Economic Growth and the Politics of Universality’ (2011). She argues that universality of international law with respect to equality of sovereign states remains to be a promise that has been subsumed by Western powers within a universal desire for a particular way of life through certain conceptualizations of ‘development’. It is crucial for the Würzburg delegation to take notice of these critical approaches to international law and governance in representing the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The purpose of Model United Nations project is to prepare each student as “delegate” and the team as “delegation” for the Model United Nations Conference that will take place in New York in March 2019. For the purpose of preparation for the New York Conference, the Würzburg delegation will attend conferences in Hamburg and Erfurt, and visit Congolese Embassy and relevant NGOs and Ministries in Berlin.
I am happy to act as the faculty advisor to the Würzburg delegation that comprises young students who are eager to learn about the global and national politics from the Congolese perspective. I am grateful to all sponsors that support the Würzburg students in their endeavor to become well-informed and insightful individuals.