Berlin excursion 2019
After we had already developed our skills as delegates in several test conferences, we had another excursion just before Christmas, which we were all very much looking forward to - our trip to Berlin. During these almost four days, our task was to ask as many questions as possible about Uganda and thus gather important information for the conference in New York. We had the opportunity to do so during visits to many different political institutions, which not only helped us with our preparations, but also brought us closer to other topics such as corruption. Not to forget, a whole new world of potential internships opened up and many found inspiration for future employment opportunities.
Our trip began on the third Advent when we met in the hotel in Berlin in the evening, moved into our rooms for four and then enjoyed a good meal and a cocktail or two to round off the evening. But this relaxation was already over the next morning when we started with one of the most important dates of our program - the Ugandan Embassy. The Embassy was an absolute highlight for us, as we were not only received incredibly warm and friendly, but also had the opportunity to ask many questions about our committee topics and receive answers from a Ugandan perspective, which will also help us in New York. For we already noticed at the next meeting at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung that the statements of a country's representative and those of an independent observer can sometimes be far apart. After an excursion to the "Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development" we had already reached the last item on our agenda. In a conversation with Nicola Popovic, a consultant for gender issues in war and conflict situations, she explained to us the importance of women in peace processes. Completely starved from this long day, we went to a Mexican and were happy about the Margarita Happy Hour.
On Tuesday, too, we continued our exciting journey when we first had to go through the security checkpoint during a visit of the German Foreign Office. This was followed by a conversation with the country representative for East Africa and an extensive photo shoot in front of the huge Christmas tree in the entrance hall of the Foreign Office. Since our subsequent appointment was unfortunately cancelled, we had time for lunch and a little sightseeing until our next event at the think tank "ECFR" began. Afterwards we sat together for a debriefing at half time, we discussed what we liked and what we didn't like so far and what was still waiting for us. Also this evening was finished with a common meal, we went on the long way to Neukölln to get to know Africa also culinary. With delicious dishes with plantains and manioc roots everybody was satisfied and the later sitting together in a bar was a nice end of the day.
So quickly our last official day had already begun, again with a large number of exciting lectures. After a visit of the "German Society for United Nations" we were admitted to another embassy - this time the Kenyan one - where we wanted to learn more about a neighbouring country of Uganda, but also about the relationship between the two countries. After an interesting conversation with the Ambassador of Kenya, we stopped at another highlight: the Federal Ministry for the Environment. As many of the delegates will be dealing with the topic of environment and sustainable development in New York, this appointment turned out to be particularly useful as our specific questions were expertly answered. Afterwards, all we had left was a visit to "Transparency International", where we learned a lot about corruption, especially in Uganda. Back at the hotel we evaluated our trip again together and enjoyed our last evening in Berlin.
The next morning was a time of departure. We quickly threw all our stuff into the suitcase, had a bite for breakfast and then checked out of the hotel. For most of us we went on to a voluntary appointment at the daily newspaper "taz", where we were allowed to ask a journalist questions about his job. So our trip to Berlin was over and the group headed back home for Christmas, for a well-deserved break before we continued our journey to the conference in Erfurt in the New Year.
These days in Berlin were a complete success. We got a lot of new information about Uganda, but also gained a further insight into the world of international politics. Together we had a lot of fun and grew even closer together as a team. All this was only possible thanks to our super Head Delegate Hannah, who contacted all institutions, organized the appointments and represented our delegation to the outside world, a big thank you! Many thanks also to our Finance Johann, who guided us through the confusion of Berlin's public authorities and always brought us to our next appointment on time, and to our great tutors who always stand by us; it was a great trip!