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MUNPlanet: Your international background seems to say a lot about your interest in the world of MUNs. How did it influence your MUN experience?
Lucas: Coming from two different countries, speaking four languages, and having lived in several places, you get to notice that your circle of influence does not come from one or two single countries, but from people from across the world, which influenced and shaped me to be an international citizen.
Model UN gives me the chance to not only be in an international environment but also to continue meeting new people from across the globe and shape my circle of influence. However, I don’t think my international background influenced my MUN experience, but mostly the other way around, I think my MUN experience influenced my international background.
MUNPlanet: You seem to like organizing MUNs – WebMUN is going to be the second conference you are building from scratch. What is the reason for that?
Lucas: I enjoy being part of a MUN organizing team, which I have done quite a few times as chair and part of the secretariat, and being the organizer of a new conference for me is very exhilarating. I fully understand that it requires a lot of work and often a lot of stress, but overall I enjoy the whole experience and the fact that I am able to implement a lot of my own ideas into the organization and the operating system of the conference.
MUNPlanet: It is hard not to notice the conference slogan: “Revolutionizing MUNs”- what is in the slogan?
Our goal is to simulate and teach our young participants how the current international governmental stage operates and what its challenges and flaws are. We encourage our delegates to think for them selves and provoke them to want to change the international system. Hence our slogan is: 'Revolutionizing Model UNs'.
Lucas: The interconnectivity is a MUN operating system in which all the committees and countries are somehow connected. What happens in one committee may affect the discussions and the focus of the other committees. In addition, all delegates representing the same country within the conference will be in constant contact through our social media platform and our interconnectivity session, in which allows all delegates to personally meet up the representatives from their representing countries and allies to better elaborate their strategy within the conference.
The interconnectivity MUN operating system is part of WebMUN’s goal to be as realistic as possible and to revolutionize Model United Nations conference.
MUNPlanet: Main topic of the conference is “Energy Issues of the 21st Century”. What was the rationale behind this choice, and how you see the role of the UN in ensuring energy security in the world?
Lucas: In today’s world, energy is starting shape international politics and the relations between many states. Energy security, energy independence, and renewable energy are three topics that are even dominating the international policy of many states, including Russia, USA, China, most of the EU, OPEC member states, the ‘Stan’ countries, and others.
The EU is now even debating about an Energy Union (partially because of Russia), which would definitely shape EU foreign policy and even solidify it (something that Euro-skeptics might not be overly fond of).
There is also a huge debate on opportunity costs and dilemma between renewables and non-renewable sources of energy. The most predominant variable in the dilemma between the two sources of energy lays mostly on the costs of renewable sources, which so far, with today's technology, makes non-renewable sources cheaper! However, with climate change exacerbating and the technology advancements bound to happen, it is almost safe to say we will find cheap renewable alternatives soon. This whole debate will definitely shape the politics of the 21st century!
MUNPlanet: As Secretary-General of WebMUN you hold the responsibility for the organizing process. What parts of the organizing process represent the greatest challenge (e.g. managing the team, finances, academics, logistics) and how you handle those?
Lucas: With almost two more months to go, the part that presented the greatest challenge so far was advertisement. As a first-time conference, you have no record of previous delegates, no MUN partners, no recommendation from previous participants, no MUN social network advertisement, and etc.
Getting delegates from across the world to see your MUN website and be willing to participate is a challenge. Not only you have to have friends and contacts from previous MUN conferences, but also create many pages on social networks, and send a lot of messages to MUN clubs across the world.
Lucas: The two most important takeaways from MUNs to me were friendship and actual learning. I met some of my closest friends through Model UNs across the world, which also is a great way to have friends from across the world. I also learned a lot about history to today’s international governance system though the countless MUNs I have participated, giving me an amazing insight on many of the challenges of today’s world and how our global governance is structured and what its flaws are.
MUNPlanet: The past decade has seen an increased dynamics and globalization of MUN as a concept. How do you see MUNs at the moment, and in the years ahead?
Lucas: There has been a major increase in Model UNs globally in the last decade, and I can only imagine that it will only increase. I honestly believe that as globalization takes place, the more we will focus in the politics of international stage, and one of the best ways to understand today’s international governance are through MUNs. From when I first started attending Model UN conferences in 2008 until today, I honestly say that the number of MUN participants really increased, especially in serial MUNers, who in the future will mostly pursue governmental positions and work in international organizations. I believe that there will still be an increase in Model UN conference globally as well as in the number of participants, which is good because one day they will be the ruling generation.
MUNPlanet: One of the goals of MUNPlanet is to get the brightest members of the community together to take part in a meaningful dialogue and interaction. Do you believe that MUNers can step forward and bring about the change as a transnational leadership force?
Lucas: I heartily believe that that MUNers can bring change into world governance. Model United Nations is an international activity that brings the young students from across the world and discusses international politics and their most stressing issues together. I honestly believe that the young generation learns from that, and since the young generation will one day be the generation that will shape the world, Model UN is an extremely effective youth political activity that can bring change in the long term.
MUNPlanet: In your opinion, what are the key security risks on a global level today? In what way WebMUN 2014 deliberations can shed more light on that?
Lucas: I believe that the key security risk of today’s world in the global level is climate change, which is already taking place and is negatively affecting our planet and our way of life. The greatest three challenges with climate change are that many people still question and challenge the evidence of climate change. It is a global challenge in which only a very few countries are addressing the phenomenon with almost no international coordination in place, and combating climate change is a hard and extremely expensive operation.
Climate change is the result of human pollution and environmental destruction which costs billions, if not trillions, of dollars in damages worldwide; also, a major factor in the rise in poverty, environmental degradation, food and water shortages, and many others. Its addressing in my opinion, will be human kind’s greatest challenge, and how we deal with it really defines our future and us as a species.
MUNPlanet: There must be something you would like to add in the end…
Lucas: I started participating in MUNs in high school back in America, and the quote I used to say often with some of my MUN enthusiastic friends was, “Model UN is not only a solution, but a revolution!” We were (and still are) great proponents of the idea that today’s international system of governance is outdated, and has been so since the end of the Second World War, with this quote we meant that only the newer generations are able to reform the system, and through MUN the younger generation can see and learn where the flaws are and try to reform in the future.
MUNPlanet: Lucas, thank you for talking to MUNPlanet. We wish you a successful WebMUN conference, and are looking forward to hearing from you soon.
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