This article is published as part of MUN Spotlight, a special series dedicated to schools from around the globe. The aim of this series is to introduce the schools and the students to our MUNPlanet audience and beyond. Today we're taking you to the Worldwide Center for Diplomacy for a special interview with Marco Marucci, a student enrolled in the Master Program at Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations.
MUNPlanet: Tell us a bit more about yourself, and as a student of international relations and diplomacy.
My name is Marco Marcucci and I am an Italian student currently enrolled and, soon, graduating from the Master Program at Geneva School of Diplomacy. As a student of international relations, I discovered this passion few years ago while studying in the United States through the disclosure of the current role of international relations and politics on the global scenario.
MUNPlanet: What do you consider to be the key advantages and opportunities of studying in Geneva, and at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations in particular?
First of all, the location. Geneva has always been and is still today one of the major crossroads in terms of international politics and diplomacy. Geneva School of Diplomacy also claims a very professional, international and experienced team, both academic and administrative, through which a student can really understand, touch and plunge into this unique environment. In addition, the opportunity to meet different realities and culture from every single corner of the world, makes Geneva the best place to study international relations.
MUNPlanet: How would you define diplomacy? What are, in your view, the key challenges for international relations in the early 21st century?
I would define diplomacy as one of the most crucial tool, and strategy at the same time, that a government has nowadays in order to play a leading role on the international stage. Currently, diplomacy is facing many challenges, like never before. In a multicultural and globalized world, the art of diplomacy has to reach higher standards and must detach from the old concept of bipolar world as a Cold War heritage. Constraining diplomacy into the governmental sector would be a huge mistake since it can be defined also as the “art of dealing”, a crucial mean in every life aspect.
MUNPlanet: A specific mix of theory and practice is a key to a successful preparation for the world of diplomacy. What are some of the qualities and skills that a diplomat for the 21st century must possess?
You can’t learn diplomacy in a library, stuck on a book. Diplomacy is an art to 360° where practice must implement the theory. A successful diplomat for the 21th century has to be cosmopolitan, detached from ideologies and with a strong will to serve the country and its entire population.
MUNPlanet: How would you describe a day in a life of an IR and diplomacy students in Geneva.
An International Relations student in Geneva is different from all the others due to the fact that Geneva is specifically important in the field of politics and intergovernmental organizations. While walking around the city or attending a conference, you can easily feel the globalized haze that imbues the city. The theories studied in the books become true on a daily basis. Being an IR student in a life and unique experience that surrounds you entirely, especially outside the university.
MUNPlanet: Where do you draw your inspiration from? What are some of the crucial ideas that drive you forward?
Due to my previous studies based on History, entirely focused on past civilizations, I decided to take this challenging path. Through my background exploitation, the comprehension of the current global situation is just the next step. Cicero in one of his masterpiece, De Oratore, used to say “Historia magistra vitae”, that defines history as master of life. Nothing has been more true, since you can shape and craft the future, turning a look back to the past.
MUNPlanet: The United Nations serve as a source of inspiration and action for young leaders and game-changers. But “it is not enough to be inspired” – the world has to act. How do you see the possibilities for bridging the gap between inspiration, knowledge and action?
Without any doubt, the United Nations system clearly inspires the new generations to learn, share and cooperate for a better world though the declared values and ideals. Moreover, Geneva as an international crossroads pushes many people coming here for studying and working purposes. However, sometimes this is not enough. Sometimes, talking about refugees from a shiny office at UNHCR makes us believe that the entire system is just a waste of money and nothing concrete is taking place. Many changes need to happen, starting from the same organizations, trusting more the new upcoming generations and leaving them a fundamental seat through which a different future is possible, with new ideas and concepts.
MUNPlanet: Simulation and the case study method are a convenient for teaching and learning international relations, and Model UN is one of the key practices of such kind. Do you find these methods useful in your MA studies in Geneva, and what are the key benefits of such training?
A fundamental part of our Master Program at Geneva School of Diplomacy is simulation. Through practical cases, understanding the causes of an issue and the possible solutions becomes more intuitive and practical. The Model UN is worldwide acknowledged as a respectable institution and a life experience, through which the participants can really take the role of diplomats, simulating real topics negotiations and bargaining. This method is particularly useful for International Relations students, particularly those in Geneva, closely to the United Nations and the diplomatic world and, this is why, Geneva School of Diplomacy set up a student delegation, myself included, to represent the school in the 2016 GIMUN which took place inside Palais des Nationes, UN Geneva Headquarter.
MUNPlanet: How do you see the world in twenty years from now?
In twenty years from now I see a world shaped by new superpowers such as India and Brazil. I see a slowly but surely decline of the United States hegemony and the rise of Africa, a continent too often forgotten or underrated, through Chinese investments. I see new generations of diplomats taking over and leading the world diplomacy for a better and brighter future.
MUNPlanet: What would be your message to your colleagues and fellow students of international relations around the world?
Understanding the current global situation, researching and looking beyond conventional sources is the way to create a personal comprehension and opinion of the actual world structure. Creating long lasting relations with people from different part of the world, is the key to open many doors. And you are the key holder.
Marco, thank you for devoting your time to MUN Spotlight and telling us more about you and your school. MUNPlanet strongly advises all MUNers to check it out. Good luck and we wish you all the best!