Previous Board Members:
Anna Maria Urbanova
Anna Maria Urbanova
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From the 19th to the 21st of May 2016, 50 law students participated in the Model the Hague Peace Conference organized by the student association Lunastrum, 26 of these participants were ILSA members. ILSA has contributed to the participation of each member with a financial donation as well as encouragement in various forms. The conference’s goal was to offer law students a platform to practice their negotiating and public speaking skills as well as apply the knowledge accumulated in the classroom to a scenario in the foreseeable future – which result was the drafting of the Deed of Commitment.
In preparation for the Conference, there were 3 Master classes organized by Lunastrum in which professionals in the field focused on the topic of non-state armed groups and their interaction with the law and other actors. After three days of Master Classes, beautiful opening speeches, and two days of progressive and passionate debate, a Deed of Commitment was unanimously passed at the Model The Hague Peace Conference.
On the 20th of May negotiations were opened between 2 Armed Non State Actors, 3 NGO’s and 3 States. The process of drafting this Deed was based on the process that Geneva Call also utilizes to draft their Deeds of Commitment. Each delegation consisted out of six people, which were spread over three committees for the duration of the Conference. In teams they debated on:
1. the legal personality of ANSA’s and NGO’s for the purpose of this Deed,
2. the rights and obligations that should be imposed upon the parties to this Deed, and
3. the enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with this Deed.
With these three debates going on at the same time, the students were faced with the challenge of developing clauses that would function despite the conclusions the other two committees would reach, whilst still representing the interests of their State, NGO or ANSA.
The students did not have to face this challenge unprepared. The conference was preceded by three days of masterclasses, which were aimed at both broadening their knowledge on topics which would be essential to the debate, such as the evolution of armed conflicts; investigation in conflict areas; the prosecution and liability of ANSA’s, and; the evolution of international humanitarian interventions, but also by providing them with the skills needed to successfully negotiate in this conference by conducting practical exercises on the Rules of Procedure; negotiation, and; public speaking.
The Conference was kick started by the opening speeches on Thursday evening. With a passionate speech of the MTHPC president Kerttu Henriksson, an informative speech by Maja Groff, a Senior Officer in the Hague Conference on Private International Law, and a very personal, inspirational speech from the Honourable Judge Tarfusser from the ICC. The enthusiasm had then reached a new high, and the energy was still flowing when the students arrived, bright and early, for the first day of negotiations. In a short opening session the six chairpersons, students of Leiden University, were introduced. Then the delegates followed their appointed chairs to their predetermined committees where they held their opening speeches.
After two days, four plenary sessions, two sandwich lunches, two coffee breaks, seven sessions which involved countless formal sessions, formal/informal sessions, informal sessions, Points of information, points of order, motions to extend the sessions, motions to extend speaking time, motions to vote, motions to table deeds, and even a motion to early adjournment, a Deed of Commitment was established.
The moment of truth was on Saturday, May 21, when the delegates of all committees got to read the complete Deed for the first time. The Deed was read, and then voted on by each delegations. It passed with flying colours when there were eight votes in favour, none against, and no delegations abstained. With ANSA’s and NGO’s having legal personality for the purpose of this deed, rights and obligations having been imposed upon all parties to the Deed, and a Panel with and investigatory having been established to examine reports and complaints, the parties involved were one step closer to peace. Now there was just one question left: who won the awards?
1. The award for best delegation of the First and Second Committee went to the delegation of Russia.
2. The award for best delegation of the Third Committee went to the delegation of STARC (representing the interests of FARC).
3.The award for best overall delegation of the MTHPC 2016 went to the delegation of the Green Cross (representing the interest of the Red Cross), consisting of 6 of the 26 participating ILSA members, which were financially supported, and strongly encouraged by ILSA.
The Deed of Commitment established by the Conference has been sent to Geneva Call, and the satisfied delegates, chairs, and organizers celebrated the success at the reception, which went on a little longer than originally planned.
by Lisan Ter Reegen