#UPDATE The Conference Schedule for GalMUN 2016 will be available soon!

 

#NEW Make sure to check out this year's Official Handbook and our Story!


 

GALMUN - Galaţi Model United Nations

07th - 10th April 2016

A MUN conference with a tradition of innovation and a rich history of working towards a better future.

What is a MUN?

Model United Nations (also Model UN or MUN) is a conference similar to the United Nations in which students participate as delegates in various UN Committees. Participants research and formulate political positions based on the actual policies of the countries they represent.

What is GALMUN?

Galaţi Model United Nations is the conference held every year at "Vasile Alecsandri" High School in Galaţi, Romania. Currently at its 13th edition, Galmun has a long history of professionalism, intriguing debates and, most importantly, amazing delegates.
This year, the conference will be held between April 07th-10th and will consist of 6 committees.

Why GALMUN?

Galmun is known for its very innovative committees and intriguing topics. It is one of the very first MUNs to introduce a Crisis Committee, with great results in every single edition, in addition to renowned classics such as the Human Rights committee, the UN Security Council, or the brilliant International Court of Justice. Topics have been known to vary a lot and cover numerous delicate matters ranging from gay marriage to cybercrime, from legalization of drugs to drone warfare.
Galmun is not only a conference, but it is an unforgettable experience.

Media

If you would like to know some more about the topics discussed at Galmun, or about the overall experience as a Delegate, then watch the following videos or check the photo library below.
And do sign up for Galmun 2016. You will not regret it.

This year's Committees

 

ICJ
Chairs: Daniel Savu & Diana Giosan

This Year's Topic:
AERIAL HERBICIDE SPRAYING
(ECUADOR V. COLOMBIA)

 

ICJ Study Guide

  • During the end of the twentieth century, the Republic of Colombia has rapidly evolved from a mere processor of the basic paste for cocaine to one of the world’s top producer of narcotics, becoming a nation suffering under drug cartels and violent guerilla organizations, which threaten and terrorize Colombia’s young democracy. These groups are tightly interwoven with international drug trade and responsible for the majority of cocaine trade across the globe. In 2000, Colombia began its toxic aerial spraying of coca fields aimed at destroying the plantations. The spraying of these toxic herbicides, at locations near and across its border with Ecuador, has caused some tensions in their bilateral relations. Ecuador claims that the toxic dust causes damage to the environment and to the health of its people. There are even some reported deaths that seem to be related to the spraying. Local crops and livestocks, on which Ecuadorians rely upon are also destroyed. Not only does the wind carry the dust towards the Ecuadorian territory, but Ecuador also claims, that while turning direction, the colombian helicopters cross the border and thereby drop the toxic substances directly on Ecuadorian territory. Colombia rejects any accusation, insisting on its necessity to fight drugs and guerilla groups, as well as pointing out the minimal toxicity of the active ingredient used. At this time, human rights violations and significant environmental concerns have served as the impulse for the resolution of this matter. Is it justifiable that a country should put the health of thousands of people at risk in order to eradicate a potentially disastrous phenomenon, that of the drug trade? How can this dispute be settled, bearing in mind both countries’ interests and justified desires as well as the international context?

    The United Nations was born out of the belief that conflict cannot and should not be our primary method for resolving disputes. Instead, through debate, we can solve our disagreements peacefully. It is the opportunity of this year's delegates to contribute to the final decision regarding this case, as the ICJ has not reached a conclusion to it!

    Available positions
 

ECOSOC
Chairs: Cristiana Ţepeş & Dragoş Corleancă

This Year's Topic:
Tuition fees:

restricting access to higher education or building a sustainable system?

 

ECOSOC Study Guide

  • In this day and age, is higher education still supposed to be restricted to the wealthy? Despite several advances in education systems, many nations have yet to realise that they should invest in this domain to a greater extent. Due to high tuition fees, many high-school graduates with exceptional intelectual ability either give up on attending college or find themselves heavily indebted.

    What’s more, over the past 20 years tuition fees have risen sharply and much faster than inflation. Universities’ representatives explain that increases in tuition fees are a means of covering numerous budget cuts, but how much longer can college costs go up? Some say they are for the sake of a sustainable higher education system, yet others believe there is a breaking point, though not in sight, when college attendance drops significantly and student loans default rate becomes critical.

    On the other hand, few states have begun considering higher education a top priority by abolishing tuition fees. Other countries have developed student loan schemes which are advantageous at first glance, but how many people resign to the idea of having to pay off debts countless years after finishing college?

    Keep in mind these questions:

    1. To what extent do extremely high tuition fees hinder proper and complete education?
    2. How can student loan schemes be improved?
    3. Ultimately, what is the most viable solution to high tuition fees?
    Available countries
 

Environment
Chairs: Alexandra Buleandră & Tudor Gheorghe

This Year's Topic:
Finite Earth

 

Environment Study Guide

  • Did you know that with every passing second four babies are brought into this world?

    Adorable as it may seem, the continuing overgrowth of our population is one of the first concerns of modern world.

    Despite its endless blue and seemingly unconquerable landscapes, the planet Earth today yields over 7 billion people, which estimates reaching between 8 and 11 billion by 2050, and up to 15 billion by 2100.

    According to the Global Footprint Network, "Humanity uses the equivalent of 1.5 planets to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste." This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year. Moreover, in the last 200 years, the human species has increased sevenfold and continues to be cause for concern. Moderate UN scenarios suggest that if current consumption trends persist, by the 2030’s, we will need the equivalent of two Earths to support us.

    There are even some critics that argue we are using pollution as our scapegoat, and that the common enemy of humanity is mankind itself. Damages such as disease, famine, mass migrations, depleting arable land, diminishing forest cover, species extinction, increasing greenhouse gases, depleting fresh water systems, resource conflicts, low life expectancy seem to be direct results of nothing else but human intervention.

    How much longer can we accommodate the needs of an ever growing population to a finite Earth? What happens when an infinite-growth economy runs on a finite planet?

    Available countries
 

Security Council
Chairs: Raul Ciulei & Teodora Patriche

This Year's Topic:
Refugees:
Risks and challenges worldwide

 

Security Council Study Guide

  • Europe's security and welfare is at a great risk. The ongoing war in the Middle East is taking its toll on the European soil. With the refugees seeking shelter in Turkey and in the European states, Europe's integrity is threatened. The waves of asylum seekers have spread the public in two groups with strongly opposed views. Due to the confusing situation, violent conflicts, mostly religious, have taken place recently and they can take a turn for the worse. While Germany thinks the EU should openly welcome the immigrants, Hungary has closed its borders and ordered its border guard's soldiers to shoot on sight. The situation is dire and multiple security issues have arisen by the oncoming refugee waves. Can we enforce an international security regime? Do you think you have what it takes to pacify our continent? Then apply for the Security Council!

    Main countries — Countries with voting rights
    Observer countries — Countries without voting rights
 

UNHRC
Chairs: Andreea Luca & Radu Nicolaev Malaxa

This Year's Topic:
The LGBT community
deprived of basic human rights

 

UNHRC Study Guide

  • The legal obligations of States to safeguard the human rights of LGBT people are well established in international human rights law on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently agreed international human rights treaties. All people, irrespective of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law.

    However, LGBT people of all ages and in all regions of the world suffer from violations of their human rights. They are physically attacked, kidnapped, raped and murdered. In more than a third of the world’s countries, people may be arrested and jailed (and in at least five countries executed) for engaging in private, consensual, same-sex relationships. States often fail to adequately protect LGBT people from discriminatory treatment in the private sphere. LGBT children and adolescents face bullying in school and may be thrown out of their homes by their parents, forced into psychiatric institutions or forced to marry. Transgender people are often denied identity papers that reflect their preferred gender, without which they cannot work, travel, open a bank account or access services.

    The LGBT community is still fighting for its rights, alongside the United Nations Human Rights Council. These rights include: government recognition of same-sex relationships (such as via same-sex marriage or similar unions), allowing of LGBT adoption, recognition of LGBT parenting, anti-bullying legislation and student non-discrimination laws to protect LGBT children and/or students, immigration equality laws, anti-discrimination laws for employment and housing, hate crime laws providing enhanced criminal penalties for prejudice-motivated violence against LGBT people

    Taking into account all these facts, it is very surprising to see that there still exist some countries that impose what is normal and what is not, and that punish the LGBT community for their personal preferences regarding who they want to spend their lives with.

    Useful questions to consider:
    *What resolutions has the UN adopted regarding LGBT rights?
    *Which are the countries where homosexuality is still criminalised?

    Available countries
 

Crisis
Chairs: Roxana Dumitriu & Gabriel Crişan

 

Crisis Specific Rules and Voting Procedure

  • A special committee, that does not have a parallel in the actual United Nations, is known as the 'Crisis Committee’. Convening at times when there is a direct and pertinent threat to regional and global security, the Crisis Committee surpasses the General Assembly and even the Security Council in powers and jurisdiction. Crises, if not solved, will cause ripples across the world, ending peace in a heartbeat. The Crisis Committee may deploy military and peacekeeping forces, apply diplomatic pressure and even impose sanctions if necessary. Economic aid may be supplied or suspended and delegates may issue communiqués to their own government. The world is in your hands. Do you think you will be able to live up to the expectations? Then apply for the Crisis Committee!

    Available countries

Galmun Session Leaders

MUN Directors: Ms Georgeta Voicila & Ms Anca Manea

Secretary General: Miss Cătălina Frâncu
Deputy Secretary General: Miss Alina Cristea

The Galmun Experience

We speak of the value visionaries have in the modern world on a daily basis, but I sincerely doubt we ever truly appreciate their efforts; from their initial conception of an innovative idea to its masterful execution, we – as observers or, sometimes, active participants – take such dreamers for granted.
However, for the past thirteen years, we – this time, as the students of the ‘Vasile Alecsandri’ National College – have avoided making that very mistake to the best of our ability. Thirteen years ago, a random thought struck Mrs. Ioana Albu – our county did not hold a Model United Nations. Of the many implications that thought had, one was that her students were not allowed the full experience of belonging to a community which organized a yearly event she very much appreciated – a formal debate on current, worldwide issues which could unite representatives of at least twenty-five states in each of no less than eight committees to discuss and negotiate as though their lives depended on it. There was no such conference in our community. So she created one – and named it GalMUN.
The first year was largely an experiment – imagine the novelty of it all! Mrs. Albu took on the task of electing the chairs of the half a dozen committees which functioned according to a set of traditional formal debate regulations and had a predetermined topic and the one that didn’t – the Crisis committee, which relied so heavily on courage and inclination to respond with creative solutions for impending crises. Soon enough, though, newness morphed into familiarity with a touch of excitement – the conference became a household name among high school students in Galati and the delegates became even more competitive. The application process tested more and more skills with each passing year and the expectations for live conversation skyrocketed as every edition came and went – began with enthusiasm and concluded with the sole regret of it not having lasted longer.
After a decade of successful debate, however – an entire decade of wonderful execution of an idea the founder of the conference had had ten years beforehand – Mrs. Albu decided the show would go on without her. She’d be an observer, we all knew, but her name would no longer appear on official documents in succession of the ‘director’ title or lay silently on the diplomas the very best delegates would receive at the closing ceremony on the last of the three conference days. But that choice was the opposite of ‘giving up’ – au contraire; the founder of GalMUN left the debate to be managed by two wonderful successors, who have organized the two most recent editions.
Two years ago – namely, GalMUN’s eleventh – was as much of a matter of trial and error as its first. The committees dared change – either by switching directions completely or merging – once every few years, but that didn’t affect the quality of the discussions – whether it be on issues as widely dissimilar as environmental and military, the conversation always concentrated on matters of international security. Upon encouragement from their chairpersons and directors, delegates took it on themselves to conquer fear and anxiety as eagerly as they would an enemy country and converse to find answers to the ever-pressing questions of the world.
This year, we’re rearing to go again.
The preparation process has been one characterized by an amount of hard work I’ve seen in very few places before, which can only be an indication of how smoothly the conference will go. Though we must acknowledge, praise for an event before its actual materialization could very well be leaping before looking long and hard into the gap, we are trying to bridge with a jump, the previous twelve GalMUNs have to count for something – they must stand as evidence that Mrs. Albu has created a conference designed for high school students and, if nothing else, that – it has remained.
Thus, the competitive history of GalMUN can say considerably more about what is to come than I ever could, but I will concede this – it is but an honor to everyone involved to know that they’ve contributed to a thirteen year-long legacy and which will continue to expand – even after the current chairpersons leave the high school, even after the two current directors have yielded the place to someone else, even after the river of debate topics seems to have been run completely dry.
After all, we can only assuredly affirm one thing about our conference – its history is still in the making.