Edinburgh Model United Nations society (EdMUN) - Panel on the UN and conflicts in the Middle East

  • Thomas Pierret (Participant)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Public lecture/debate/seminar


Panel on the UN and conflicts in the Middle East

To celebrate United Nations Day on October 24th, the Edinburgh University Model United Nations Society hosted a panel discussion on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. As our sponsor for the event, Turkish Airlines had generously donated a round-trip ticket to any destination they serve around the world, which we raffled off at the end of the panel. We are very grateful to all those who bought raffle tickets and supported our society in raising awareness around the United Nations and global political issues. The panel included four speakers with different areas of expertise in relation to the topic, and more than a hundred University of Edinburgh undergraduate and post-graduate students attended, making it one of our most successful events this year! Our first speaker was Dr. Thomas Pierret, lecturer of Contemporary Islam at the Middle East Department at the University of Edinburgh School of Social and Political Science. Dr. Pierre acted as our expert on Politics in the Modern Middle East. He first spoke about reform of the United Nations Security Council and other attempted peace agreements to attempt to stabilize the situation in the Middle East. Our second speaker was Mr. Pierre-Alain Coffinier, the French Consulate General in Edinburgh. Mr. Coffinier acted as our expert on International Relations with the Middle East, and expanded on his time as an ambassador in Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan. Mr. Coffinier also focused on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our third speaker was Mrs. Zoja Bazarnic, the United States Consulate General in Edinburgh. She acted as our expert on U.S./EU Cooperation in the Middle East. Since Mrs. Bazarnic had previously acted as a peacekeeper in the Sinai and worked within the U.S. Department of European Affairs, she explained the necessity of stabilizing the economy in the Middle East, the situation in Iraq, and the effectiveness of peacekeeping in the region. Our final speaker was Dr. Stephen Neff, lecturer of International Law at the University of Edinburgh and author of Hugo Grotius: the Law of War and Peace. As our International Law expert, Dr. Neff spoke specifically about Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran. He elaborated on UN supervision missions and sanctions in these four countries. After each speaker spoke on their particular expertise, EdMUN opened the floor to questions from students. For the next hour, the speakers were asked about the neutrality of Jordan, Syria’s use of chemical weapons, and the religious factions in Afghanistan. The student audience was very eager to pose their questions to the panel, and our experts were challenged on nearly every state within the region. At the conclusion of the debate, the speakers were thanked with a gift and honorary membership of the Society, and we proceeded to raffle off the free Turkish Airline ticket, for which we had sold raffle tickets both during the event and earlier in the week. A very fortunate undergraduate student at the University won the draw and was handed a free return ticket to any of Turkish Airlines destinations!
Period24 Oct 2013
Event typeOther
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map