My MSNS 2016 Experience
The last week of April was one experience that will be difficult for me to forget. Not only was it mid-term exams week, it was also the week where Multi Stage Negotiation Simulation (MSNS) is held. The tension and pressure to ace the exams and to perform well at MSNS kept haunting me.
Located in Carakaloka of South Jakarta, MSNS, a program created by SESPARLU, aims to train university students about how bilateral and multilateral negotiations in an international forum are professionally done. In this year’s MSNS Batch 54, students from prestigious campuses, namely Jakarta State Islamic University, Padjadjaran University, Al-Azhar University, Catholic University of Parahyangan, Moestopo University, Paramadina University, and other invited universities are assigned to do a role-play as delegates of the United States of America (USA) and Japan in addition to role-play as delegates of member States of ASEAN.
The committee divided participants of MSNS into groups based on their color coding results. Each group consists of one Head of Delegate (HoD) and three other delegates. As a matter of fact, the assigned HoDs were senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. I was placed as a delegate of the Philippines along with Fachry from Al-Azhar University and Rizki from Muhammadiyah University of Jakarta under the instructions of Mrs. Sahadatun Donatirin, a former Indonesian diplomat assigned in Mexico.
First day of MSNS was an overview of each states’ general statements regarding 4 issues, IUUF, Illegal Drugs Trafficking, Human Trafficking, and the South China Sea. The chair directing the forum was the HoD of Indonesia and the co-chair was the HoD of Malaysia. There was a crisis popped out in the middle of the conference. A man –thought to be a fisherman from Indonesia- was captured by a group of people and was physically abused. Rage started to appear and delegates voiced their opinions regarding the case. After quite some time, the delegate of the Philippines interrupted in order to remind other delegates to stay calm. There was no valid evidence that the fisherman is from Indonesia and there has been no information about the identity of the capturers. States shouldn’t do any legal action before the information is confirmed. Day one ended with press conference from delegates from each states.
The tension between states increased on the second day when participants were divided into 3 working groups to draft a resolution. Each state tried to place their interests into the draft resolution. I was assigned to be a part of the IUUF working group and it was definitely a hard task to save endangered aquatic species. Once the delegate of the Philippines almost successfully added an article on the draft resolution regarding endangered aquatic species, the delegate of Japan, a country known for the people’s love for fisheries, tried to persuade other states to disagree with the article and therefore caused a massive debate between states who agree and states who disagree. Second day ended with an unfinished draft resolution because states hadn’t all agreed with the articles stated on the draft resolution.
On the third day, after hours of debate, the delegates on the IUUF working group who were against saving endangered aquatic species started to realize the impacts of a broken cycle of food chain and how damaging it is to the environment if those species aren’t protected. All states finally agreed to the article. Then, the debate proceeds with other states’ revised version of the draft resolution. Another new articles and clauses, another new issue to debate. Therefore, the draft resolution was still unfinished and the debate continues until the last day. As long as the article of the endangered aquatic species is not removed, I’m satisfied and I could happily tell the HoD to not fret because Philippines has successfully inserted the state’s interest on the draft resolution.
The last day was less hectic than the previous days for the delegates of the Philippines. With the help of the Philippines’ HoD, other states were intimidated and agreed to the draft resolutions from the issues brought up on the forum. After the draft resolutions are completed, a press conference was held. After it ends, participants proceed with taking pictures and socializing with other participants and diplomats in a satay + karaoke night. It was nice to know other participants happen to be experienced MUN-ers, a term used to describe people who are active in numerous number of Model United Nations. Some of them even went as far as to Harvard Model United Nations and other international level Model United Nations. I did feel a little embarrassed to be in the middle of such people because I’ve only been to Model United Nations twice and they were in the domestic level. It was on MSNS that I realized I need to add more experience in MUN to be an expert in diplomacy. One important thing I remember from MSNS was Mr. Odo Manuhutu’s advice on how to be a good negotiator. When you negotiate, it’s not about who talks the most. It’s about who listens carefully to what others have to say and reach them slowly but surely in order for you to succeed in getting what you want.
Berikut link yang berisikan dokumentasi MSNS 2016: