Welcome to Eastern European Group at UPMUNC 52! My name is Hannah Kanter, and it is my pleasure to be your chair for a weekend that is sure to be filled with stimulating debate and lifelong memories. The secretariat and staff have been working tirelessly to make this conference the best yet. I truly hope that UPMUNC is one of the best weekends of your year. First, let me take a moment to introduce myself: I’m a senior studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics in the College. I am from Short Hills, NJ, a mere 40-minute train ride from the city that never sleeps, New York. Upon arriving at Penn, I have found a family within Penn’s International Affairs Association. I was the Under Secretary of the Economic and Social Council and Specialized Committees for UPMUNC 50. When I’m not staffing a Model UN conference, you can find me perusing Philadelphia’s restaurant scene and playing soccer. This year’s Eastern European Group will debate tough, intense issues. Cameron and I are excited to guide you through debate, and I look forward to watching your ideas become solutions! If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to your USG Nicole Vereczkey. Let the countdown to November begin!
Sincerely, Hannah Kanter
Welcome to the University of Pennsylvania Model UN Conference 2018! My name is Cameron Ittner, and I am proud to be your moderator for the Eastern European Group. A little bit about myself: I am a sophomore in Wharton studying Business Economics & Public Policy and Finance. I am particularly interested in public policy and development economics. On campus, I am on the Community Outreach and Engagement and Academic Affairs branches of the International Affairs Association and I write articles about fiscal and regulatory policy for the Public Policy Initiative. Born and raised in Philadelphia, I am still happy to call this great city home. The issues we will be debating in committee, minority representation and the rights of non-government organizations (NGOs) are more pressing than ever. They are greatly affected by other political and social developments in the region and have consequences reaching far beyond it. I’m looking forward to meeting you all, and I can’t wait to see what kind of innovative policy solutions you guys come up with.
Sincerely, Cameron Ittner
The Eastern European Group is a powerful voting bloc in the United Nations composed of 23 states in the region. However, the rise of populism across Eastern Europe in recent years has, for better or worse, shattered the region’s consensus that it must continue to integrate itself into Europe and the global economy. This consensus has instead been replaced by nationalist politics, frequent diplomatic spats, and, in eastern Ukraine, even open conflict.
The region’s ethnic diversity means some ethnic groups have been left underrepresented in their new home countries largely since the Treaties of Trianon and Saint-Germain. This issue has become increasingly pressing because of Russian disinformation campaigns which exploits ethnic divisions, the refugee crisis, and proposed territory swaps in the Balkans. What role should governments and international bodies should play in protecting the rights of minority groups in other countries? How do we balance national sovereignty with human rights and integration with acculturation?
The rise of populism across Eastern Europe in recent years has had an unlikely victim: non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In the past few years, countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Russia have passed laws which curtail the rights of NGOs to operate independently within their borders. While they claim these laws were necessary to protect their national security and limit foreign influence, critics have argued that they are an attempt to rein in the power of civil society. What rights should NGOs, both foreign and domestic, and their workers enjoy and how far government control over them extend?
If you have any questions about this committee, feel free to reach out to your Under-Secretary General Nikki Vereczkey at email@example.com