By: Binyamin Fox (‘21)

The MTA Model United Nations Team is hard at work preparing for the upcoming annual Yeshiva University National Model United Nations (YUNMUN) competition, which will be held on Sunday, February 14. This year, MTA will be representing the country of France on fifteen different (virtual) committees, ranging from the Security Council to the Committee on Drugs and Crime. In preparation for the competition, MTA’s Model UN Team had the distinct privilege of meeting with Mr. Alexis Mojaisky, Spokesperson and Chief of Staff of the French Mission to the UN, and other members of the French Mission on Friday, February 5th. 

The meeting allowed the team to learn more about France’s interests and goals within the UN.  As France is a founding member of the UN and a permanent member of the Security Council, it is a critical country to the United Nations generally. Mr. Mojaisky helped the team appreciate France’s role in supporting the UN, both in terms of budget (France is the 6th biggest contributor), and in peacekeeping forces (there are over 700 French troops wearing blue helmets). In the Security Council, France has taken the lead in its refusal to use its veto power in cases of atrocities, a position that generated tremendous support among the members of the General Assembly.

 Mr. Samson Thibault, Negotiator in the Security Council on Human Rights Issues, explained how individual committee members advocate for their country’s interests. He explained that he needs to know how flexible his decision makers back home are comfortable being, what their red lines are, and when it might be better to have no agreement at all to one that France might find objectionable. This way he can discuss and share opinions with delegates from other countries and figure out whether he can find common ground with them. 

The meeting was an incredible (and memorable) opportunity for the team, which very much looks forward to representing France at YUNMUN!

 

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