UN and International Law Workshop
by Xhorxhia Anxhara
October 24th, 2017 marked the 72nd anniversary of UN’s creation. To celebrate UN Day, UNYA Albania together with the European University of Tirana (“UET”), organized a workshop focused on the role of UN in International Law and dispute resolution.
The event took place on the premises of UET and was structured in three sessions. The first two sessions took the form of a roundtable discussion moderated by Professor Evelina Çela and UNYAA’s President Kristi Çina. The Dean of the Faculty of Law, Mrs. Erjona Canaj, opened the workshop with a brief summary of the 62 years of collaboration between UN and Albania. During part I, professors Evelina Çela and Anton Lulgjuraj discussed key notions of International Public Law and the role of the UN Charter as the Constitution of the International Community. What followed was an interesting intervention by Professor Kristaq Xharo about the relations between the UN Security Council, NATO and the EU with regards to the use of force. Professors Viktor Merkuri and Redion Ruli gave a short presentation on chapters V and VI of the UN Charter enriching everybody’s knowledge on the matter.
Since we believe in learning-by-doing, participants were given the chance to practice the newly accumulated knowledge by simulating a committee session of the UN Security Council. UNYAA team had prepared a crises involving the escalation of tensions between North Korea and the USA (fake President Trump’s tweets were also involved). The participants emerged themselves in the roles of high-level diplomats and tried firsthand the difficulties of reaching an agreement and the seductive power of the veto. Calls for military interventions were luckily disregarded by the overwhelming majority of the participants, but the endeavors of the delegates from China (professor Ruli who did a remarkable job in this new role) and Sweden also fell short of reaching consensus. Finally, a proposal from the delegate of the Russian Federation on establishing an investigation committee seemed to gather the support of everyone. As the session was headed to a productive result, the placard of the USA was raised high marking the use of the right of veto.
It is clear that this simulation was meant only as a teaser of what can happen during a UN Security Council session. Reaching a consensus takes time, hard work and a lot more experience on the subject. However, judging from the feedback we received, the simulation was regarded as the most interesting part of the workshop. The overall assessment of the workshop was positive and this gives us more energy and inspiration to keep organizing similar events.
Check out the simulated Crisis here.