What made you interested in your current job?
“Well I suppose that the honest answer is that the first time I came to Cyprus at the beginning of my career, I did not have any choice – I was told that was what my place was. So I came and I enjoyed it and felt particular interest in it. Then, I was not involved with Cyprus directly for 20 years of my career or more, and then I had the opportunity to apply and come back as a High Commissioner, so that was the point when I had a choice to make. I did apply because the place interests me. There is a worthwhile, important job to be done, to which I hope I can contribute. I am glad to be back, and in fact, I was asked last summer if I would come back again, and the answer was even easier to say ‘yes, I will see what I can do, and I want to come back, and here I am!'”
What qualities in your opinion make you a good Commissioner?
“I am not sure what the answer to that is! I think that one of the things I have learned in my career is that when you are in the business of persuading, explaining and trying to win support from others on what you think is the right plan of action – which is basically what Commissioners do – one of the really important things is not how you say to others what you think is right. It is how you listen to what they think is important, and then find a way to compromise. So I would like to think that I have learned a bit of that!”
You also mentioned in your speech that Costa Rica is one of the few countries that use peaceful means instead of armed forces. Do you think this may be a possibility for Cyprus?
“I know that this is something that is being talked about. It is a difficult choice for any country to make, how to best protect itself and its interests. It is true that it is easier to implement this in a country like Costa Rica where there are no significant military threads to worry about, unlike Cyprus. This is a real choice, but it’s tricky.”
Given the many attempts to resolve the Cypriot crisis, what do you think must be done in order to finally reach a viable solution?
“Most of what needs to be done, in terms of reaching an agreement, has actually been done. The two sides, by now, have gotten into discussing even the difficult parts, the trickiest aspects of the negotiation. So what they need to do, with the help of others, is to keep working on the remaining things that need to be settled, and not allow themselves to lose their momentum and nerve – not allow themselves to be discouraged. Also, they need to think of the implementation of the solution – it is not just agreeing how it will work, it’s also putting in place the things that they need to make the solution work.”
Finally, what is your opinion on Brexit and how do you think Europe may be affected?
“Well, as you know we are in the beginning of defining of what our negotiating aim will be, in agreeing what Brexit will look like. The thing is, we still have just as strong an interest in Europe as a continent and a region remaining strong, stable and prosperous, and we will want – from a different position, outside of the EU – to be very closely involved in helping to manage all the security challenges that affect us all together, even after Brexit. We will also have just as much of an interest in a strong EU economy so that we can sell to it and buy from it, sharing its prosperity and contributing to it, but we will probably do so from a different basis, from outside rather than inside. Now how that works is going to be the big challenge in the upcoming negotiations.”
10:10 am After three very elaborate speeches made by Libya, Sudan and Cuba, the attack speeches proved ineffective, as the resolution on the prevention of illicit trade in small arms and light weapons to reduce urban violence in civilian areas has passed. Well done Libya!
If you could be anyone for a day, who would you be?
“If I could be anyone for a day I would be myself on the first day of MEDIMUN.”
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be?
“I would be an eagle because they can see everything happening from the sky.”
Andreas Afxentiou, Dasoupoli Lyceum
Best delegate: Delegate of Finland
Most charming male: Delegate of Sudan, Libya, Cuba, South Korea and Luke (The Chair)
Most charming female: Delegate of France
Most likely to become a dictator: Delegate of Germany
Dressed for success (male): Delegate of Poland
Dressed for success (female): Delegate of Saudi Arabia
Best speaker: Delegate of Germany
Future Ban-Ki Moon: Delegate of Germany
Most likely to go to jail: Delegate of South Korea
4:25 pm Once again the most recent resolution has not passed, and delegates are concerned about how only one resolution has passed since the beginning of MEDIMUN. It seems everyone is too competitive, refusing to vote for any resolution that is not their own. No one will be going to the plenary session at this rate…
2:50 pm Time for the resolution for combating illicit trade on small arms and light weapons has elapsed. The delegate of Libya has risen to argue against the resolution, pointing out that combat aircraft and warships do not fall under the category of light weapons.
3:00 pm The delegate of Finland has asked to make an attack speech against the resolution he has helped in making. His teammates are shocked by this betrayal and general bewilderment is in the atmosphere as everyone questions what on earth is going through the delegate of Finland’s mind.
3:10 pm The amendment has passed due to an overwhelming majority of votes. Clapping is not in order though the delegate of South Korea has the courage to applaud. Thankfully this time he has the good sense to apologise.
13:25 am And the delegate of South Korea strikes again, as he complains that the Chairs are discriminating against him and refuse to recognize him. The Chair quickly confirms the accusation by saying that ” there is a reason for that”… Tension is rising in here!
12:40 pm After an enlightening speech by British High Commissioner Mathew Kidd, debating has resumed on Hungary’s resolution concerning piracy in the gulf of Guinea . Though excited and eager to debate, most delegates seem to be unaware of what “refrain from using personal pronouns” actually means, something which upsets Chair Luke, since he has to keep reminding them.
South Korea on the podium again. Lets all hope for more appropriate use of language this time around!
12:55 am The resolution submitted by Hungary on combating piracy in the gulf of Guinea has passed. These delegates could not be happier that clapping is finally in order!
10:20 am The delegate of South Korea has surpassed the limits! Clearly offending another delegate and using personal pronouns, he specifically said ” And I will not apologise for that!” When he finally had the floor, the delegate went on to use inappropriate language and was pulled out of the room by the Chair for a “talk”…. Looks more like scolding to me!
10:25 am Needless to say the resolution did not pass.
10:45 am After a heated argument created by South Korea, the tension in GA1 has ended and as the resolution has not passed, causing South Korea’s dismay, we have moved on to the second debate. The measures to prevent the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons to reduce urban violence in civilian areas are being discussed. The delegate of Libya submits their resolution passionately, emphasising that small arms and light weapons should be traced and increased security should be imposed for all state storage units, vehicles and convoys.
10:00 am With the distinct smell of coffee in the air, debating on measures to support combat sexual violence in conflict zones commences. The resolution submitted by South Korea is supported by India, however Poland does not agree, as the safety of male victims is not granted. Germany and Saudi Arabia on the other hand seem to be against the resolution as a whole, as it is “completely and utterly vague”…. Things are not looking hopeful here, South Korea!
15:05 pm Everything was well in GA1 until… the delegate of Italy dropped his water on Armenia’s bag. Needless to say they won’t be allying anytime soon!
12:58 a.m After the opening ceremony, the delegates eagerly returned to their seats,building their strategies and forming alliances with other delegates. Resolutions are flying left and right, as everyone gives feedback in an attempt to ameliorate their clauses. Though excited and enthusiastic to debate no one can deny how much they would love a break!
9:00 a.m With all delegates in the room, GA1 commences lobbying and merging and the room quickly fills with chit-chat, laughter and positive energy, as all delegates meet again after the November workshop. Everyone seems excited to begin debating. The delegates debating the issue of Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea look particularly excited to discuss and share their ideas. We are thrilled to see what is next!
10:10 am A 15 minute break was happily announced and delegates eagerly were almost out the door after a hard work of lobbying and merging in order to enjoy the succulent taste of olive pies and sausage roles. Their dreams were sadly postponed. Secretary General Zoe Kassinis apologised for the confusion and announced that the break was going to be at 10:40. Slightly disappointed the delegates went back to work quickly regaining their hard-working attitude.
Best Speaker: Cambodia
Best Dressed (male): Vietnam
Best Dressed (female): Nigeria
Best Admin: Ioanna
Funniest Member: South Africa
Most likely to be a dictator: Azerbaijan
Best Accent: Jordan
Best Hair (male): Venezuela
Best Hair (female): China
Most likely to take my husband/wife (male/female): Vietnam
Sexiest Member (male/female): Syria
Best Delegate: Libya (Aliosha loves donuts!)
“Delegates, hissing is not in order” – Aliosha Bielenberg, Chair of GA1
4:42 p.m: The Delegate of Cambodia takes the floor to read the operative clauses for the resolution of Preventing and Defusing a 21st Century Arms Race in Military Drones and Robots, and then proceeds with an informed and well-executed opening speech. He accepts POIs from the Delegates of Palestine, India and South Korea.
4:51 p.m: The floor is yielded to the delegate of Palestine, who makes an effective speech supporting the resolution, and accepts three POIs from the Delegates of Cambodia, the United Kingdom and Jordan.
4:54 p.m: The delegate of Azerbaijan is called to approach the podium, and he too makes a speech for the resolution. Two POIs are proposed by the Delegates of Sri Lanka and Belgium.
5:01 p.m: Another speech in favor of the resolution is made by the Delegate of Kazakhstan. After opting to take two POIs, he accepts some from the Delegates of the Netherlands and Lebanon.
5:04 p.m: As time has not yet run out, the Delegate of the Netherlands approaches the podium to make yet another short speech for the resolution. The Delegates of Palestine and Azerbaijan are recognized, and pose one POI each.
5:08 p.m: The Delegate of Australia begins the time against the resolution with an effective attack speech, claiming that the points are weak. He accepts two POIs from the Delegates of Cambodia and Jordan.
5:15 p.m: The Delegate of Vietnam takes the floor to make a speech countering the proposed resolution.
5:18 p.m: The voting procedures take place; with 51 votes for countering 11 votes against, it is announced, to the sound of thunderous applause, that the resolution has passed!
3:23 p.m: Main submitter is Malaysia, who takes the floor to read the operative clauses of the resolution. He then proceeds to make a long opening speech, urging the Delegates to vote for his resolution. He accepts two points of information from the Delegates of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
3:31 p.m: The floor is yielded to the Delegate of Brazil, who then proceeds to make a speech supporting the resolution that outlines that education is a key factor in combating this problem: “If you do not teach history we are doomed to repeat it”, he quotes. The Delegate declares that he is open to two Points of Information from China and Belgium, in that order.
3:36 p.m: The delegate of Bangladesh approaches the podium to make a speech for the resolution, however she declares that she is not open to any Points of Information.
3:38 p.m: As time for the resolution has ended, The Delegate of Jordan takes the floor to make a biting attack speech, and after welcoming “all and any” points of information, gets two from Finland and Argentina.
3:45 p.m: The delegate of South Africa is recognized, and “demands the house to vote against the resolution”. He receives Points of Information from the Delegates of Israel, France, Chad and Singapore.
3:50 p.m: The Chairs progress to voting procedures: with 18 votes for, 35 against and 5 amendments, ‘it is with a heavy heart but no surprise’ that Chair Emilios announces yet another Resolution not passed.
2:34 p.m: The delegate of Kenya takes the floor to read the Operative Clauses in the Resolution regarding the Identification of non-military measures to address the underlying conditions which give rise to brutality and extremism in the Middle East. She then proceeds to make a steady and informative opening speech, even quoting Pokemon! Israel and Germany make Points of Information.
2:41 p.m: Delegate of Albania is recognized and makes a speech for the resolution. She accepts two points of information, and is followed by another speech from the Delegate of Russia.
2:55 p.m: The house, due to time constraints, proceeds to time against the resolution as a whole, with the Delegate of Singapore being recognized, who delivers an informed and collected speech. She accepts two Points of Information from the Delegates of Barbados and the United Kingdom.
3:01 p.m: The delegate of France is recognized, and approaches the podium to make a sharp attack speech. After declaring he is open to any and all Points of Information, he receives two from Albania and Uruguay.
3:04 p.m: An amendment has been submitted by the Delegate of Chile, and accepts two Points of Information from the Delegates of Malaysia and China.
3:08 p.m: The Chairs have proceeded to voting procedures for the Amendment – it has passed due to the overwhelming majority voting for it.
3:10 p.m: With five minutes left, the delegate of Poland takes the floor to make a heated speech countering the resolution. She accepts two points of information.
3:13 p.m: The house moves to voting procedures for the Resolution as a whole. With 27 votes for and 35 against, it is with a heavy heart that Chair Aliosha announces that yet another resolution has not passed.
12:48 p.m: Another resolution towards the question of Disarming, Demobilizing and Reintegrating Child soldiers in Africa is being debated. With France as the main submitter, operative clauses are being read out, followed by heartfelt speeches. He accepts 3 Points of Information.
12:55 p.m: The floor is yielded to the Delegate of Pakistan who presents a compelling speech. She accepts Points of Information from Hungary and Colombia.
1:00 p.m: Another speech for the resolution is made, this time by the Delegate of Venezuela, who then receives one Point of Information. Debates so far have been excellent, full of excitement and passion!
1:05 p.m: Time against the resolution has begun, with the Delegate of the United Kingdom being the first to take the floor, claiming the resolution is “way too vague.” After stating that he is open to any and all Points of Information, he receives two, one from South Africa and one from Malaysia.
1:08 p.m: The Delegate of Italy also takes the floor to make a short speech against the resolution.
1:11p.m: The Delegate of Azerbaijan has submitted an amendment, which is followed by a closed debate with three minutes for and three minutes against. He receives two Points of Information from the delegate of Myanmar (who has regained her voice!) and the delegate of Hungary.
1:14 p.m: The delegate of France takes the floor again to counter the amendment. Two Points of Information are proposed from Russia and Sweden.
1:18 p.m: Voting procedures have begun. A majority votes against the amendment (24 for and 39 against), resulting in it not passing. After making sure to “seal the door, the windows and the roof,” Chairs Emilios and Aliosha proceed to voting on the resolution as a whole. With 20 votes for and 41 against, another resolution has not been passed.
2:17-2:32 p.m: Superlatives are being voted!
12:26 p.m: The delegate of Uruguay is also recognized to make another short, yet passionate speech supporting the resolution, urging the house to make a difference and vote in favor of the resolution. He receives several points of information from the Delegates of Pakistan, Belgium and Denmark, and answers by focusing on educating the children involved in the problem being discussed, and making sure that a life of prosperity and well-being is being brought to these children.
12:29 p.m: The Chairs proceed to time against the resolution as a whole, with the delegate of Hungary being recognized, who delivers a factual yet cautious speech. She reveals that she is not open to any points of information.
12:32 p.m: As time against the resolution continues, the Delegate of Vietnam is welcomed to the floor to deliver his speech, and accepts a Point of Information from the Delegate of Belgium.
12:36 p.m: The chairs then recognize the Delegate of Lebanon to further make a speech countering the resolution, who claims that ‘there will be another resolution coming that will be more accurate’. She receives two Points of Information from the Delegates of Albania and The Netherlands.
12:45 p.m: The voting towards the resolution has begun and, with 22 votes for and 41 against, yet another resolution has failed to pass.
11:45 a.m: 20 and 50 cent coins have been left behind in the room and are tossed in the air by the Chairs to see who will be able to catch them: the Delegate of Myanmar succeeds, and is deemed ‘best catcher.’
11:48 a.m: After a speedy roll coll, the GA will be moving on to a resolution based on the question of Disarming, Demobilizing and Reintegrating Child soldiers in Africa.
12:05 p.m: The Delegate of Senegal takes the floor to read the Operative Clause of the resolution, and then proceeds to read his opening speech, urging the house to vote in favor of the resolution. He mentions that he is open to any proposed amendments and states that he is only open to one point of information, which is proposed by the delegate of Germany.
12:14 p.m: The floor is yielded to the Delegate of Spain, who proceeds to make a speech supporting the resolution. He opens himself to two points of information, made by the delegates of Brazil and Jordan.
12:17 p.m: The delegate of Sweden has been recognized to make a further speech for the resolution, and he clarifies and backs up several clauses. He states that he is open to ‘any and all’ points of information, a refreshing change, and accepts three from the delegates of Bangladesh, India and New Zealand.
10:27 am: A guest speaker has been welcomed, Elizabeth Kassinis, who then delivers a powerful and informed speech combating violent extremism.
“Although we all came over on different ships, we are all on the same boat now.” – Elizabeth Kassinis, paraphrasing Martin Luther King.
10:21 am: Voting procedures towards the amendment have begun and, due to a slight majority for the amendment (33 votes for countering 27 against), it has passed.
10:23 am: The chairs have proceeded to voting towards the resolution as a whole. Due to a majority voting against the resolution (35 countering 27), the resolution as a whole has not been passed.
9:56 a.m: After reading the Operative Clauses in the resolution of Defusing an Arms Race in Military Drones and Robots, the delegate of Poland makes her speech. She receives Points of Information from the Delegates of the Netherlands, India and China. The floor is then yielded to the delegate of South Korea.
10:02 a.m: The Delegate of South Korea makes a calm and collected speech for the resolution, encouraging all other delegates to vote in favour of it. He accepts Points of Information from two Delegates: Vietnam and Lebanon. An amendment is recommended by Chair Emilios, after receiving a point of order. Two more POIs are proposed by the delegates of Singapore and Ethiopia.
10:09 a.m: The Chair announces that time against the resolution has begun, with the Delegate of Cambodia being recognized.
10:11 a.m: The Delegate of Cambodia makes a powerful and rather sarcastic speech against the resolution, acknowledging a point of information from the Delegate of Kazakhstan.
10:15 a.m: The delegate of Chile submits an amendment to the resolution, with a brief, closed debate: 2 minutes for the amendment and 2 minutes against.
9:37 am: The Delegate of Chad speaks out against the resolution, and points out several problems she has found in it. The delegate opens up to two points of information from the delegates of Sri Lanka and France, in that order.
9:43 am: The Delegate of Australia also takes the floor to make a speech opposing the resolution, and receives points of information from USA, Israel, Italy, Azerbaijan and Venezuela, mainly agreeing with them.
9:49 am: Due to time constraints, the Chairs have moved to voting procedures. With 40 votes against the resolution and 21 votes for, the resolution has not been passed.