- As MUNTurkey.com, we are very excited to know you! Could you please introduce yourself to our community?
My name is Diogo Rodeiro, I’m a 22-year-old graduate in International Relations and I was born and raised in Coimbra, Portugal. UCIMUN is the first International MUN of Portugal and it could only be held at the University of Coimbra because it is the most historical and innovative university of the country.
- You have a great team organizing an MUN. When you guys became MUNers? What is your source of motivation to organize MUN conference in Portugal?
I first went on an MUN in 2014 for Portugal MUN, a national conference organized by the International Relations students of Universidade Lusíada, Lisbon. I represented Nigeria and I won the award for “Best Lobbying”. Ever since, I have never been to another MUN, especially because Portugal doesn’t have many. Since my family moved to London in late November, I was looking at the unreform.org MUN list and saw the Cambridge International MUN and I needed to go to visit my family and as the price was not too demanding I repeated it and it was really great. I saw that building an MUN was not too hard and my team has a lot of experience -together we organized events for more than 5000 students – so we decided to try and to become part of the history by being the organizers of the first IMUN of Portugal.
- You are members Coimbra University. How did you first hear about it and how did you decide to join? What does this university offer to the students?
I joined this University because it is located at the city I was born, naturally. But the University of Coimbra, apart from being one of the oldest ones in the world, is also the very place to learn and know more of the Portuguese language and culture. It is, for instance, the University outside Brazil that has more students from Brazil and it has each and every year, increasing numbers of Erasmus students from all over the world. It is hugely famous among Chinese students, who want to come and learn the language because it is the most spoken language of the Southern Hemisphere and the 5th most spoken in the World. In terms of studies, probably the University is like any other University in the World, but the centrality of the city in terms of the rest of the country, the spirit and the ambiance it offers to whoever crosses this region, it is simply impossible for no one to fall in love with it. I honestly affirm, and believe, that it is one of those places where when you touch your feet on the ground you can feel the weight of history, mysticism, magic on you because Coimbra is the world capital of “Saudade” (Saudade is one of the most untranslatable words in the world – it means the feeling of longing for something which is no longer there, the feeling of missing something that is gone) – something you will feel on the departure moment (we hope!).
- This is the international MUN in Portugal. Do usually international or domestic MUN conferences take place in Portugal? Is it something new?
It is not new. It is inexistent! We only have small-scale MUNs and there is only one debating society in the country as for MUNs – LisboMUN. This will be the first International MUN and we already have participants coming from 3 continents in the world.
- What benefits can students get by joining Model UNs? What is your biggest motivation when it comes to MUN conferences?
Firstly, I love to know other people because everyone we meet knows something we don’t. And also, of course, I always wish to improve my English levels, my speaking fluency and ultimately I love to know more diplomatic/IR’s info and MUNs are great for that.
- What makes you more excited about this edition of UCIMUN? What makes UCIMUN outstanding among other conferences?
Inevitably the place where it will happen and the team behind it. I guess those are the most distinguishing factors. I also think that the multiplicity of individuals will also contribute to that.
- How would you convince people around the world to participate UCIMUN?
Portugal is the trendiest country in Europe at this moment. And with establishments, Coimbra is no exception. UCIMUN can be the way of entering or leaving our country after some great vacations. It is home to some of the most historical examples – the first western map of Japan is in Coimbra, the oldest Jewish Bible is in Coimbra, the Joanine Library is one of the top 10 most beautiful libraries in the world.
- Considering that UCIMUN will have impressive committees, your organizational skills must be in point. Could you please tell us more about your academic team and committees?
Our committees are pretty simple and we didn’t want to risk it on that since this is only the first edition. The committee topics for discussion are still being handled. We are processing invitations for several professors – one from International Relations, one from Economics, one from Law and another one from Letters – to have the best topics possible and to give credibility to our conference. Soon you will know more about it.
- Do you think new communities such as MUNTurkey affect the future of MUNs? What is the role of new media and systems? Do they have an important role?
A vital role. Me answering these questions only show the positive impact the Digital can have on our world. With only a few clicks I e-met some awesome people who are doing an amazing job in Turkey by making accessible to a lot of university students great debating opportunities. Especially now that Turkey is facing some political issues, the more you can reach people by showing them this amazing debating model, the more it can be influential. Try to, on the next step, find a revenue model so you can start opening some fully funded opportunities, so disadvantaged people can also start to become being part of this movement.
As MUNTurkey.com PR Team, we offer our special thank to Diogo Rodeiro, SG of UCIMUN – Portugal! We believe that many MUNers from Turkey will participate UCIMUN!