Int. Security Policy Summit Vienna, 7-9 November 2019

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By Mariam Frangulyan

Participant of the 8th Intl. Security Policy Summit in Vienna
Ca’Foscari University of Venice

 

In the mind of any international relations student, institutions such as the United Nations and the OSCE are a dream, a final point of arrival in our careers.

Having been able to attend the Intl. Security Policy Summit in Vienna with the WYAcademy allowed me to be a step closer to this dream.

 

DAY ONE: OSCE Headquarters, Heldenplatz, Vienna

I arrive at the meeting point in front of the OSCE headquarters, excited and eager for what’s coming next. I happily greet my friends who I had met during the last Summit in Madrid and already feel familiar with the environment.

As everybody arrives, we get in line for the passport and security check to get our badges to enter the building.

We get in. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening: we were in the building where the most important decisions in security issues are made.

As we arrive in our room, we are greeted by Florence Le Clézio who works as Senior Media Assistant at the OSCE and is in charge of visiting groups, such as us.

After a quick presentation, she starts explaining to us the structure and role of the OSCE, in order to provide knowledge and perspective of how the institution actually functions.

After this overview of the OSCE, something truly exciting happened: it was time to attend the plenary session that was ongoing that day.

I was so thrilled to have the opportunity of experiencing directly how these countries actually engaged in discussions among them and tried to solve those crucial issues.

That day we were extra-lucky because the session began with a report by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier. He provided a detailed report of what he had done and seen in different countries such as Tajikistan or Ukraine from June to October and he also talked of the cooperation he had had with the United Nations.

Following his report, the floor was given to the 57 countries present in the plenary session. For the time that we were there, the floor was taken by the Russian Federation, Finland, Norway, the United States and Ukraine, who, one at a time, responded to the report made by Zannier and provided their perspective and added comments. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the whole day, as much as I wanted to, we were told to quietly leave the room and go back to our training Summit. I looked back one more time to the room and to the 57 countries, hoping one day to be among them, as a direct actor involved. This has to be certainly one of the highlights of the whole experience.

The next speech was delivered by Tarik Ndifi, analyst and researcher for the conflict prevention centre at the OSCE. I had had the chance of meeting Mr. Ndifi at the Summit in Madrid and I was glad to see him again, as having an expert from the OSCE teaching us security issues is not to be taken for granted.

He provided us with in-depth knowledge about all the steps within a conflict, the so-called conflict cycle, reporting several examples from the OSCE field missions.

After a quick lunch break, to grasp the beauty of Vienna and recharge our energy, we were directed towards the Diplomatische Akademie Wien, where we had some time to get acquainted with one another, before continuing the Summit.

Our next lecturer was Lukas Wank, Co-Director at the Think-Thank Shabka, who delivered a speech about European Security Policy. After the lecture, we dealt with a case study concerning the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where we were divided into small groups and  each one of us was assigned a different role within this scenario, such as leader of local militia or university student. The goal of this exercise was to show how difficult and complex it is to agree on policies, when both local and international actors are involved. In fact, the needs and concerns of an actor might be completely different from those of another one, which certainly complicates the situation.

At this point, we wrapped up day one and went out for a few drinks.

 

DAY 2: UN HEADQUARTERS, VIENNA
We arrive at the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna early in the morning. After entering the building and doing security checks, we receive a badge allowing us to spend the whole day there. Incredible!

We grab a coffee and we are ready for the day. Two important experts from the UNODC were waiting for us in the conference room: Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director in the division for policy analysis and public affairs and Billy Batware, responsible for crime and drug prevention and counter-terrorism projects.

Mr. Lemahieu delivered a speech about how the UNODC is working towards achieving peace, justice and the Sustainable Development Goals. Then, we had an intense Q&A, where we grasped the opportunity of having someone from the UN willing to answer to our many questions and solve our doubts related.

After his speech, Mr. Batware talked to us about the engagement of the UNODC with other NGOs in combating transnational organized crime, which was followed once again by a Q&A session. In this occasion, we also had the chance to get to know one of his interns and ask him directly about his experience at the United Nations as a young student, just like us.

Afterwards, we grabbed lunch at the UN cafeteria, which contributed to making experience at the UN feel more real, as if we were not visitors but rather actually part of the system.

Although at this point the academic part was over, there was so much more we were excitedly waiting for. We had the whole afternoon for ourselves to enjoy at the United Nations, so we had to make the most out of it! So, Ramiro Murguía, the Director of the Academy, guided us through the different wings of the building and thus we visited UNIDO, IAEA and UNODC. At this point, we couldn’t miss the chance of taking some pictures in this incredible environment!

To finish our day in the best way, we gathered at the diplomatic bar of the United Nations and had a drink all together, where we had time to share our views, perspectives and experiences.

 

DAY 3: International Institute for Peace

The third day and last day was definitely the most intense from an academic point of view but it definitely was necessary to gain a 360-degrees experience.

First, we were greeted by Mrs. Velina Tchakarova, Head of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, who delivered a speech about the transformation of the global system with a special focus on the current and future role of Europe, which later opened up a discussion about Europe’s supremacy.

The next lecturer was Michael Zinkanell, Secretary General at Shabka Think-Tank, who delivered a speech about integration and European Union, which was followed by a practical exercise where we were divided in three groups, each one with a different type of EU integration. For example, my group imagined what would happen if the European Union underwent a process of full integration, where each member state renounced to its sovereignty. I believe that the practical part of the Summit is very important. I experienced this both in Madrid and Vienna: in this way, the lecturers allow the students to understand better the theoretical notions dealt with by applying them into practical contexts.

At this point, it was time for a quick lunch break during which some of us, including myself, gave interviews and shared our experience with World Youth Academy.

After the short break, we had our final lecture by Mr. Tarik Ndifi, who focused on the crisis in Ukraine and the OSCE field mission involved there. Within his lecture, he also emphasized how important the collaboration between the various institutions is and specifically presented us how the OSCE and UNHCR cooperate together.

The last session was now over, bringing the Summit to an end. However, there was still something missing… our certificates! In the last moments of the Summit, we were all handed our diplomas and we took the official pictures. With a final round of applause, we all congratulated and promised each other to meet very soon at the next Summits!

I’d like to conclude with a few final remarks: since first joining the World Youth Academy a few months ago, I honestly feel already much more enriched both from an academic and personal point of view. The lectures, the experts and the institutions involved are of high excellence and provide the participants with thorough and diversified knowledge.

In addition, the working environment is incredible. It’s not everyday you find 16 different nationalities in the same place sharing your own interests and passions.

Thank you everyone and see you soon!

By Mariam Frangulyan

Participant of the 8th Intl. Security Policy Summit in Vienna
Ca’Foscari University of Venice

 

 

 

 

 

El Diplomado más prestigioso del mundo

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Diplomado en Negocios y Relaciones Internacionales Viena, Austria 2019. 

Por World Youth Academy.

Viena, Julio de 2019– Claro que esta nota debía comenzar con este título y no exactamente porque este Diplomado en Negocios y Relaciones Internacionales de World Youth Academy está en un ranking global de Oxford o Cambridge, sino porque es un diplomado con valor incalculable y único en el mundo gracias a su concepto de “International Education for Sustainable Future”.

Desarrollado en el mes de julio en Viena, este año un grupo de 11 jóvenes latinoamericanos, provenientes de Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, México y Perú, viajó hasta esta ciudad para capacitarse y vivir una experiencia enriquecedora. Allí, compartieron con expertos profesionales en las áreas de análisis y resolución de conflictos, derechos humanos, diplomacia, migración, comunicación y desarrollo económico e internacional. 

Una de las participantes es Paula Cantor, una joven colombiana de 24 años, quien se tituló de Comunicación en la universidad, ha enfocado su carrera en comunicación humanitaria y  quien nos ha compartido su experiencia. “Desde ese primer momento, conocí a mis colegas, personas con valores increíbles y experiencias de vida enriquecedoras, y al igual que yo, dispuestos a dar lo mejor de si y aprender. Ramiro Murguía, el director de la WYAcademy, es una de ellas. Un mexicano inspirador que ha perseverado con éxito en este proyecto”. afirma Paula.

Todo comenzó el lunes 22 de Julio, en Springer Schlossl, un palacio antiguo y típico vienés, al lado del Palacio de Schönbrunn, un lugar con una magia especial, digna de inspirar a cualquiera para impactar día tras día.  Dentro del programa, la primera conferencista, Elvira Fernández Segovia, se centró en el ecosistema de los nuevos medios de comunicación en Europa, compartiendo el panorama y las estrategias para manejar situaciones de manera dinámica e innovadora. 

Posterior a esto, nos dirigimos al Centro Internacional de Desarrollo de Políticas Migratorias (ICMPD), para compartir con Veronika Goncharova, Project Manager para el programa de Manejo de Fronteras y Seguridad, y a Tony Mihaitoaia, especialista del mismo.  Allí discutimos el concepto de manejo integrado de fronteras en Europa (IBM) y los retos de esta organización. 

La agenda del segundo día estaba planeada para una clase en el palacio de las oficinas centrales del Fondo OPEC para el Desarrollo Internacional (OFID), donde Rómulo Martinez, de Venezuela, se desempeña como Oficial Senior de Programas para Latinoamérica, el Caribe y Europa. Allí nuestros participantes conocieron cómo la OFID desempeña su mandato de apoyar el desarrollo económico y social en países como Argentina, Bolivia, Honduras, entre otros. 

De allí, nos dirigimos oficialmente a la Organización de Países Exportadores de Petróleo (OPEC). Dimos un recorrido por la Sala de Media y la Sala del Consejo General, donde se toman las desiciones más importantes de la OPEC. “Esta sesiones fueron enriquecedoras porque nos dieron una nueva perspectiva de la labor de la OPEC. Además, creo que con más proyectos como los que tiene OFID en Latinoamérica se pueden avanzar”, dice Paula.  

Para cerrar el segundo día, la agenda ofrecía una actividad innovadora en el laboratorio de Smart Cities con Lukas Ertl, Jefe de Partnerships de la Organización para Relaciones Internacionales y Económicas que trabaja de la mano con United Smart Cities de las Naciones Unidas. “Conocer los proyectos de ciudades inteligentes nos permitió ver formas innovadoras de solucionar problemas cotidianos de forma sostenible”, afirma la joven colombiana.

Al tercer día, visitamos la sede de la ONU en Vienna, la segunda más importante en el mundo. Allí tuvimos una discusión con Bo Mathiasen, Vice Director de la División para análisis de políticas y Asuntos Públicos de la Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito (UNODC). Y una clase con Billy Batwar, acerca de “el rol de la ONU en los conflictos internacionales y específicamente de UNODC”. Finalmente, cerramos la sesión con el Dr. Prof. en física nuclear Fidel Antonio Castro Smirnov, quien trabaja para el Organismo Internacional de Energía Atómica (OIEA)

El diplomado cerró con un training internacional en Análisis del Conflicto por Tarik Ndifi, quien trabaja en la Organización para la Seguridad y Cooperación en Europa (OSCE) y trabajó en misiones especiales en Crimea, en Costa de Marfil, Kosovo y Sudan. En su training de enfoque académico y práctico se entendieron las raíces de un conflicto y su ciclo, además de experimentar con resoluciones e intervenciones desde un punto de vista diplomático.

Finalmente, Ramiro brindó unas palabras de liderazgo y reflexión de cómo esta experiencia puede ser un punto de inflexión para la vida profesional y personal de cada uno de los participantes. “Se plantó una semilla en la mente y corazón de cada uno, ahora es tarea personal hacerla florecer, siendo promotores y aportando a soluciones sostenibles en sus países”, afirma Ramiro, Director de WYA. 

Sin lugar a dudas, esta fue una experiencia única y sin límites.  Pero, ¿por qué sin límites? Porque es algo realmente out-of-the-box, en donde cada participante debe salir de su zona de confort y capacitarse para ser un agente de cambio.

Actitud, pasión y esperanza deben ser protagonistas en nuestra vida y trabajo. Este diplomado proporciona las herramientas para crear y ejecutar soluciones a las situaciones difíciles que el mundo atraviesa. A nuestro criterio la mejor alianza que podemos hacer hoy en día es con jóvenes inspiradores y una academia que brinda lo necesario para que esa inspiración se convierta en acción.

 

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Dirección: Europaplatz 2/1/2, Viena 1150, Austria.

El secreto de Viena: La ciudad “con mejor calidad de vida” del mundo

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Ramiro MurguiaPassionate youth activist and entrepreneur, Ramiro is the founder of the World Youth Academy and he is serving as its Director. Ramiro devotes its times to empower the world youth by a modern, actual and meaningful education.