In the Spotlight: Chairs of the Arctic Council


Good afternoon Dimitrij Kwascha and Daniel Kirchhof. You already have quite some expertise about chairing (Daniel at 7 conferences, Dimitrij at 3 before BerlInMUN17). Now you are the honourable chairpersons of the Artic Council. The week is almost over, how was the chairing experience with your freezing Council?


Daniel: All people have stepped out of their comfort zone and it is getting better and better. The delegates are aware of the topic and stop being too harmless to each other, sometimes they are going into a little “bitch fight”. Nevertheless, we have a lot of fun together.


Dimitrij: I was sceptical in the beginning because of the difficulties related to Council and topic. I am impressed by the good vibe in the Council. And it pleases us that the delegates do what we want them to do.


Have you ever chaired together before?


Daniel: Yes we have, that was five weeks ago at ViaMUN in Frankfurt/Oder, where we chaired the UN Security Council dealing with territorial disputes in the Arctic.


Could you recycle the content from there?


Dimitrij: No, as the mandate of the Arctic Council differs from the UNSC. Security issues are not discussed and their decision documents have another purpose.


How could the AC-delegates be more effective in your opinion?


Dimitrij: They should never forget which delegations they are representing because diplomats always speak on behalf of their country. Also: Listen carefully! But altogether they are pretty good.


Daniel: I am surprised and pleased that the Arctic Council has not been confused with the Security Council. That happens sometimes.


What is your funniest conference moment?


Dimitrij: The first time hearing the Delegate of Germany speak: “… I …. can …. not …. speak ……… but listen … okay”


Daniel: The Karaoke Night.


And your worst conference moment?


Dimitrij: 8 am waking up …


Daniel: … and to realize that you woke up one hour too late for having breakfast or to go by the public transport systems. I actually had to take a cap two times this week – but at least I was not late.


Is there something more you would like to tell our readership?


Both: We are very delighted that our committee is well balanced when it comes to workflow and cooperation in order to solve the problems. In contrast to other gender balanced committees the Arctic Council is 90% female which – seeing the professional results as well as outcome documents – is positive. And we love the Secretariat! We have a really great team!


Daniel, will you continue MUNing in the future?


Daniel: I actually planned to finish after that conference, but I am sure that I will do two more conferences as I am highly not willing to stop after having done 13 conferences, which we Germans perceive as an unfortunate number. And actually I am very willing to go to Belgrade – my second “home conference” – once again.


And Dimitrij, the question, which may interest the most, is: Who is actually that person on the picture above your name in the delegates handbook?


Dimitrij: *laughing* Indeed, that is the most pressing question – I knew this would come up. The picture is older – but I am not saying how old. I have not cut my hair since Christmas 2015. After that I went to California to study there for six months which explains my surfer look.

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