«Current translation pending review – For demonstration only».
One conference, one city / Nine international organizations, one world
Rhodes hosted for the 8th consecutive time the International Conference on Regional Simulation of International Organizations or more commonly known as Rhodes Model Regional Co-operation – RhodesMRC 2017, and more specifically its university edition, October 11-15 of 2017, as the lyceum edition will take place on November 9-12, 2017.
Organized missions by the Departments of Law and Political Science of the University of Athens, Departments of Law and Political Science of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Piraeus, the Panteion University, the University of Brunswick, the University of Makedonija Germany, and of course the University of the Aegean, as well as individual students and students from various universities in Greece and abroad, gave the present to Rhodes and took on the role of diplomats and representatives from a total of 180 countries and international organizations, bringing to the conference and before organizations simulated the voice of every people from every corner of the Earth.
With extremely interesting topics ranging from economic cooperation to the Pacific Ocean or the Black Sea, women’s rights in Africa, bioethical issues in Europe to child trafficking through refugee flows, NATO digital shielding, the situation in Venezuela or Venezuela In the Middle East, young diplomats have been “fighting” for five days and have been able to reach the compromises needed by international cooperation to adopt common texts and propose solutions. The purpose of the whole simulation, after all, is to get participants to deal with interesting topics from different angles of the world, to get to know them from different angles and to make decisions within the framework of each organization.
RhodesMRC 2017 was recognized for its high academic design once again! This is, of course, thanks to the ten-month-long preparations made by the Conference Secretariat led by Magdalene Tsourdiou, along with the 23 members of the subcommittee presidencies, under the high supervision and assistance of a scientific committee of 25 university and 10 researchers from 4 countries, headed by Associate Professor of International Law, Ms. Paroula Naskou-Perraki.
At the same time, it was a top cultural experience for the participants as the functions and activities of the conference took place in the city of Rhodes. The Opening Ceremony took place in the courtyard of the Palace of the Grand Master and the Closing Ceremony in the Europa Nostra-awarded Restoration of the Palace Bastion, two sites of unique history and cultural value, thanks to the Ephorate of Antiquities 4 and the Dodecanese Antiquities of the conference in two unique ceremonies, which opened and closed their proceedings. The work itself took place in various buildings within the city: the City Hall of Rhodes, the South Aegean Region, the Dodecanese Chamber of Commerce, the Rhodes Bar Association and the Plaza Hotel, offering participants the opportunity to meet in historic buildings, to “discuss” with the city’s business and scientific bodies, and to walk, live daily in the pulse of a historic city and a unique mix of historic and shopping centers. For five days, the participants gave a different life to the city of Rhodes, walked through the Old Town, enjoyed the gastronomic offerings and enjoyed its vibrant nightlife. And through a guided tour, they also met Lindo, an ideal crowning experience in their Rhodes experience.
Cooperation with local authorities
RhodesMRC 2017 has also been a great demonstration of what local partners can achieve this year. As the Regional Adviser for Education and Lifelong Learning, Ms. Haroula Yasirani, stated in her statements, “RhodesMRC is a perfect example of the partnership between the Southern Aegean Region and the House of Europe in Rhodes, which they managed to create in Rhodes. a unique academic institution with multiple international distinctions, which attracts young people from all over the world and turns them into permanent ambassadors and good friends of Rhodes”. The Deputy Mayor of Culture of the Municipality of Rhodes, Mr. Teris Hatziioannou, also confirmed that “Rhodes is a place where the dialogue for peace and cooperation is constantly held. This unique historical place is uniquely suited to hatching future world leaders, and RhodesMRC is a unique example of how Rhodes achieves just that: the creation of Future Leaders”. The involvement of the University of the Aegean in organizing the conference, as well as the support of the leading players of the island, such as the Dodecanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Rhodes Bar Association, are also crucial. Of course, the Rhodes Municipality Museum of Modern Greek Art, the Rhodes Municipal Organization for the Culture of Sport, the D.D. Europe Direct Rhodes, as well as local businesses such as the conference’s security provider, SECFOR, have made significant contributions over the years.
A new collaboration with 95 SNGC
One of the major innovations of this year’s event was the close cooperation of the Organizing Committee with 95 SNGC. Through this collaboration, the conference opened up its academic contribution to the Hellenic Armed Forces and at the same time the participation of 95 Hellenic Armed Forces proved that the Hellenic Armed Forces is a living part of Greek society and not a detached player of the Greek State. Indicative of the collaboration was the presence of 95 SNGC Music during the Opening and Ending Ceremonies, and respectively the training of 10 95 SNGC’s officers through the proceedings of the conference. Knowledge of the operation of international organizations such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe or NATO and the concept of operating in an international, multicultural environment, albeit simulated, is extremely important for Greek officers likely to be called in the future to represent Greece in positions in these organizations or our embassies around the world. As Commander of 95 SNGC, Lieutenant General Nikolaos Chionis pointed out, “actions such as RhodesMRC and the continuing training of Armed Forces personnel send the message that Greece, a society of European values, is a Pillar of Security and Stability the Balkans”. It should be noted that the presence of the AF was not limited to cooperation with the 95 SNGC, but also two students of the Law School of the Military Corps of Officers, participated together with the mission of the AUTH Law School, undertaking diplomatic roles and participating in the simulation.
A brief overview, in five unique days
RhodesMRC 2017 began on Wednesday, 11/10/2017, with the Opening Ceremony at the Palace of the Grand Master. The solemn ceremony began with the recitation of the National Anthem and the Ode to Joy, by 95 ADA Music. The role of the Custodian was played by a member of the Board of Directors of the House of Europe in Rhodes and lawyer by Ephesus, Maria-Eliza Theodorou. Greetings were given by the South Aegean Regional Councilor for Education and Lifelong Learning, Ms. Haroula Yasirani, the Deputy Mayor of Rhodes Culture, Mr. Teris Hatziioannou, the Vice-President of the Department of Mediterranean Studies professor Ekaterini Frantzi, the BoD’s member of the European Network for Education and Training – EUNET and Honorary President of the House of Europe in Rhodes, Ms. Marilena Sokianou, Commander of 95 SNGC, Lieutenant General Nikolaos Chionis. Last but not least, G.S. Abroad Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Michalis Kokkinou. In his speech, the President of the House of Europe in Rhodes and Head of the RhodesMRC Organizing Committee, Mr. Michalis Kavuklis, referred to the multiple distinctions of RhodesMRC, the auspices of the Secretary General. of the Council of Europe, joining the Year of Sustainable Tourism, supporting the 18 Embassies and the United Nations Regional Office, RhodesMRC loyal friends and good motives, a love for Rhodes, a commitment to Peace and Cooperation , to all those who have worked and are working to make this unique conference happen every year. The ceremony was closed by the Secretary General of RhodesMRC 2017, Ms. Magdalene Tsourdiou, who after welcoming the young “diplomats” and describing the unique challenges of the following days, officially announced the opening of the conference.
For the next three days, the participants worked at nine different points, as well as the international organizations to be simulated. Four of them shared the deployment and resolution of international crises, based on a unique experiment that has never been conducted at a similar conference in our region, with the scenario involving multiple committees, and through the use of new technologies and the support of volunteers the proper execution of the scenario is achieved and to a significant degree the interaction of the committees with each other. Present at the meetings were also members of the Scientific Committee, Paroula Naskou-Perraki, Theodosios Karvounarakis, Dimitrios Triantafyllou, Miltos Sarigiannidis, Konstantinos Magliveras and the Rhodes’ scientist Ioannis Papageorgiou.
On Saturday, 14/10/2017, the closing ceremony of the conference was held in the unique venue of the Palace Bastion. The overall role of coordination was played by the conference’s G.S., Ms. Magdalene Tsourdiou. Following a brief greeting by the Mayor of Rhodes, Mr. Fotis Chatzidiakos, each of the conference committees presented the results of its work and awarded the participants with the best performances. The awards were presented by the Mayor of Rhodes, Mr. Fotis Chatzidiakos, the South Aegean Regional Adviser, responsible for Education and Lifelong Learning, Ms. Haroula Yasirani, the Commander of 95 SNGC, Lieutenant General Nikolaos Chionis Professor Ekaterini Frantzi, the Honorable Presidents of the House of Europe in Rhodes, Ms. Marilena Sokianou and Ms. Anna Haritou, and the member of the Scientific Committee and Assistant Professor of AUTH Law, Mr. Miltos Sarigiannidis. Subsequently, G.S.Ms. Tsourdiou following the presentation of her own evaluation officially announced the end of the conference. As usual, the Head of the Organizing Committee, Mr. Michalis Kavuklis, gave the floor to thank all the stakeholders and especially the volunteers, headed by Miss Anna Bodini, the best volunteer, the best volunteer, team that will prepare and organize RhodesMRC 2018, with more than 25 people selected from the classes at RhodesMRC 2017 and already working on a new well organized event. The reception that followed was ideally framed by the Jazz Department of Music of 95 SNGC, with their excellent performances.
The conference was officially concluded on Sunday, 15/10/2017, with a unique trip to Lindos. The participants visited the Acropolis of Lindos, IN of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary and the Ecclesiastical Museum, the streets of the picturesque village and of course many honored its magnificent beaches, giving a unique academic experience the endowment it deserves.