Prague Student Summit
|Type||Model United Nations|
|Headquarters||University of Economics, Prague|
|Official language||Czech, English|
|Affiliations||Association for International Affairs, Prague|
The Prague Student Summit is a major educational project for secondary school and university students based in Prague, Czech Republic. It comprises Model UN, Model EU and Model NATO and with attendance of more than 350 students annually it is the largest project of this kind in the central Europe. While the project is based on a Model United Nations scheme, it focuses on the educational aspect more heavily than other such projects as it lasts for 6 months every year, consisting of a 5-month-long preparatory stage and a final week-long conference. The project's organizer is the Association for International Affairs, a major Czech think tank. The venues of the project are the University of Economics, Prague and the Prague Conference Centre.
The project's organizer is Association of International Affairs. The organizing team consists of 50 university students and young professionals.
The educational objectives of the Prague Student Summit are:
- to enhance students’ interest in international affairs
- to deepen knowledge of international politics and economics in its participants
- to improve rhetorical and communication skills
- to develop argumentation and critical thinking
The first Czech diplomatical simulation dates back to 1995 when a group of students simulated the negotiation of the UN Security Council at the University of Economics in Prague. Later on they decided to design such project for Czech high school students. Prague Model UN was established, including the preparatory stage, in 1996. As well as quality, the number of students was growing fast and distinguished persons like Václav Havel or Madeleine Albright became patrons of the project. The major expansion of the project followed in 2006 when the Prague Model UN transformed into the Prague Student Summit which also included Model NATO and Model EU.
The project consists of two parts, a preparatory stage consisting of five workshops and a final Conference.
The Prague Student Summit is unique in comparison with other projects for simulating three international organizations in two languages and involving both secondary school and university students in the simulation. The most important feature is a five-month long preparatory stage.
During five workshops, students work on their argumentation, rhetorical and negotiation skills, which can be used while creating diplomatic documents at Conference. They gain experience and knowledge of international affairs and diplomacy.
A major part of every season is the final Conference. It allows the delegates to apply what they have learnt during the preparatory workshops. At the Opening Ceremony, they get a chance to speak in front of honorable guests as well as their peers. After that, they three full days of negotiations in the individual bodies and models follow. They come together to discuss issues that disturb the international forums of the today’s world and propose solutions in documents including resolutions, declarations and reports.
Top leadership of the project consists of the Main Coordinator (and his Deputy), Secretary General of Model UN and the Coordinators of Model NATO and EU. Furthermore, five field directors are responsible for: IT, logistics, project's newspaper, PR and participants' coordination. It also includes Chairs of individual bodies that Model UN encompasses: Human Rights Council (HRC), Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Security Council (UNSC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Model United Nations at the Prague Student Summit runs from November to March every academic year. Over 200 participants of the project join Model UN annually. It is designed for both secondary school and university students, with the latter participating as observers. Admissions are selective and students apply in national delegations of 3 to 6 members.
Model UN is divided into six individual bodies, with General Assembly meeting in the morning sessions of the preparatory stage. The bodies are:
- Human Rights Council (HRC)
- Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
- United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- Security Council (UNSC)
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
The World Trade Organization is associated with Model UN while maintaining autonomy over its agenda and program.
Model NATO is an educational project designed for Czech secondary school students, which simulates negotiations and the decision-making processes of the Alliance’s supreme body – the North Atlantic Council. In contrast to models EU and UN, Model NATO puts emphasis on language skills, as the negotiations are held exclusively in English. The students represent 28 members of the Alliance and discuss the most important security issues and the role of NATO in the today's world. Admissions to Model NATO are made on an individual basis.
Model European Union is designed for university students only and holds its deliberations in Czech language. It simulates the Council of the European Union, witch means its delegates who are carefully selected are to step into the shoes of foreign ministers of their represented EU countries and defend national interests of their assigned states. During the three preparatory meetings, the participants get the chance to discuss European issues with academics and experts on particular topics and improve their knowledge about the European Union as a whole. All the newly acquired skills and knowledge should then help them during the final Conference, when they can experience real negotiations let it be during formal sessions or informal caucusing and get a unique inside into the decision-making processes of the European Union.
Prague Student Summit in 2013
The key topics on PSS in 2013 include youth unemployment, media, raw material resources and many other. This year's PSS offers wider range of accompanying program than ever before - etiquette seminars, human-rights-movie theatre, visits to embassies or internship in partner companies. What is more, the new top partner of the project, Microsoft, provides the participants with the newest technology for free.
- "Prague Student Summit". Association for International Affairs. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
- "About Model UN". Prague Student Summit. Association for International Affairs. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "Prague Student Summit". Konference. Association for International Affairs.
- "Project's Leadership". Prague Student Summit. Retrieved 11 February 2012.