And so it begins! Alster Model United Nations is back in the game, it’s been one year and things have changed. No school auditorium anymore, instead a location just slightly fancier: the City Hall of Hamburg. When walking across the red carpet, one gets the feeling of suddenly being very important. And after entering the plenary chamber, one might even feel a little intimidated. But it is mainly excitement in the faces of the delegates and it grows even more when they discover the pretzels and the coffee table. Anyhow, the real stars this morning are the guest speakers who have taken the time out of their buzzy schedules to speak to us. The President of the Hamburg Parliament Carola Veit gave an insight in to the activities that normally take place in this room, right before the principal of the Klosterschule Ruben Herzberg emphasized the importance of opening borders for refugees. He told us that his Jewish grandparents fled from the Nazi regime and were in desperate need of shelter, such as many immigrants today. His wish for this conference: that the students help solve problems around the world. Well, we’ll try! Olga Komorowski from the HanseMUN e.V. did try, in many previous MUN’s. She is one of the countless victims infected by the MUN-virus. Three things triggered her passion: the amazing opportunities that come with travelling to different countries, the making of friends from around the world and most importantly, the newly gained confidence. Next, the Secretary General Anton Falck approached the floor to welcome everyone and explain the importance of the issues soon to be discussed. His conclusion: it’s about finding the perfect compromise and not the perfect solution by working together instead of against each other. Well said! When he talked about solving world problems and pulled the “it-is-people-like-you-thing”, you could feel the goose bumps on your arm. The speech given by the United States Consul General in Hamburg Richard Yoneoka wasn’t one of those conventional political speeches that his title suggests. He wished “good luck” to the German and US delegates and pointed out that it is not easy to represent a position that is not your own, but it is fun! His political journey started with an MUN, which means he used to be a delegate just like everyone else here. Makes you look around and wonder who you might hear from on the news someday, doesn’t it? On that note he gave some final advice: “Have fun, have fun, good luck, come join us in the future”. Sounds like a plan. Last but not least, the Conference Manager Marvin Carl approached the floor. Organizing a conference this big isn’t that easy. So far everything has been great (although they misspelled Russia’s name, which the delegate did not miss to mention during his ambassador’s speech) which, according to the Conference Manager is a result of amazing teamwork. Turkey turned out to be a defender of the laborer when the ambassador pointed out that the add staff is “highly underpaid”. All in all, the ambassadors seemed confident and motivated to tackle the issues on the agenda and nineteen delegates hoped for fruitful debates. Well, then: to fruitful debates!