Leoni Payano

Dear BERMUN Participants, Welcome to the International Court of Justice at BERMUN 2018! The ICJ is a unique committee which will simulate the case “Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Croatia v. Serbia, 1999)”. In this case, Croatia is accusing Serbia of having committed genocide. The defendant, Serbia, claimed that Croatia also committed genocide. The issue dates back to the Balkan Wars when the former Yugoslavia fell apart. Emerging states, including Croatia and Serbia, fought for territory and minorities were displaced. Although the Court delivered its final judgements in 2015, the UN was conducting trials for alleged war criminals of the Bosnian War until December of last year with the established International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). It is difficult to fathom that genocides can still happen in our modern world, especially with the prevalent power shifts, which relates back to the central conference theme “Strengthening Global Cooperation: Navigating Power Politics in a Shifting Global Order”. Judges and advocates will learn under which circumstances a modern genocide could occur. Having lived in five different countries, I have a had a multicultural experience that has extended my view of other cultures.  This is why I decided to become a part of MUN. I have come to appreciate the role of MUN in providing a foundation of skills and values. In addition to participating in MUN, I enjoy swimming, playing piano and photography. I am a student at thee Berlin Cosmopolitan School and will be in 11th grade in November. BERMUN will mark my fifth conference. Judges and advocates of the ICJ, let us arrive with an open mind and to use this conference as an opportunity to grow. I look forward to meeting you in November! Sincerely, Leoni Payano Registrar of the International Court of Justice