A Brief Introduction to the UNFCCC Council

What is the UNFCCC? What does it do in the broader institutional framework of the UN? What are the Convention’s tasks? TEIMUN’s Secretary-General, Thomas Stavrinos, explains.

On the UNFCCC’s Agenda: Oceans and Seas – The Blue Economy

The ‘Blue Economy’ is an emerging term which encourages better stewardship of the ocean or ‘blue’ resources. It is about the overall contribution of blue resources to economies, the ocean as an opportunity for growth for both developed and developing countries, and it addresses the need to handle the oceans in an environmentaly and ecologicaly sustainable manner.

Oceans, seas, and coastal areas cover more than two thirds of the Earth, they hold 97% of our planet’s water and are a crucial source for global food security and health. The 14th Sustainable Development Goal is to conserve and use the oceans, seas, and marine resources hand in hand with sustainable development. Today, climate change stemming from excessive human activity is posing a threat to these marine ecosystems and environments, negatively affecting the environmental and economic wealth of our seas.

The UNFCCC recognises the pressure on these resources and calls for member states to act collectively towards restoring our ocean (blue) economy. In the council meeting we invite you, the delegates, to discuss issues such as overfishing, risks to food security (and health for coastal areas), the long-term pollution of biodiversity in the ocean for short-term gains, and the lack of attention given to protected coastal areas, amongst other pressing issues.

Council Level: Beginner / Intermediate


Meet Your Chair:
Marija Pullicino Orlando Smith

My name is Marija. I have always loved a good debate and public speaking due to my belief that knowledge is power. I’ve attended Public Speaking Academies in Malta, supervised the Debate Team in highschool, and eventually even flew to Denmark to participate in BIGMUN before starting university.

My background is European Politics and Society, with a focus on Central and Eastern European Studies. I also completed a Minor in International Relations. I’m currently completing a Master in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics to broaden my political background in an interdisciplinary manner; in particular to extend my research scope towards the field of environmental trade policy, political ecology, and sustainability. So, I’m super excited to be taking the role of Chair for the UNFCCC council this year! When I’m not researching or writing, I spend my days cooking mediterreanean meals, reading, and gardening with my dog.

Fun Fact: At the age of 17, I had the awesome opportunity to skydive – after jumping out of a plane at 13,000 ft, I can say with certainty I’m no longer afraid of heights.

Meet Your Chair:
Sophie Middelhuis

Hey! My name is Sophie, I am 19 years old and moved from the far south of the Netherlands to study International Relations here in Groningen. I was always interested in politics and began actively debating it in high school. Stepping into the MUN world when going to university made an enormous difference to me, as the skills you acquire during a simulation stretch way beyond just public speaking. It teaches you to write in an advanced manner under time pressure, the subtle art of stressing your opinion when views abound, navigating in quickly changing teamwork dynamics, and it forces you to take leadership even though this might seem scary at first.

Apart from my studies I am a trainer for the TEIMUN Society and a board member for the youth department of the Green Party here in Groningen. Therefore I am very excited to be chairing for the UNFCCC as this is a topic I am invested in. Apart from politics, I also spend my time on other things: I love playing guitar, listening to old music, drawing and painting, and being outside.

Fun Fact: I used to bake a lot of fancy cakes in high school.