The Berlin Conference, 1884

Chair: Virginia Valenti

CM: Jaylan Smith

After centuries of war, revolution, and upheaval in Europe, a new era seems to be dawning. Leaders from all of the European great powers have seen the damage wrought by the last several hundred years of enmity among them and a general wave of peace seems to be settling over the continent. The Industrial Revolution and the technological, social, and economic changes that it brings are sweeping across Europe, and a new cultural and diplomatic renaissance is closely following it.

In all major European states, internal stability and peace reigns in spite of numerous challenges: Belgian Catholics are enjoying stability after their war for independence from the Netherlands; France is emerging from great the political transitions of the previous century, though radical socialism frequently rears its head in times of trouble; united Germany is booming under the political genius of Bismarck and is poised to dominate the continent if its leaders continue to act wisely; Italy has at last unified and re-established Rome as its capital, but many Italians still live outside of the borders of the country and irredentism is sure to drive Italian politics for several decades; the Ottoman Empire is leaping into the modern world with its Tanzimat reforms, which may just be the cure that the Sick Man of Europe had been looking for; Portugal continues to benefit from its convenient geographical position, with its only neighbor being a firm ally, and uses this stability to continue to modernize and spread industry within; Spain is itself coming out of a series of civil wars and is now stabilizing with a calm governmental system; and, finally, the United Kingdom is solidifying its position as a political, economic, military, and naval superpower worldwide.

However, even as prosperity abounds at home, one question remains tensely present in the minds of all European leaders: what should become of Africa?

Understanding that European states are ever more eager to command the continent’s endless wealth and potentially break the peaceful seesaw in Europe, Germany’s Otto von Bismarck gathers representatives from all interested states to divide up the continent. They are to meet in his country’s capital, work to regulate Africa’s colonization, and ensure that the present stability stands the test of time. So come to the Grand City of Berlin and maneuver to guarantee that your country rises to the top, that war will return once more to Europe, or that your own interests in an untapped continent brimming with wealth and waiting to be exploited will be preserved.

No matter which path you choose, the whole world is watching—history will surely be made here.

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About the Chair: Virginia is a Regional and Comparative Studies major and Arabic minor at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. Set to graduate in 2019, Virginia is Italian (yes, fully Italian with a passport and everything) but moved to India at age 12 and lived there until graduating from high school. Virginia began attending and staffing MUN conferences in the 9th grade and, after transferring to Georgetown following a year of university in France, has staffed both NCSC and NAIMUN repeatedly. When she isn't screaming in foreign languages at unsuspecting delegates, Virginia is sailing on the Potomac with the Georgetown Sailing team, watching Arrowverse TV shows or taking carefully planned power naps. She is really looking forward to meeting you all in October for her last NCSC!

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About the Crisis Manager: Jaylan is an International Economics major in Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service Class of 2020 with specializations in Arabic, Diplomatic Studies, and Vines. He hails from all over the country (and is obnoxious about telling people that he’s gone to nine schools in six states since preschool), but has spent most of his time in Southern California; thus, he frequently finds himself arguing in defense of In-N-Out. He had never been involved in Model UN before coming to college, but has staffed both of Georgetown’s conferences each year and also travels with the Model UN team to conferences across the country. When not doing Model UN, Jaylan is probably giving a tour, roasting his friends, or taking a strictly un-timed nap. He’s so excited for NCSC this October—see you all soon!