Lunch surprising didn’t kill the debate in the General Assembly. The firepower seemed to increase a bit, but it was an obvious result of the group of ‘super-delegates’ in committee attempting to take control and thus, stake their claims to awards.
This is a traditional symbol of the post lunch sessions at MUN conferences, especially in Sri Lanka with its heavy carb diet. The experienced delegates know the curse of a heavy lunch and hence avoid devouring as much as they can. Even when the food is delicious, they eat just enough to keep hunger at bay for the rest of the day. The first timers, on the other hand, haven’t mastered that trick yet. Drowsiness awaits them in committee. Experience is the best teacher they all say.
The experienced delegates simply stay awake and get in as many speeches, POIs, etc. as is possible while the others doze off for a few seconds at a time. They rack up the points and begin to explicitly fight against each other. It was this that was witnessed when the delegates of Palestine, China, Russia, France, and Finland dominated the afternoon session.
The highlight of session’s debate for me, revolved around the third pillar of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). The delegate of Palestine brought up the third pillar and the role of regional bodies in implementing R2P in a Moderated Caucus, and debate quickly concentrated around it. China surprised both Tharaka, the independent adjudicator, and me by supporting a R2P framework and attacking Russia on the Georgian intervention. If China finds fault with that, then everyone else is justified in finding fault with the situation in Tibet.
Bolivia dropped a bombshell on everyone when he called for a Moderated Caucus on UNSC reform on the basis that there was no guarantee that SC member states will not invade other member states in the GA. The basis for this statement is unfounded and it came off as extremely undiplomatic. It highlighted the general issue with the committee and the conference as a whole on Day 1. Most of the delegates have the maturity to understand the UN system and even the international political issues at hand around them. But they lacked the MUN experience and diplomatic acumen to decide accurately on what to say and what not to say and what point in time to say that or not to.
The ‘super-delegates’ in this scenario simply did the minimum best they had to. Tharaka described them as ‘not even trying’. But one thing is for sure. Now that the ‘super-delegates’ have identified each other, debate is bound to get heated up tomorrow. I just hope to God that everyone else joins into make this a dog fight worth watching from the sidelines.
Interestingly, the resolution blocs that have arisen at the end of the day putting the ‘super-delegates’ and the first timers on the opposing ends of the ring. It’s an unusual set of events for a retired MUNers like me. But then again democracy has not behaved in quite the unusual manner in the past few years. Here’s a cheer to democracy for turning the tables.