UNEP: Day 1

UNEP: Day 1
August 15, 2014
-Shaleen Shah

Delegates who haven’t spoken on this topic till now, please raise your placards.
*Hands go up in unison as almost all of the delegates in the committee raise their placards*
By default, all of you have been added to the speaker’s list.
Though delegates of UNEP needed some push sometimes from the Dias in formal session, it wasn’t always the case. Intense discussions did occur at times on the controversial topic of genetically modified crops. The rather aggressive delegate of USA seemed to take it personally when someone spoke against GMCs. Almost shouting at the GMC naysayers, he would defend his country’s stance against all odds. Other delegates would add some zing to discussions with strong arguments and facts to back up their stance.
However, some facts were taken from sources which the Dias were not too fond of. The usual “Wikipedia is NOT a reliable source of information!” warning was given in a MUN committee, yet again.
Composed mostly of young delegates, many on their first MUN experience, the UNEP was up to the brim with anticipation and excitement. As a result, the sessions at the committee were far from being dull, with a number of fun filled moments to choose from. Let’s take a recap!

The “No” guy.
Let me tell you a story about the “No “ guy.
It doesn’t matter what the question is, the answer will always be no.
Delegate, do you want to reply to what the delegate just said?
No
Delegate, do you have the opening speech ready?
No
Delegate, have you finalized and submitted your position paper?
No
Delegate, do you have any idea what is going on in this committee?
No
Deleg..
No.

Oh the irony..
Wasting paper in a committee named United Nations Environment Program? Probably not a good idea.
Writing only a single sentence at the top of a blank page and sending it to the Dias? Definitely not a good idea.

Please approach the dias.
Delegate, please approach the dias.
Umm
Delegate, please approach the dias.
Hmm
Delegate, please approach the dias.
But..
Delegate, are you there?
Yes..
Delegate! JUST COME HERE!

Quote Unquote
“The Australian delegate’s motion went out of the window. Not literally, of course.”- Moderator
“Apparently we have very big egos.” – Chair
“The position paper’s in my pen drive in a folder named ‘blablabla’ ”- Delegate
“Delegate of Poland, are you sleeping?” -Chair

Open Mic

Shaleen Shah
After a long, tiring ride, our delegates finally arrive to Sanga. Awaiting them was the first event of NEPMUN 2014, the open mic show.
The hall was abuzz with excitement, eagerness, and maybe a little apprehension for our performers. The song “All of me” seemed to be the favourite amongst our performers. The night was further spiced up with funky beat boxing, break dancing by our delegates from RBS, Nepal and quite a few performances from our fellow international delegates from Pathways school, India.
After all the fun, it was time to get down to business. And the chair of HRC made sure of that; requiring a few stern words to calm down the vivacious crowd. The delegates were then briefed about the timings and events the day was later concluded with dinner.

BURNING CRISIS IN THE SC

August 17, 2014
Shaleen Shah

After a long tiring day at the committee, the delegates decided to reel down and relax. It was time to party.  It was time to change their agenda from doing intense debates all day at the meeting hall to dancing and chilling by the pool accompanied by loud, upbeat music. All said and all done for the day, they thought.

But it was not to be.

The crowd of dancing delegates was in an ecstatic frenzy. Moving along in sync with the music, it was all joy and all bliss. All of a sudden, the piercing sound of a siren resonated amidst the dance floor; confusion, chaos and pandemonium erupted. The puzzled delegates glanced questioningly at the Deputy Secretary General, as if asking for an explanation. “Delegates, there has been a crisis”, he said.

“All delegates please head back to your committees, immediately.”

Ten minutes later, the SC conference room was a sight to see. Half of the delegates in their casual t-shirts and pants/shorts sat in their designated seats; perplexed and exhausted. An air of apprehension swelled within the room as the Dias announced formal session to commence.

For the next hour, delegates and the Dias did a tense, heated discussion. Time was one thing they didn’t have. According to the crisis, seven UN officials were being held captive by Palestinian extremists, and a video showing the legitimacy of their threats was released on their website. If their demands of complete economic sanction on Israel and banning of arms trade with the USA was not met, they threatened to torture and execute the UN officials.

Opinions, plans, strategies. The delegates discussed frantically about ways to contain the situation. The air was truly tense, with the moderator walking around, in and out of the committee with urgency with his Walkie Talkie beeping and crackling, the delegates and Dias wasting absolutely no time beating around the bush and getting straight to the point.

After a while of anxious debates, the Chair received an update.  Luck was not on their side. The extremists sent a message, giving the SC a fifteen minute deadline to send their decision. Failure to do so, they said, would result in massacre of one UN official every half hour of non compliance. This drove the SC to overdrive. The chair, in desperation, announced that the committee would have to break the rules of procedure. No caucuses, no motions, no points of information and order, this was a crisis. Straightforward opinions and strategies were shared and discussed by the delegates, turn by turn. No rules, no formalities, no wasting precious time.

An hour elapsed. Two minutes left to reach a conclusion. Luckily, the SC had formulated an extensive, ingenious plan to counter the extremists and their threats. A negotiation team was to be sent to the Palestinian border where the hostages were detained, accompanied with an armed escort team. Alongside, a small, covert NATO military force was to be positioned in the crisis area, which was to take action in case things get too heated.

With that, the SC was a success.  Formal session was adjourned, and the delegates headed back to their rooms; successful, satisfied, and with big smiles on their faces. And why not, they had just solved a UN crisis!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Nations Human Rights Council, Day 1

Day 1
15/8/2014

“Why are we here?” Asked by the head table to the delegates, the UNHCR committee started off with questions such as these. Mostly consisting of first-timers, the committee initially lagged behind revolving around informal discussions regarding rules and procedures to be followed during the formal MUN sessions. Not wanting to waste time, the head table actively sought to clear confusions that the delegates had before moving forward into a formal session.
Initially, the delegates had a hard time raising their placards up. .Whether this was due to lack of sleep, or some sort of hesitance, only the delegates themselves know . “Please raise your placards high”, the Vice Chair stressed. When asked by the chair whether they were sleepy, a unanimous acclaim of “yess” rang through the hall. The ‘sleep-deprived’ delegates claimed that they had been researching all night.

When the head table announced that the chits could be passed via the logistics inside the committee, the delegate of Ivory Coast seemed to be very concerned about something. “Are you going to read our chits?”, he questioned, rather suspiciously.

The committee soon dived into formal session as the delegate of China motioned to open the general speakers list. Despite some technical difficulties, the session moved on. Cringing to the disturbing noise their microphone was making, the delegates carried on and slowly started opening up and participating. Though most eyes were stuck onto a paper or a screen while making statements and delivering their speeches, the delegates went on with their statements concerning LGBT rights after the agenda set by the delegate of China was passed.

Later on, after several speeches by the delegates on the general speakers list, a few moderated caucuses, and an un-moderated caucus, a moment of ridiculousness left the committee stunned. When the delegate of Germany happened to say “gay by nature” during one of his speeches, the chair didn’t waste a second to clarify that ‘gay and bisexuality is by choice, not by nature’. All the delegates were left speechless. “Have you seen a ghost?” asked the Chair.

Further into the discussions, the delegate of UAE, in his statement, stressed that legalization of LGBT rights wouldn’t be possible due to the Sharia law. Later on, the delegate of Bangladesh put forth his rigid opinions suggesting that legalization of LGBT rights would only put people at risk of acquiring GRID (Gay Related Immune Deficiency) and thus pronounced that the Bangladeshi government was unabashedly against LGBT. The delegate even put forward the idea that such LGBT people with SSAD (Same Sex Attraction Disorder) should be sent to rehab. (What say???) Most delegates remained silent even after such statements were made. Maybe they were too hungry to speak up?

Finally (for the delegates), when the delegate of Germany raised a motion to adjourn the session for lunch, all the delegates ecstatically brought their placards to mid-air without a thought. The delegate of Ethiopia was an exception though, he wasn’t hungry.

*delegates return after lunch*

After lunch, it was as though the delegates were suddenly energized by the food. The participation level in the conference hall significantly rose, and the confidence level was on a different level. In no time, a buzzing debate on the LGBT issue resonated throughout the hall. On one side, the delegate of UAE and Bangladesh were blatantly against LGBT rights and on the other, almost all of the other delegates were fighting for the cause.

Overall, today was a pretty nice start for the UNHRC. We hope to see increasing levels of participation, confidence, and debate in the upcoming sessions. Cheers, happy MUN-ing!

Sulay Ranjit (Press)

What do you think about your Chair?

The press reports went around asking delegates what they thought about the committees and chairs. Here are some of their responses:

Security Council

“He’s [the Chair ]a bit..erm..um..the cocky type, like controlling you know….but that’s kind of his job right?”, said a delegate in whispers.

“Why does he [the Chair] seem to be picking on the delegate of USA?”

“Man, isn’t India one of the observer nations. Why is she taking the limelight?”

“USA speaks too fast, can’t ever get a word of what he is saying. But I still nod my head as if I agree”

Human Rights Council

“He [the Chair]keeps walking around, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him sitting..”

“He’s [the Chair]like one of those top MUNers and that’s why there is so much to learn from him.”

“I am kind of terrified of that guy..the chair..haha”

The delegate of Germany is apparently a finger-pointer, and never gives up an opportunity to blame all others.

Delegate of China : “People are born LGBT.”

The delegate of Chile was unaware of USA’s inclusion in the committee.

“Chair, point of washroom please.”

UNEP
They [the Chair and Vice chair] never stops sipping on their bottle of Frooti.

The ironic bit was that 11 delegates were unaware of what GMC’s (the first topic for the committee) were.

“Coolest chair, her smile is amazing”

“The Vice-chair is so rude, sir.”

“The chair and the VC can’t seem to stop quarrelling.”