The air in the room was tense on last day of the Global Leader’s Summit 2017. Today was the day to make draft resolutions, official. The room could easily be split into two camps, that is how different the two draft resolutions were; each bloc plotting against the other, looking for every possible inadequacy in their opposition’s arguments.
The delegate of Netherlands, a principle signatory of one of the resolutions, could be seen furiously scribbling on post-its which were then passed around to other team members. At the other end of the committee, the delegates of Afghanistan and the USA shared what seemed to be a cheerful chat. Both of them put their hands up to their mouths, giggled and looked across the room – maybe they had found a loophole? The chitter-chatter was soon intervened as the ably talented and beautiful chair, Isabelle, walked in. “Any motions on the floor?
The UN Women committee than briskly proceeded to introducing and discussing draft resolutions. For the first resolution, while four delegations took the floor, the delegate of Afghanistan did all the talking. When the floor was opened for questions, the delegate of Pakistan instantly suggested that the “draft resolution be made invalid because of the fact that it consists of just one clause – the fullstop was right at the end of the paper!” Half amused, half bemused, everyone in the room held their breaths. The chair said, rather sternly, “I don’t appreciate the small attempts, since yesterday, to undermine the other working papers.” With that being said, the motion was over-ruled, the tension in the room dissipated a bit, and the four delegates addressing the committee collectively wiped their brows.
The real drama was yet to come.
The delegate of Netherlands got out of his chair to address the committee, to express his deep concern at one of the clauses of the resolution which claims to give the United Nations the power to enter any country at will, as crimes against gender would become termed an “atrocity”, a word which has some very powerful ramifications in the United Nations. Some delegates in the room thumped their desks in agreement. The delegate of Afghanistan responded by saying that this measure was put in place to protect countries such as Afghanistan against domestic insurgent groups which commit crimes based on gender.
It was now time to see draft resolution 2. This resolution was very detailed and included a concept which the group of delegates termed, “milestone-based development.” Each country would have to meet certain milestones to be considered a gender-friendly country. Moreover, these milestones would be decided on a country-wise basis, and would not be universal. This paper seemed the most complete, but was also primarily dependent on the contributions of MNC’s, which is always a minefield.
When it was time to vote, the rooms were evenly split, the left side occupied by supporters of Resolution 1, and the right side by supporters of Resolution 2. With that said, there were a few stray unaffiliated voters in the middle as well. The only exception throughout all of this was the delegate of Vietnam who was the only person in the room who voted to reject both resolutions besides rejecting most of the other motions put on the floor. He was truly, the rebel without a pause.
The prospects of a hung assembly were high, but what do we have here? Draft Resolution 2 passes, and becomes Resolution 2! The UN Women committee has officially been an eventful and largely successful committee at the Global Leader’s Summit this year!
– Shubhayan Sengupta