It was blissful as I walked through the corridors, sporting a black–golden pin-striped suit and an ocean blue tie, an uncommon attire in traditional Indian culture, worn only at formal events like this one. I could hear the voices of my fellow delegates echoing off the walls, trying their best to explain why the creation of ad-hoc committees under the aegis of the United Nations is so radical to tackle the problem of East – African Refugees. Such was the scene at lunch on day one of that Model United Nation Conference. It was the second MUN I had attended and the one closest to my heart.
Chinese delicacies were served during lunch, but my mind was so preoccupied with the crisis at hand that it didn’t allow me to appreciate the specialized cuisine; even the tempting barbecue aroma that struck my nostrils could not drift my attention from the issue. The delegates of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) huddled at a corner of the garden. “We are almost done with framing a draft resolution…”, said the delegate of France. Interrupting him at that very moment, I said, “Right now on the first day of the conference, it is too early to talk about a solution – based document like a draft resolution when the committee hasn’t even deliberated upon the issue well enough”. I advised my pumped up fellow delegate to first discuss the different ground realities of the problem thoroughly in the upcoming session and then work on a resolution with the consensus of the whole committee, but to no avail. France just couldn’t realize that there are times when one must start slow in order to speed up later. This soon proved to be the deciding factor.
I had spent endless nights, researching for this event, sorting out the core issue and possible solutions. My eyes glued to the laptop screen for hours with the reports of UN and Reuters being the only thing on my browsing history. On the day before the conference, I was feeling really confident about my research. So confident, that I felt I could actually represent my country at the real United Nations in New York.
As the last session of the conference approached, two draft resolutions were presented to be voted upon – the first one authored by France & Pakistan and the second one authored by Egypt & me. Now, as the chairperson was counting the votes, my anxiousness increased by the second. In that one minute of counting, I would first look at the Egyptian delegate, then the French delegate followed by the chairperson and repeat.
Finally, to my joy, the chairperson declared that my draft resolution has been passed by the committee with thirty-seven ‘YES’, six ‘NO’, and two abstentions. I felt elated as the session hall reverberated with innumerable table-taps.
The actions of the French delegate taught me an important lesson, about life in the real world. Although I agree with the fact that the draft resolution presented by him was actually better than the one I had presented, but it could not be passed because of one fatal flaw – the dictatorial attitude he displayed. He did not involve the committee in the decision-making process.
Thus, I may conclude that ours is not an ideal world, and in a real-life democratic system, involving the people matters much more than the quality of your solutions. However good your idea maybe, it will only be appreciated only if the people are able to understand. The importance of this event in my life lies in the fact it taught me the ‘ways of the world’, where popularity often prevails over quality.