The last session of the URJCMUN 2016 started with a divided committee, where no agreement seemed to be possible. Last session ended with 2 draft resolutions to be presented, and today delegations, were waiting to see if Netherlands and Croatia where going to face up the other working paper. Both sides appeared to be worried and as the session came closer to the end delegations were starting to lose their patience, diplomacy and trust. The UK delegation went around the committee trying to ensure no supports have been lost and Croatia and Netherlands, went forward with their plan and continued developing its resolution and convincing nations to join them.
At the start UK, Turkey and UAE exposed to the delegations its draft resolution, which was based on the idea of creating a central financial fund supervised by the UNHCR. The aims of this fund were several; firstly, this funding would be designated to ensure human rights are respected and therefore, countries which host refugees should be able to offer decent housing and cover refugee’s basic needs. In addition, this funding should be a way of encouraging countries to host refugees. Turkey explained that the distribution of funds would be done by the UNHCR using a priority list of countries which are suffering the most due to this refugee crisis. Furthermore, The UK stressed the “importance of support from countries that are unable to host refugees or that can’t contribute financially, as cooperation is needed”, in order to make delegations understand, that even though they do not host refugees or give financial aid, they still have an important role.
Another proposal of the resolution was to use funding, to create safe routes in order to fight criminal organizations and avoid the number of people that are dying due to the dangerous conditions they are facing on their way to Europe. At this point, France raised its voice, which made these countries tremble of fear, as France wasn’t looking convinced enough. “We believe the suggestion of creating safe routes is a good idea, but a specific route needs to be established. How do you expect delegations accepting your offer, if it isn’t clear enough through which countries would this route go through”. The UK approached France during a non-moderated caucus to discuss this and received harsh declarations from France “Yes we did actually doubt in supporting Croatia rather that your working papers, because indeed, countries have been ignored, and France is feeling offended by USA’s accusations of not following our role, we feel that when someone doesn’t agree with you, you lose diplomacy and respect”. The UK‘s healing in the end worked, they listened to France’s proposals, and said they would talk with the USA about its proposals, which made France agree to be a signatory “if Balkan Routes are maintained, if it is created a new Mediterranean Route involving Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, and also if a route that goes to the Americas is created”. Lastly, France, seeing the importance and role that it was gaining gave more demands to the delegations asking them to “specify how and why we will choose those specific routes”.
Meanwhile, Netherlands and Croatia were on the tough situation of deciding whether to give up or not. They explained that the USA only offered adding their proposals to their papers, but that they wouldn’t give up on their paper. It was now on their hands, to choose if they should be the ones having an act of humility and accept the offer, or to maintain their position. After several talking and negotiating, Croatia decided “ we won’t present a new draft resolution, we have been for days negotiating, and we don’t want to be the reason for not reaching an agreement, as they won’t give up , we’ve decided to become the reason for an agreement to be signed”. Though, many delegations have seen this as an act of solidarity, others such as Pakistan felt disappointed, as they had seen these countries as an alternative to the USA.
Once the battle had finished, it was now time to work all together to create a Final Resolution, for this to be accomplished, the US, UK, Germany, Lebanon and UAE’s coalition needed to gain supports and therefore accept the amendments proposed. After Frances demands, and seeing Croatia’s and Netherland’s plan, clause 13 and 14 were included. These clauses specified that safe routes would be chosen taking into account climate, seasonal changes and any aspect that could hinder the process of refugees moving from one area to another. In addition, the suggested destiny locations and routes that they demanded were added, including America’s route.
After three days of insisting and repeating himself, the UAE managed to add in clause 12 its idea of cooperating with international labor organizations and the labor market, in order to provide refugees educative skills. The purpose of this proposal, was to firstly give them a real second chance, as gaining a job, “is the only way economies, and refugees are going to be able to flourish in this situation” and consequently as the UAE said “to make refugees no longer be dependent on aid”. To ensure no countries misunderstood this idea he explained “no jobs will be stolen, the point is to collaborate with firms in order to give economic benefits not only to refugees but also to the hosting country, let me explain, if a refugee earns a job, less funding would be needed for that person, and more money would be spent by that refugee, increasing money flow, which in a higher degree could even help to boost economies”. Turkey to avoid any excuses added that this would be a way of integrating people in nations such as Slovakia, who believe refugees don’t adapt to their countries.
During the final discussions, the UK lost patience, saying in response to the Holy See’s accusation of not being listened, “why would we talk to you if you have no vote” and adding to their comment of not having the support of an NGO such as Amnesty International that “Amnesty International doesn’t have a vote either, it doesn’t matter that they don’t agree”. When the UK realized, the press was around noting down their comments, the delegation attacked the press, accusing the journalist, of “not being professional and using off the record material, which isn’t allowed” and saying “you are not doing real journalism”. As writing, is our weapon to defend ourselves and we didn’t had the chance to, I will use this article to explain to the UK delegation, that when someone says something is off the record, they do not want it to be publicly reported, but it doesn’t mean the journalist, doesn’t have the right to publish it, it has the option, as we live in a country without censorship and therefore journalists have freedom of speech and therefore they are the last ones to decided what is published or not.
The resolution has been finally passed, and nations have managed to join hands and leave their differences aside to cooperate together. After these 4 days of MUN, we would like to thank all delegations that have cooperated and helped the press to produce their work; nations such as UAE, Turkey, Pakistan, The Holy See, Netherlands or Croatia, were always willing to give interesting interviews, share their views and comments and even collaborate to make the committee more interesting through chronicles. As a personal critique, the press center will like to suggest, that on the next URJCMUN chairs stress the importance of Press within the committee. We weren’t introduced until the second day, and until the end of the committee, people were still asking to journalists which country were they representing. During sessions, no gossips were sent to the press, neither roses; most journalists have said that they felt isolated and that they weren’t taken into account by the delegations. A way to improve this amazing experience for the press and make it more interesting for delegations would be to explain delegates the importance of reading chronicles and watching the reporter’s videos. In addition, it should be explained how they can use the press to have an even more interesting MUN, like telling secrets, for example giving information about notes being passed between countries, or it can be used to throw accusations to delegations or by asking to publish certain statements or news they have. People will be more aware of what is going on, more aware of what each delegation thinks or has said and a group of hard working journalists, photographers, cameras and reporters will feel much more integrated.
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