Three days in Security Council

Umar Bin Rasid is a student (and passionate Security Council delegate)  from Mesaieed International School.

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Umar, right, with a member of his delegation.

After weeks upon weeks of preparation and research on Lithuanian foreign policy, and days after days of writing and perfecting operative clauses, me and my partner, Caleb, were ready represent Lithuania at THIMUN 2015. However, what we experienced was on the contrary to what we thought.

The day before the conference and the trip to the QNCC was nerve-wracking. It was me and Caleb’s first time in the Security Council and having heard myths on the unusually high intensity of debate and its difference to a normal committee; we were, without a doubt, scared. Upon entering our committee room, we were struck primarily struck by how small the room was and how very few people were in it. We immediately realized that, contrary to a normal committee, we won’t get away by silently hiding in a corner. We knew that the only way of getting through the three days was by active participation.

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We were lucky to immediately make friends with those sitting next to us, the delegates of Jordan and Luxembourg, and upon an enquiry by the chairs, we found out that most delegates in the room were also participating in the Security Council for the first time, meaning the fear we experienced was shared across the room.

The first day began with the delivery of opening speeches and policy statements, and we managed to capture the interests of big countries such as Russia and the UK by our policy statement. The committee then broke off into an un moderated caucus for 2 hours where alliances were formed and broken, clauses were perfected and where both, Caleb and I, met a lot of friends. Going into lunch, the fear both Caleb and I entered the conference with still lingered, and after the consumption of a lot of cheesecakes, we half-heartedly returned to our committee room, where debates were about to start. Caleb’s clause was set to be debated first and that was when the difference between a normal committee and the Security Council became evident. Every single line of our clause was concentrated upon intently and no word was left alone. It was only until Caleb managed to pass our first clause with a superb speech, that we realized that we could be serious participants in this committee. The lingering fear within us immediately subsided and did not return.

On the course of the first day, we managed to pass another clause and finish debating one issue.

During the second day, the intense debates continued with numerous clauses passing and failing, and right after I passed, what could easily have been the hardest fought amendment of the conference, our committee was treated with a motivational speech by our key-note speaker, Mr. Peter Dalglish regarding the situation in Afghanistan. The highlight of the day however, was when a resolution on an issue regarding Palestine and Israel from GA5 was referred to the Security Council for debate. What followed was one of the most intense debates I had been a part of and climaxed with France vetoing the resolution.

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Another huge difference between the Security Council and other committees wasthe veto. Representing a non-veto nation, we could definitely feel the powerlessness felt by delegates in the actual UN when debating alongside the P5. Once vetoed, a clause was immediately discarded, with no further debate. A justification was required by the vetoing nation, but that was as far as the debate went. We felt powerless and thought of the situation as unfair. However, it was reminiscent of the real world and we realized that we had to deal with it.