THIMUN & the Qatar Blockade
In addition to being a place where students enjoy themselves while honing their interests, the THIMUN conference is also a reality check. When students start preparing for the conference, they’re exposed to real-world issues that are being faced by governments and citizens worldwide. As students research these problems and come up with ideas for resolutions, they start to get an idea of how urgent these issues are. They see the impact of these issues on people’s lives, and on their governments, which are responsible for coming up with policies to deal with them. As they lobby and debate, they see how challenging it can be to get enough nations to agree on taking definite action. But most of the time, for local attendees, these issues rarely make a difference in their daily lives after the conference ends. This time, however, it’s different. With the Qatar blockade having been in effect for around eight months, we now pay closer attention to political exchanges between Qatar and other nations in the region.
Participating in the THIMUN conference gives attendees a taste of diplomatic exchanges, and how arduous they are. As we sit with our committee groups and brainstorm to find solutions, we start to appreciate the difficulty of finding solutions that are both feasible and reliable. This shows that Qatar, like other countries facing respective issues, has to consider the different means of resolving the blockade and the proposals of the blockading nations, deciding whether or not these propositions are genuinely in the country’s best interests. When we stand at the podium to present our resolution paper, or lift our placards anxiously to raise points of interest, or furiously scribble notes to other delegates, we see how painstaking it can be to garner enough support for a resolution to eventually be passed.
Since we, as delegates, represent nations, delegates may have to argue according to the nation’s interests against a majority, despite the lack of support. The same is the true when it comes to the real world and, in this case, Qatar. Qatar stands nearly isolated when it comes to regional support with regard to the blockade. As with any nation, Qatar’s actions in a state of crisis determine its values as a country. This MUN conference in the midst of an ongoing blockade reminds us of how diplomacy is more important now than ever.