On the 27th of November, the second One Day Simulation was scheduled, with one major difference to the first one: As expected, it needed to be held via Zoom (I think we are all well aware of the reason behind this). This simulation was held particularly for seminar participants to train and apply everything they had learned during this semester.
- The topic: “Effects of Foreign Military Bases on Sovereign States”
- The committee: Disarmament and International Security Committee (DISEC)
Behind their screens, the delegates were patiently waiting in the waiting room of the zoom meeting at 8:45 to be let in by their Chairs to test their audio. All the technical kinks worked out and the conference was able to start on time at 9:00.
After some very well-prepared opening speeches, the discussion started on the general speaker’s list. The delegation of France preferred to focus decisively on the positive effect of foreign military bases and almost convinced an overwhelming majority of the delegates. It was the delegation of Austria who pointed out how power imbalances between parties require a strong contractual basis in the form of SOFAs and Ukraine who, as an affected country, reminded the committee of possible bad effects. As expected, there were some minor disputes, one might even call it a quibble, between Ukraine and Russia, as the conversation shifted to some examples of specific bases. Consequently, the delegate of Djibouti was also very sought after, as a host to three different foreign military bases.
Out of these discussions, three very well-structured drafts for working papers were developed in the different breakout sessions of the unmoderated caucuses. Strongly influenced by the delegation of Austria, Iraq, South Africa, Djibouti, and Ukraine, the first group concentrated on a standard procedure for the negotiation procedure of SOFAs. Group number two, led by France, Eritrea, China, and Russia, aimed to introduce and establish a new advisory board to help host countries of foreign military bases negotiate a fair contract. All the while, a third group, consisting of Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK, and the USA focused on the importance of human rights.
After a well-deserved break and necessary input of some nutrients, the delegates were ready to finalize their drafted working papers.
Shortly thereafter, draft working papers one and two merged to one working paper, which was eventually accepted by the Chairs, and with draft working paper three also accepted, there were now two official working papers on the floor. There was even a sneaky RES/68/262, hidden in the pre-amps of the first working paper, which was almost missed by the other delegates. Had it not been for a very lenient Chair, who pointed out the sensitive issue to the other delegates, the delegation of Ukraine would have scored an unparalleled concession regarding the Ukrainian crisis. Each of the groups made their points, defended their ideas in front of the committee, and in the end, the debates cumulated to one Draft Resolution, which was eventually after one amendment voted on and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee.
In conclusion, there were still some “I”’s instead of “We”’s, the US came out of the conference as a rather unintentional champion of human rights, and the delegates, in general, congratulated themselves plenty towards the end of the very fruitful debates. And rightfully so, as everyone did a wonderful job under these difficult circumstances!
For some final laughs, here are some fitting memes to sum up the day:
The Chair on the right pronunciation of Status of Force Agreement (SOFA's):
2. On the sneaky resolution 68/262:
3. On technical difficulties during the simulation:
4. And last but not least, on the process of (rightfully) congratulating yourself:
We thank all the delegates for participating and the Chairs for successfully bringing out the best in all the delegates!