Written by Al Jazeera
As the UNHCR committee debates the issue of passing all five resolutions on the floor regarding the topic of the climate refugee crisis this Saturday evening, they pose the question of whether this is a sign of collaboration between these blocs or simply a show of ineffectiveness and repetition of the same ideas. Seeing how complementary these papers are to each other, however, the Al Jazeera editorial board believes that this is a sign of collaboration, something often times looked over but should be emphasized upon more.
In theory, passing this amount of substantive resolutions may seem ineffective and to be frank, unfeasible. As the delegation of New Zealand stated, “it would be smooth and transitionary, but I don’t think it will work, to be honest”.
Because of how similar these working papers seem to be, passing all of these resolutions may seem ineffective because they all seem to address these issues in generally similar approaches. Thus, one must ask themselves if the committee is bringing this up just so all of their hard work will come into fruition, or if these resolutions genuinely work well with each other.
However, based on the speeches that were given defending these particular working papers, it seems that it is the latter that is true and that these resolutions actually do complement each other. While both of them take seemingly similar approaches to addressing the issue of Climate Refugees, they each focus on different facets of the topic, displaying a wonderful show of cooperation that is often lost in committees of this manner.
For example, the RAIN bloc places a large emphasis on accurate data collection, and how this will allow for more effective actions taking place in the future, while the Comrades bloc was defined by India as the only paper that takes into account the countries’ economic needs and that addresses agriculture in a way that takes into account GMO implementation.
Of course, some of these papers did run into dispute and debate among the delegations when discussing amendments. Oftentimes in these committees, unfriendly amendments are made in the spirit of tearing down a resolution and rendering it as ineffective as possible. However, as New Zealand explained, several of these amendments led to fruitful debate and many of the more contentious and problematic clauses were revised or cut out, therefore making the committee as a whole more agreeable on several of these working papers.
Thus, while it may seem inefficient to pass five resolutions at once, based on the debate within the committee, it is clear to see that these papers don’t clash, but complement one another. Each of them takes into account specific issues within the overarching topic of climate refugees and comes up with solutions for them that are generally corroborated for by the committee. Hence, passing these resolutions in tandem is a sign of collaboration between these blocs, a sentiment generally lost in committees.
In the opinion of the editorial board of Al Jazeera, the showing of collaboration between these blocs proves that when the spirit of cooperation, not sabotage, is in the air, countries can work with each other to create a comprehensive and effective of a solution as possible. If the world is able to follow in this committee’s footsteps, several pressing issues will hopefully be resolved in a similarly comprehensive manner.