Fast Track, Brazil!

The Economist

There has come a time when no one takes Brazilian politics seriously anymore, not even Brazilians.

Reading the twitter account of the @BrazilCabinet, it is clear that its primary goal is very far from keeping the people updated. Instead, its focus is on jokes about the current situation that politicians have put Brazil in.  Brazilians have already given up on trying to change the country.

After Bolsonaro, a prospective candidate for Brazil’s presidency, died, coalitions were made to decide on who would be nominated to run for president. In the beautiful pact between PSDB, PP and DEM, Joao Doria from PSDB (Fast track, Sao Paulo!), Sao Paulo’s mayor, was the chosen one. All his mayor campaign was based on lies and fake promises.  As for his vice president, Blairo Maggi (from PP) was chosen. He is minister of agriculture and second richest Politician in Brazil (I wonder why…).

This is beyond a scandal, and actually very sad. Probably every Brazilian who has started following @BrazilCabinet in twitter is crying or laughing right now. The only good thing that has happened is Lula’s arrest (we hope he remains in prison). To think about all the coalitions, all the misled decisions, all the corruption that surely is going to come afterwards is truly devastating. Learn to vote, Brazil! Don’t give up! Or we are going to “fast track” forever.

 

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A COLLECTION OF CULTURES: LAST NIGHT’S EXTRAVAGANZA

Clarín

  The delegates of the HMUN 2018 were met with an eye-opening opportunity the night of  January 27th. Gathered together before a stage, everyone in the audience was witness to a plethora of cultures coming alive.

  Although many delegates showed up in formal Western attire, an equal number grasped the chance to flaunt their traditions and the hall was brought to life by the colourful apparel. Among the most noticeable were Nepali delegates in their traditional hats and the Pakistani delegates- a large delegation- all sporting their national dress of ‘shalwar kameez’.

  Because delegates had gathered from all over the world, there was a collection of cultures being put on display on stage last night, each as breathtaking as the last. There were only a few performances, however, that stole the show. The first was the singing performance prepared by the Indian delegates. One of the boys stepped up to sing the new but beloved Bollywood song ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ while the rest sang internationally popular music such as ‘In the Name of Love’ and songs by Taylor Swift. The Indian delegation ended its performance with the heart-touching melody of ‘We Are the World’ which they felt “fit the situation at hand”.

  Closely following the Indian singers were their neighbours, the show-stopping dancers of Pakistan. As Pakistan is comprised of 5 provinces, the delegates had prepared the traditional folk dance of each province, including the much-loved Pathan ‘atan’ and the Punjabi ‘bhangra’. The performance ended with the audience being swept off their feet in applause. Other delegates got to see the patriotism of Pakistanis as the rest of the Pakistani delegation was constantly cheering the dancers on.

  The event came to an end with an absolutely beautiful performance of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ by 2 members of the HMUN staff, which delegates began to sing along with.

  All in all, it was an enjoyable experience to see people passionate about and proud of their roots.

A TALENT SHOW IN SPACE: WHERE ARE DELEGATES MORE CONFIDENT?

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The last day of committee in the UNOOSA was spent by the delegates embarrassing themselves. During this last committee session, countries went to the stand and showed off a ‘talent’ to the rest of the committee. When I walked in amidst two delegates belting Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”, I knew something was different. These delegates, who spoke within formal committee for a total time less than the song’s length, were at the front of the room with fifty pairs of eyes and ears focused directly at their poor singing skills. Why couldn’t have they been as charismatic during committee as they were during the “talent” show?

By not having to stress about the pressure of a goal, an award or passing a resolution, due to the committee’s formal conclusion, seemed to take away the nervous air within the cramped conference room. Everyone was enjoying their last few hours at the conference without any cares. But why put that energy into performing silly songs instead of during moderated caucuses, or writing working papers and resolutions? The time here at Harvard Model United Nations would have been much more well spent for delegates that did not contribute as much as they did if their well stored vitality was used productively .

However, that is now in the past and HMUN 2018 has come to a close and resolutions have indeed been passed. Hopefully those apart of the UNOOSA will forever remember South Africa’s rather good Frank Sinatra serenade, the U.S.’s dramatic rendition of Queen, and (somewhat trashy) Taylor Swift, because I know I sadly will.

Over 2018 Roses Delivered this HMUN 2018

With Valentine’s Day less than three weeks away, love is in the air, or at least … roses are on the daises. Over the course of HMUN 2018, at least 2500 roses have been sent to delegates in around 30 committees.

“When you walk into the committee … everyone’s really excited,” said HMUN staffer, Andrea. The committee could be mid-debate, but all activities will come to a halt when delegates spot the yellow-and-pink bundles heralding smuggled giggles and blushes to come.

One of the most popular committees, according to HMUN staffer Ryan, has been Legal. In fact, one delegate took to crafting a “love saga” out of rose notes.

The delegate started out his saga through sending at least four roses asking his chair for a thin mint. Once the chair acquiesced, the delegate decided to spice up the narrative up with some poetry and cookies.

With the next rose, the delegate sent up a pack of cookies, with the following attached poem (as paraphrased by HMUN staffer Ryan):

You’re doing a good job,

You’re looking like a snack.

You’re doing really well,

So here’s a whole pack.

In addition to cookie poems, HMUN staffers have been amused to read a plethora of country and Model UN puns.

“You’re the MUN for me,” read one note.

Anyone looking to send a rose must do so before committees end around 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, January 28th. Direct(ive)ing a rose to a committee is a MUNderful way to show your comprehensive, multifaceted appreciation for a delegate. Time’s ticking, so grab a rose and send it to your favorite delegate to end this HMUN 2018 with some color!

Signatories Drop Like Flies for Pluto 2.0

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The once strong and leading draft resolution lost more than just some momentum going into today, it lost any form of gravity it had that kept it standing. Originally having fifteen signatories, when it was time for the draft resolution to be formally brought forward, the Chair asked for those who were still signatories, only three placards were raised: Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Mauritania. As a minimum of eight signatures are needed for a formal presentation, having only three didn’t allow for this. Nonetheless, the Dias still allowed for 3 delegates to speak on what is within the draft resolution. The two head-strong delegates from Nigeria, who claimed to be the “main writers”, and one delegate who has been decently active throughout all sessions, hailing from the delegation of Zimbabwe, informally introduced Pluto 2.0.

When all other delegates sat and snickered over the plaintive cry from two-thirds of the signatories, the three expressed that they would undoubtedly love to work with other blocs so that they can still have clauses similar to those in Pluto 2.0 put into passable resolutions. Although Pluto 2.0 failed miserably, the signatories got their mission statement across to the whole committee and Dias: that representing smaller nations within the UNOOSA is the future and most inclusive way for space exploration to expand. As the delegate from Zimbabwe put it Pluto was a “planet but not a plan”. So for those who left their signatures on Pluto 2.0, they are still fighting for the rights of smaller countries like their own.

When you enjoy what you do, work becomes play

Clarín

The NGOs committee appears to be taking the phrase “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” to heart. Alongside passing directives and resolutions, committee sessions are punctured regularly with jokes, anecdotes and just plain fun! It is a pleasure to note that the delegates and the dais get along so well that it might be said they are thick as thieves.

The fun began after the first committee session, during which all 14 NGOs had risen to actively debate on menstrual activism. The dais decided to spice things up a bit by asking delegates to “sing a song about periods”. The reaction varied from uproars of laughter to open shock at such an odd request, but after some discussion, it did eventually happen. Two delegates and one director stood to sing a hilariously moderated version of the award-winning Disney song “Let It Go”, adapted into “Let It Flow”. By the end of the off-kilter music, both the dais and the delegates were in peals of laughter.

MAMTA, popularly accepted as the comic relief of the committee, also suggested singing a song about Djibouti when discussion centralized around it, and demonstrated by singing “Djibouti Djibouti Djibouti” while moving his lower body, entertaining all NGOs present.

Today’s committee session revealed an interesting discovery. Before the session commenced, a Nepali delegate from another committee approached the delegates of MAMTA and Save The Children- both of who are also from Nepal- and asked if their region of origin was Nepal. Upon their assent, they struck up conversation and MAMTA realized that they shared the same village in Nepal. Further discussion illuminated that they were actually old schoolfellows, whose parents were friends. Much to everyone’s enjoyment, the delegate of MAMTA rushed to call his mother, who was equally excited to tell him that she had been taught by the other delegate’s grandfather! When the NGOs were called for committee session, MAMTA stayed behind to engage in conversation with his new-found (and old at the same time!) friend. Inside the committee room when the dais was told about whatever had taken place outside, one of the directors noticeably swooned at the prospect of MAMTA finding his possible “soulmate”, whereas another laughed and said “They’re family!” MAMTA arrived rather flushed and 5 minutes late to committee session and everyone pounced on him with questions, having mixed views about whether or not he had found his soulmate. CARE and one of the directors asked, ”If you dated her, would it be incest?” MAMTA did not even think twice before blurting out a no… so you might want to watch out for some juicy gossip coming up!

Who is Leading the Peace Talks?

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There seems to be a problematic gender pattern at HMUN. In bigger committees such as the General Assemblies, it harder to get speaking time and therefore finding the countries with similar interest becomes a struggle. It must be noted however, that the men in the room seem to take the lead in these big discussions. At first glance it is unclear, given that the speaker lists and moderated caucuses are somewhat evenly distributed among female and male speakers as they are just presenting their countries’ perspective. However, as the conference progresses and more influential speakers begin to make their stance, a clear pattern occurs. Men, whether they represent a powerful country on the world stage or not, tend to assert more leadership within their groups. On the other hand, unless a woman is supported by the name of a known powerful country and it holds influence on current world affairs, they will likely not talk. Looking around the room during unmoderated caucus’ one can see that most of the stray delegates are often times (can you guess it?), girls. This issue bleeds to the presentations. Men representing Guyana, Sao Tome and Principe, Bahrain, Namibia, countries who no not often have a large role in foreign affairs, if led by men (which they are in the case of SPECPOL) will take a stand for their country. On the other hand, only the women who represent powerful countries in the world stage such as South Africa, The Federation of Russia and France have a significant role in their own respective groups, no female from a smaller country took on a controversial stand or assumed leadership positions. Finally, when groups present their working papers or resolutions, the four delegates either include all boys, one girl and three boys or two girls and two boys, but you never see a female dominated group.

These few instances of male dominated debate suggest an underlying problem in society where girls are “programed” to allow men to lead the conversation and/or fear silencing from them. This behavior needs to change, not only do men need to recognize women in leadership positions, but women themselves must take a stand for what they believe in.

DISEC: Dias Exposé

 

by Islamic Republic News Agency                                                                      

Bold accusations present possibility of Dais bias

In a discrete interview with the Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, an audacious accusation was made against the DAIS. The delegation believes that “the Chair is bias towards Saudi Arabia as they have been called on more than the great nation of Iran.” In attributing the cause of the bias, they claimed that the Saudi Arabia has “infiltrated the chair” and that the “chair has fallen victim to Saudi propaganda, who has fallen to US propaganda.” When the delegation was asked if that meant that the US had through a chain of manipulation influenced the DAIS’s decision making, they promptly ended the interview with: “We have no further statements on the matter.”