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So then when delegates are assigned a country, they make sure they get their facts straight about what country to approach, whom to form alliances with, etcetera. Now if this on the one hand enhances the simulation and makes it more realistic, it has two major downsides which I will briefly comment upon.
Those delegates who have experienced the 'controversial country', know exactly what I am talking about. Some delegates get so caught up in their role as a country, that they forget about the individuals behind them. The results are that not only they will not speak to you during the committee session, but they will inevitably not like you for the whole conference, and all because you are either China, Russia or the United States.
In my personal experience, I was once at a conference where I represented Israel. Before the committee I met this really nice guy and we started chatting. After a few minutes of discussion we ended up talking about the conference. He was the delegate representing DPRK. Believe it or not, once the conference started, he stopped talking to me; moreover, he kept sending right of reply notes to the directors every time I spoke. Now I understand you are being in character, but that may be a little too much!
I believe that the world of foreign relations is incredibly complicated, and that Model United Nations cannot grasp it to the fullest.
However, I don't agree with the fact that diplomatic relations should play a fundamental role in deciding whom to team up with to write a working paper or a resolution. After all, as I mentioned before, delegates are first of all individuals, and United Nations representatives are individuals as well: both represent a country (the former in a simulation, the latter in a real setting) but they bring their own opinions to the table. That is why I believe that the Diplomatic Relations taboo can and should be overcome from time to time.
At the same conference where I was at odds with DPRK, I collaborated closely with Afghanistan on a Resolution on 'Transition of Security Duties in Afghanistan': it is simple to see why, since the topic was focusing on Afghanistan. At the end of the conference, a delegate came up to me and said: "You are Israel. Afghanistan does not recognize you, you don't have diplomatic relations with them. You should not talk to each other, let alone write a resolution. Why did you do that?"
This is in my opinion, the very essence of the problem of the United Nations. A platform which should foster international dialogue and cooperation gets so caught up in international politics that ends up highlighting those problems which is trying to solve.
I believe that MUN delegates should overcome this taboos, overcome these fixed schemes and try to show the world that, no matter what country you represent or how bitter you are supposed to be, collaboration is possible.
Otherwise, we will end up like this: