By Buzzfeed News at 11:57 AM 5/30/2020 (PDT)
Debate in ASEAN has kicked off, and now they are faced with the difficult decision between Topic A and Topic B.
The task of picking which topic to debate first can be tricky, especially when they are as pressing as the ones in ASEAN. Topic A, which discusses increasing public transport infrastructure, is extremely important to the countries of Southeast Asia. Their unpredictable climates often make it difficult to establish infrastructure due to the harm it can cause to construction. On top of that, the majority of countries in Southeast Asia have a very low GDP with no extra money to spend on issues like transportation. However, Indonesia believes that forming solutions for this issue is much more important than discussing Topic B. They explained that countries with poor public transport often have low education quality and attendance, which directly affect the GDP. Thailand also believed that Topic A should have utmost priority due to the order of the alphabet.
Other countries saw it differently. They believed that Topic B was more critical, as it affects people’s lives directly. Topic B discusses unethical labor in international corporations, a brutal issue that often works employees 50-60 hours a week. China made their opinion clear with a speech in favor of this topic. With 85% of China’s poor population facing extreme poverty, it is understandable that they would have to turn to jobs like these. But China isn’t the only country facing issues with unethical labor. Vietnam was also in favor of Topic B because it is “more pressing”.
After intense debate over the importance of both issues, it came time for the agenda to be set. A motion was made by Indonesia to start with Topic A, and follow with Topic B. A second motion was made by China to do the exact opposite. It appeared that the committee was split over these ideas. Nevertheless, the motion for beginning debate on Topic A passed, leaving Indonesia, Vietnam, and other countries in favor, victorious.
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