By The Economist at 11:01 AM 5/31/2020 (PDT)
The delegates of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations took the express lane to resolving their first topic: Increasing Public Transportation Infrastructure. The sole working paper, titled “Bob,” was headed by the delegates of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam. It aims to allow countries to request funding in order to build more transportation infrastructure in the countries of Southeast Asia. During the two unmods, discussions of funding and China’s Belt and Road Initiative dominated the virtual committee room as well as questions of whether summits needed funding and who exactly was a sponsor. After unmods full of edits and clarifications, a moderated caucus was motioned for to hear delegate’s final thoughts on the working paper. Delegates praised the working paper for how it absorbed the various ideas and input of all delegates. Laos applauded the resolution for having a variety of solutions that worked for the various nations of ASEAN, rather than go for a one size fits all approach. Papua New Guinea showed their support of the addition of tying law enforcement with infrastructure, as well as for the provisions that were made to ensure more developed nations would not have too much influence over other nations. China ended out the moderated caucus, reminding delegates of how despite the division over environmental and economic issues in the first moderated caucuses, everyone was able to compromise and create a cohesive working paper that covered the needs of all the nations of ASEAN. Working Paper Bob passed unanimously at the end of committee, and the delegates of ASEAN switched gears into discussing their second topic. If the successful resolution of their first topic is any indication, the debate for the next topic is likely to yield a positive result as well.
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