By TeleSUR at 1:07 PM 5/30/2020 (PDT)
Mid-way through the first topic of debate, it seems ASEAN is deep in. Tensions are cultivating, solutions are meeting their genesis, and hopes are being realized. Conversations have amounted to actual goals, potential resolutions, and complex approaches. However, a growing problem has amounted in the committee: funding.
ASEAN is not a financially strong committee. The nations seek a resolution that serves all of them—first world and third world nations alike. However, it is difficult when the nations that fund that resolution, like China, disagree and have seemingly become the villain. The majority of the nations—which are predominately third world-- in ASEAN are advocating for sustainable, advanced transportation that will be easy to fix given an issue. However, China is quick to assert the necessity of basic transportation infrastructure, especially roads. In fact, the first thing I heard when in committee was a half-hazard defense from China, where they asserted that they were not against sustainability, but rather, wanted to fund basic infrastructure first. Island nations like the Philippines have no need for such menial methods, but they must attempt to compromise for the desperately needed funding. This solution could have been resolved with a better, socially democratic economy. But, nonetheless, debate continues on, racing towards a resolution.
However, as we delved into smaller conversation, I sat down with Loas and Papua New Guinea. When I asked to be put in the small group, I did not expect for it to be this small. They were quick to assert that the sheer underdevelopment of their roads is not enough to support new systems of transportation. This only adds new complexity to reaching a resolution—with two nations who don’t align with the rest of the committee, I’m sure that the coercion and negotiation (not new to any of the nations in ASEAN, but new to some of the socially democratic Latin American nations) will come to a tee. As they near the end of committee, an equitable resolution seems so close yet so far away.
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