By The Economist at 12:50 PM 5/31/2020 (PDT)
Despite starting off slow with only seven delegates present in committee, the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT), soon found themselves embroiled in a discussion on the potential creation of an Intergovernmental Organization (IGO) that can work with the United Nations to oversee the construction of housing to replace urban slums. The delegate of China, who suggested the solution, also added that the IGO would monitor the construction of the housing to ensure it followed safety guidelines.
The IGO solution was unanimously supported, with only a slight wrinkle forming on the subject of funding. While India voiced their support for IGOs, they also emphasized the importance of having a source of funding for the IGO.
Even throughout the delegates’ debate on the details, the discourse was polite, with some delegates asking questions on the details, and others answering them to the best of their ability.
Such unanimity is a welcome sight in an increasingly polarized world, especially considering the parties involved. The idea, originally put forth by China, has drawn the strong support of the United States, a welcome change from the icy foreign policy stance that has recently been held by the U.S. against China. Debate has been nothing but cordial, with all parties involved, especially the United States and China, eager to create a solution everyone can agree on. Perhaps this is the best way to bring adversarial countries together: before discussing the big issues, find common ground on the small ones first.
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