Opinion: Diplomacy Prevails! Why smaller committees lead to consensus.

By The Economist at 10:58 AM 5/31/2020 (PDT)

While most Model United Nations conferences host a wide selection of committee sizes,

the committees at this year’s unique iteration of KINGMUN tended to be smaller in size. Rather

than be a detriment, however, this has proved to be a success for the delegates of the Association

of Southeast Asian Nations. With only ten delegates present in a committee that usually boasts

twenty member states, they still managed to pass a successful resolution.

Unlike the United Nations Security Council, which, its small committee size is often

hindered by the veto power of its five permanent members, ASEAN’s small size has allowed all

the delegates to share their views and create a cohesive resolution that covers all their needs. It

is helpful, also, that while there are large disparities in wealth between the different countries all

member states share a common location and heritage in Southeast Asia.

In a larger committee, such as the WHO, SOCHUM, or UNESCO, which can boast

upwards of 70 members, both the large size of the committee, and the wide differences in the

cultures, geographical locations, and of course the needs of the different countries can often lead

to multiple, sometimes conflicting, resolutions. Besides lending themselves to multiple

resolutions, larger committees give individual delegates less time to present their views in both

moderated and unmoderated caucuses, which may lead to some creative ideas being lost among

the crowds.

Large committees are, of course, still necessary for the United Nations. The beauty of the

UN is how it brings together the world’s countries to discuss urgent issues that require

worldwide cooperation. Countries that are drastically different from each other, countries with no

diplomatic relations, or countries that have adversarial attitudes towards each other, all sit in the

same room, with the intention of making the world a better place. Regardless, praise must be

given to the small committee and to KINGMUN’s ASEAN, both for its high standard of

diplomatic debate and a resolution that strives to fit the needs of all Southeast Asian nations


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