BY OLIVIA MILNE, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
When talking with members of the press this evening, it was clear that all delegates from Non-Governmental Organizations have seen the change they can bring about in committee sessions firsthand. Nearly every delegate asked was able to provide an example of a time when their presence had directly influence debate.
For example, the representative from Greenpeace International recounted a time when every NGO delegate attended a session of the United Nations Environmental Programme at once. Discussion in the room started to get off topic, and all the NGO’s walked out. The Greenpeace delegate says that as soon as all the NGO members left the room, discussion fell flat, and the NGO’s were asked to come back and help start a productive discussion again. The representative from the Acumen Fund says that his organization’s insight into funding policies in countries and nations was able to help committee members figure out which social and economic policies would best benefit the goals of their nations.
The representative from Child Rights International Network said that one of his speeches during committee was also something that helped stir discussion. After giving his speech on a certain amendment, the committee decided to extend time to talk about this amendment at greater length.
The NGO Program is essential to producing productive debate in committees. The NGOs serve the purpose of reminding delegates here the direction of the debate should head, and how their work directly connects to improving the lives of people all across the globe.