False Starts in SPECPOL

By Daniel Juliao, El Mundo (opinion)

The Special Political and Decolonization Committee, more commonly known as SPECPOL, finalized its vote to choose a topic. Despite strong support from influential countries, such as the United States, for topic B (Governance of Somalia), topic A (Reforming UN Peacekeeping Operations) was selected as the topic of conversation. I do not agree with this selection. While Topic A is certainly a heart gripping topic of discussion, Topic B is much more pressing for the international community.

The civil war in Somalia has been going on for decades and has harmed thousands if not millions. The current crisis abundantly illustrates the failure of peacekeeping forces.  We can similarly see that peacekeeping forces are rarely successful in the Middle East. In a geographic area with massive religious divides and the tenacity to attempt to resolve the divides with violence, the lack of peacekeepers would do nothing to derail the conflict just as their involvement does the same.

Topic A is simply too vague of a topic to have a rational and functional solution. Meanwhile, topic B is less abstract and provides a more concrete list of feasible solutions. Delegates could have discussed economic sanctions as a viable means of alternative conflict resolution in Somalia.

For all the reasons listed above, it appears absurd to select topic A over topic B. Any resolutions passed for topic A would have a less substantial long term impact than resolutions passed for topic B. Moreover, the problem in topic B is a subset of the problem in topic A. In a building situation, every brick is placed brick by brick instead of a wall at once. This is no different. If SPECPOL seeks a solution for the issue in topic A then topic B should be resolved well in advance.

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Preparation for topic voting

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