Small but Mighty—“Outsider” committee characters make their voices heard

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The delegate from Grenada unwaveringly speaks out for his nation’s interests in the OAS.

GARIMA KARIA, THE HINDU (Opinion)

BOSTON: Oftentimes, smaller states or “outsider” characters in crisis committees are left out of discussions and debate due to their seemingly anomalous nature and “disconnect” from both the topic and the delegates around them.

Today, I spoke with the delegate of Grenada in the Organisation of American States (OAS) and the Habsburg Ambassador to the Court of Süleyman, an Ottoman-governed body.

“We’re a small country, probably the smallest one here,” the delegate of Grenada tells me. “It’s hard to have your voice heard when you’re in the room with countries like the United States and Canada.” When you’re representing a country like Grenada, one with a small population, small landmass, and small resources, it’s all about making your voice heard. The delegate told me that he spent his time researching the topics not only from his position, but also from that of the US and Canada. “It’s important to be proactive,” he says.

He went on to tell me about the OAS topics at hand, one being tourism. Grenada is heavily reliant on tourism, so its delegation has been incorporating tourism into all topics they are involved in. “It’s a great way to make us prominent.”

Right now, the OAS is discussing corruption in government, and the delegates from Grenada have creative ways of implicating themselves in this issue that would not normally concern them. They decided to create a transparency award named after their very transparent state. They called it the Grenada Nutmeg Award for transparency, and encouraged states to implement it as an incentive to promote transparency in other OAS states.

“The OAS boasts a policy of one vote, one nation, and as a small state, our goal has been to live that motto.”

In the Court of Suleyman, I spoke to the Habsburg Ambassador, who is the only Christian and non-Ottoman in her crisis cabinet.

In speeches, she is constantly targeted as a “mole” or “traitor,” and has been facing attempts at being tried by her committee on many accounts on grounds of distrust. One delegate even asked the whole committee “to reconsider expelling the ambassador because she is trying to destabilize [the committee] from within.”

When the Ambassador took it upon herself to return sacred goats to the Persians as an act of peace, as the aforementioned group had expressed animosity towards the Ottomans for “stealing them” earlier this weekend, she was met with accusations of “backstabbing” instead of appreciation for her contributions to stabilizing the relationship between the Ottomans and the Persians.

The Ambassador has been dedicated to and resolute in her role as “only a diplomat,” and she has attempted to prove her allegiance to the Ottomans by warning them of threatening external alliances, particularly that of the Habsburgs and the English as well as the Janissaries.

“I work for the Habsburgs, but I just want peace… that’s why I’m here,” she expressed. “It’s difficult being the only Christian and non-Ottoman in such a devout and loyal Court.” When asked how she combats this distrust, she says her main focus is to continually prove through her actions, more so than her words, that her main goal is a peaceful agreement between the two groups in the face of growing tensions and hostility.

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