By Ianni Tan, Xinhua News Agency
UNDP’s Crisis Resolution is estimated to save approximately 1 million innocent lives in the conflict-ridden Middle East region.
It was a typical United Nations Development Programme council session until the meeting was interrupted by breaking news. An emergency had occurred; calamity had struck the city of Erbil, Iraq. The UNDP had received word that unidentified hostiles had severely damaged the Mosul Dam. The likely collapse of the dam mechanisms could lead to a catastrophic release of an estimate 11.11 billion cubic metres of water from the Lake Dahuk into the Tigris River, causing the river banks to burst. This unexpected situation threatened the lives of 1.5 million innocent individuals who could be brutally killed by flooding if the residents were not evacuated quickly. Immediate action was needed.
The delegates leapt into action. Despite their good intentions, however, the discussion seemed to be fairly repetitive, and it took a long time before delegates finally embarked on the drafting of a resolution. In general, the points discussed included evaluating the damage, evacuating the affected citizens, opening up borders to the helpless refugees (“for the sake of humanity!”), calling for a ceasefire, and formulating plans to redirect the floodwaters to other nearby water bodies. The delegate of China, upon seeing the progress, urged the council to resolve the crisis.
Right after the delegate of China had spoken, there was an update on the situation – a suicide bomb had been detonated. Delegates present in the council then reiterated the importance of a swift response. Afterwards, a consensus had been reached – countries would be adapting the principle of utilitarianism, meaning that they would maximise the number of people they would save (and, by extension, rescue individuals by virtue of the ease of rescue).
Subsequently, the meeting was interrupted by yet another update. Many water sources had been destroyed or contaminated during the main flooding, resulting in an acute shortage of clean water for the millions of displaced by the crisis. Many had also fallen sick as a result of consuming unclean water, with early symptoms of a cholera outbreak appearing within the temporary shelters.
The delegates immediately put aside their political differences and came together to solve the crisis at hand – all who were present for the meeting pledged (explicitly or otherwise) as much support and suggested as many ideas and perspectives as they possibly could.
For instance, the delegate of Ethiopia pledged “whatever transport methods (that) it (could)”, and the delegate of Australia was willing to “extend its monetary funds to help establish certain centers to treat patients”.
Eventually, despite a great deal of time being spent on discussion, the UNDP had successfully put together a draft resolution.
When interviewed, the delegate of China expressed that while China had “decided to align (their) stance with (that of the) US and Rwanda instead of Russia”, it was due to the belief that “political affiliations should not be emphasised here”. He then expressed his appreciation for the many other delegates who had followed suit and chose to align stances with him, and indicated that he was happy to introduce the resolution.
At the very end of the council, the entire room had unanimously agreed to pass the resolution.