By Ho June Chun, International School of Ho Chi Minh City
Enthusiastic experts of the Advisory Panel on the Question of the Indochinese Peninsula (APQIP) filled the room with heated controversy. Nobody was taking the debate lightly. Everyone had serious looks on their faces, determined to produce the best solution for the issue at hand. Everyone was in position – ready to give his or her opinion to the rest of the APQIP.
The main theme that Advisory Panel set for this conference was “The Question of the Indochinese Peninsula.” Some delegates worked to come up with ideas for resolutions for the issue while others rose to balance this by pinpointing potential flaws of the resolutions’ clauses. Yukio (International School Yangon), the expert of UNHCR noted “The Advisory Panel can be very intense and intimidating.”
However, heated debates and formal speeches are not the only features of the Advisory Panel. When the entire committee was asked with question, “What was one of the most interesting parts of this committee so far?” most people pointed to a delegate who had fallen asleep during the debating process. The delegate justified himself, saying that he “reluctantly fell asleep.”
Typically, committees produce a number of resolutions to solve issues assigned to each committee. However, the Advisory Panel is a committee that does not bind to such rules. The Advisory Panel functions like the Security Council: their debate starts as soon as the conference begins and does not lobby resolutions. They create one big resolution together, debating clause by clause. Nobody can veto clauses in Advisory Panel; instead, they continue adding amendments to the resolution. Advisory Panel takes their time to focus on one topic over the whole conference. They branch out to further sub topics, discussing one per day to address all aspects of the main topic. On the last day, the Advisory Panel presents their resolutions to the Security Council. The Security Council then decides whether to pass or fail the resolution.
Devyani Gupta (Mont’ Kiara International School), the deputy president of APQIP, noted that “The experts have been extremely involved in the debate, from submitting detailed and comprehensive clauses to speaking passionately on their stance on the issues to critically analyzing and amending the proposed solutions. Debate has been constructive and productive and a joy to chair.” Just by looking at the intensity of discussion today, there is guaranteed to be productive debate in the APQIP for the next few days.