By Jim Hsiao, International Bilingual School at Hsinchu Science Park
Aside from occasional bouts of hilarity, the Human Rights Council was mainly solemn and focused. The issues on the agenda included questions of the situation of human rights in Myanmar; sport as a means to promote education, health, development, and peace; reducing the number of children living and working on the street; promoting and protecting the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; prioritizing children’s welfare in areas of armed conflict; and promoting the rejection of doctrines based on racial discrimination and xenophobia. On the morning of November 16th, 2011, delegates debated a resolution on using sports as a mean to promote education, health, development, and peace. Slowly, the debate morphed into a conflict in philosophy. Delegates delved into the depths of human nature, arguing either for or against the inherent evil of humanity. Both sides were passionate and defended their beliefs with zealous fervor that was singularly impressive.
Delegates of HRC actively sought chances to speak. Their alert eyes were focused on the podium and resolution, and their hands gripped the edges of their seats in anticipation of further action.
The placards were practically flying and spent more time in the air than on the tables. Every time the chair asked for speakers, the delegates threw their hands up, clawing like zombies for dangling prey. To the participants, the conference was serious business. Maansi Kumar (International School of Beijing), delegate of the World Bank, remarked that everyone had “extensive knowledge on their issues, and were very serious about debate.”
Wielding their infallible understanding of the issues, the delegates coordinated their points and questioned their opponents’ arguments. The council was an unforgiving and brutal place, where every foible in an argument would be subject to assault. Ultimately, this intense debate rooted out weaknesses in the resolution, honing it to perfection, and acted as the first line of defense against destructive or inefficient alterations and arguments. For example, when the delegate of China proposed that sports could never be fair since “women have thousands of years of evolution working against them,” the other delegates fiercely criticized the remark, creating a balance to maintain a resolution that promotes equality for all. Fighting for universal basic human rights, HRC delegates represent the pinnacle of morality and justice.