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The Maastricht Diplomat

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[AP] SOCHUM Delegates discuss culinary preferences ahead of talks on social inclusion

Delegates at the inaugural committee session of the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM) Thursday afternoon exchanged personal culinary preferences in preparation of expected productive conversations over the social inclusion of minorities.

One of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly’s six main committees, SOCHUM is set to discuss the social inclusion of national and ethnic minorities worldwide. Twenty-one representatives of a diverse array of countries gathered in Maastricht, Netherlands. Thursday’s agenda was dedicated to fostering understanding and cooperation across cultural divides.

Co-Secretaries David Čurilla and Katarzyna Kuliberda decided to launch the talks with a “more relaxed” session, leaving delegations to reflect on their personal cultural identities. 

In an effort to promote dialogue, Kuliberda split the room in smaller groups, asking delegates to discuss their favorite ice cream flavors and report back to the plenary. 

AP reporters witnessed discussions that appeared friendly and respectful. 

Representatives from France and Georgia, as well as Poland and Qatar, engaged in intensive intercultural dialogue, finding common ground in their shared appreciation of vanilla ice cream.

The Kenyan representative promoted a flavor from Belgian snack food company ‘Lotus Biscoff,’ and a single spark of controversy over Botswana’s preference for peppermint was resolved in an orderly manner. 

Secretary Kuliberda told AP the laid-back agenda was made to provide additional confidence to representatives, most of whom are first-timers. The first meeting was meant to ease them into the world of diplomacy, she explained.

Even though SOCHUM’s first session unfolded in a docile manner, experts anticipate more contentious discussions in the days ahead. 

Analysts expect the next sessions to show whether intercultural exchange remains as productive when addressing concrete issues, and whether delegates manage to effectively cooperate to formulate solutions aimed at enhancing the social inclusion of minorities.

EuroMUN Committee: General Assembly Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee (SOCHUM)


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