WHO Committee – Day 3
The WHO met again today to discuss their primary topic of mental health. The beginning of the day saw much agreement and even a consensus form, after two blocks emerged in terms of financing the planned draft resolution. The consensus came about after some agreement that public and private partnerships were vital. This point was headed by the energetic delegate from Senegal. These public and private partnerships would focus on the goal of providing accessible medication for the global public. However, there were signs of reservation peeking through, foreshadowing tensions that would arise later on in the day, from Saudi Arabia who felt that primary health care should still be financed by the individual nation state. However, as the day went on tensions began to rise, and passive aggressiveness crept its head around the corner. It began when Russia raised the issue of indigenous people in Canada and how suicide rates were higher amongst this ethnic group, prompting the delegate of Canada to request a formal apology from Russia, which the delegate declined to give. This then led to a spiral of unproductivity and a lack of cooperation over the simple matter about who should read aloud the draft resolution. The delegate of Canada came out of the gate stating, “delegation of Russia cannot stay on topic so it should not read out the draft resolution”, with the delegate from the US agreeing. Russia soon retorted saying that the two delegates were “illiterate”, a bold and unhelpful claim, and furthering this line by writing “The Russian Federation has not agreed to be a sponsor, maybe some Member State might have either hearing problems or cannot write. Thank you!”. Saudi Arabia then decided that they did not want Iran to read out the draft resolution, presumably because of the historical and religious differences/grievances (I write “presumably”, as they did not give a reason for this statement). Overall, it became what some would call childish behaviour and others entertaining behaviour to a day that should have been about consensus and coming together. The last session tomorrow will see a draft resolution that may or may not include some of this afternoon’s sentiments in the fine text.
This report was brought to you by Phil McCrackin, EuroMUN 2021 Special Correspondent for the World Health Organisation.