Suit & Tie, Glamorous City Lifestyle
Last Thursday, the Clark MUN team and Professor Srini’s IR class received an opportunity to visit the two UN missions – Sri Lanka and Germany – and tour the UN headquarters in Manhattan. Though I have never aspired to pursue a career in diplomacy, I would be lying if I told you that the suit & tie, glamorous city lifestyle have never allured me. After seeing ambassadors from all over the world mingle at what is known as the hub of diplomacy, the UN headquarters, I could not help but think how different my life would have been if I streamlined my career to that of an envoy.
The Sri Lankan Ambassador and the German First Secretary were two of the best-spoken individuals that I have ever met. They were able to discuss their foreign policy with elegance and conviction – two traits that many (not just diplomats) hope to master in their lifetime. Some of the key work of each mission is as follows:
Sri Lankan Mission: Holding one of the best literacy rates in the developing world and being globally recognized for its equality towards women, Sri Lanka acts as an exemplary model in the UN to help improve literacy, and gender equity among developing nations.
German Mission: The German mission promotes multilateral and cooperative decision making within the UN as it has done in the context of the European Union. Furthermore, given its mediation-heavy approach since World War II, Germany approaches world conflicts via diplomatic measures i.e. looks to military intervention as the last resort.
Now to the Cool Stuff: the Tour of the UN
After a regular tour of the United Nations headquarters, the seniors (which included myself) were treated to a special treat by one of Yohan’s security-related friends at the UN. We lucked out on not only seeing the General Assembly and Security Council conference rooms from the audience-section, but got close enough to sit on the respective country chairs to take some fantastic photos.
Next up, we had a peek inside the Diplomats lounge and the Qatar lounge (which was gifted to the UN by the Qatari government few months ago). If the rumor – that most resolutions are not really signed in the conference room but over a glass of whiskey – is true, these two lounges must have had a fair share of action since their inception