Summit Manipal ’16: IPM
The International Press Meet was an innovative idea for a committee in an MUN. There have always been committees in which delegates represent countries and its news agencies, in which participants cover the proceedings of the committees. At Summit Manipal MMXVI however, the International Press Meet committee convened to discuss the the freedom of the press in emergency situations. Delegates represented various international news agencies like The Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, and BBC. With a modest number of delegates, most of them participating in an MUN for the first time, the committee had an informal tone to its proceedings, and was a learning platform for the first-timers.
The discussion on the agenda had a hesitant start, with only the two experienced delegates speaking on the first day. Encouraged by the executive board and reminded of the prizes that are to be won, the delegates slowly started picking up the pace of the debate. Presented with a crisis situation in Saudi Arabia, the delegates had to find a way to express their opinions against the oppression of their freedom without having the power to do anything about it. While the representative of Arab News tried valiantly to defend the rules of Saudi Arabia on the floor, behind the scenes he regretted becoming the punching bag in the debate.
With regular updates about the crisis, kidnappings, and murders of journalists as well as corruption in the royal family, the organisers did everything they could to keep the participants engaged. The rapporteur even took on the role of a delegate for some time to raise the quality of the debate and steer it in a productive direction. The chair welcomed solutions that soon began to be presented. A final draft, that was unanimous, voiced the committee’s concerns and pointed out solutions to handle the crisis. With a strong finish to the proceedings, Summit Manipal’s latest committee had completed an instructive three days of debate and deliberation.