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Friday, November 16, 2012

News Brief: WHO (Day 2)


As Friday afternoon signified the coming conclusion of committee meetings, time was of the essence for the WHO committee, who had to curtail many debates and amendments due to the abundance of opinion for each resolution.

The last "serious" resolution to be debated concerned the issue of improving relationships between pharmaceutical MNCs, medical NGOs, and governments. The delegate of Cambodia fought long and hard for this resolution, co-submitted by Haiti, Ukraine, and Chinese Taipei and succeeded in getting the resolution passed 16 to 10.

The resolution called for MNCs and NGOs to collaborate in ensuring development and improvement in health policy and programs as well as develop facilities and allocate government funding more efficiently. The government would give incentives to pharmaceutical MNCs for basing in their country and ease regulations to expand production of low-cost drugs. The delegate of Cambodia also suggested creating a new committee under the WHO to facilitate relationships between MNC/NGOs and host nations, something the delegate of Sierra Leone scoffed at, while China liked.

The delegate of Sierra Leone compared the resolution to a donut, "It's sweet, but has a hole in it!" he exclaimed. He urged the floor to add amendments, "Let's fill [the hole] with some jam," but due to time constraints, this was unable to happen and the resolution was quickly voted on.

To mark the last day in committee, a "fun" resolution was proposed by the delegate of France on distributing sweets, especially candy corn, as solutions to HIV/AIDs. She explained that although obesity levels would rise, the increase in fat would make it difficult for needles to reach the veins, thus decreasing rates of transmitting HIV/AIDs through contaminated needles.

Many countries showed full support for the resolution, with China reminding the room that "Food is what makes the world go round." The delegate of Doctors Without Borders shocked the room when he asked what candy corn was and brought laughter when he compared the aftereffects of a sugar high with a "crash greater than Wall Street."

Despite the lack of a precedent in IASAS MUN, the WHO committee did a spectacular job in passing, debating, and amending resolutions. We hope to hear more of their creative solutions in the GA tomorrow.
-Heyun J. (12)

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