By Marelle Ruijgrok
The first committee session of the UNSC started off as every other committee, with introductions and a roll call of names of the countries to declare “present” or “present and voting”. The eagerness of the delegates to start the debate spread over the room and the tensions between the countries were still dissuaded by the easy jokes that were flying around. Not for long though.
The moment the debate was opened, an air of seriousness descended upon the Council and a motion to set the agenda was made. It soon became clear that the majority of delegates wanted topic A, the conflict in Kashmir, to be discussed first. Is this because it was first in the study guide, it is the most pressing matter, or it is the one which was best prepared by the majority of delegates?
As the debate begins, the stances of the countries become clear. France looks towards a softening of the Indian borders, peacebuilding missions, and confidence-building measures. Kuwait reminds the Council that the importance of religion and the inequality found therein is not an aspect which can be forgotten regarding the resolution of this conflict. And the Netherlands, always direct and pragmatic, attempts to bring the focus of the debate to first demilitarizing the area.
Every country feels the need to say something on this matter. Although tensions are rising in the debate as to how this conflict would be best resolved, what also remains clear is the need for the promotion of peace and security. The need to help the people of Kashmir and provide them with hope for a brighter tomorrow and that can hopefully be provided, with the help of the Security Council.