South-South Cooperation Prevails in the General Assembly

GLOBAL TIMES – Appeals for international unity have grown sour in the General Assembly. The “three-bloc system” that the members of the Assembly have organised themselves into are beginning to cause tensions along regional lines. In response to this, the Russian Federation in a surprising statement, made clear of its concerns that “such [disunity] is contrary to the spirit of the Second Committee.”

Representatives from the Africa-Caribbean-Latin America-Oceania (ACLAO) bloc have expressed their frustrations over their interactions with the Europe bloc. Tensions flared when representatives of the Europe bloc accused the ACLAO bloc for “theft of ideas.” However, representatives of the ACLAO bloc maintain that ideas such as “regional frameworks” were in fact “stolen” by members of the Europe bloc. This view is based on environmental sensitivities, especially in biologically rich regions such as the Amazon, that are specific to the ACLAO bloc. When pressed further, representatives of the ACLAO bloc went as so far as to claim that Europe bloc’s aggressive attitude is reflective of the “imperial legacy that [the West] has had on the ACLAO countries, and the broader Global South.” In a fiery closing statement, the ACLAO bloc warned that if Europe continues to pursue these accusations, that the ACLAO bloc maintains “a sizable majority” which could potentially “influence the vote” of the Assembly.

Other sources of contention lied in specific details of working papers. Several Europe bloc representatives firmly held that any resolution passed by the General Assembly must not mention the 2010 Nagoya Protocol, citing “the lack of unanimous ratification” by members of the Europe bloc. This has been a cause of irritation, specifically for the Asia and ACLAO blocs, who reference the Protocol in their respective working papers. When asked on the state of Asia-Europe bloc relations, several representatives of the Asia bloc expressed that if Europe persists on its divisive rhetoric, they would withdraw support for a Asia-Europe merger. When asked whether the Asia bloc would consider merging with the ACLAO bloc, representatives stated that they would “look favourably for talks.”

China considers the ACLAO-Europe situation as concerning, expressing the need for calm from all regional blocs. China rejects the use of “personal attacks” made by specific delegates and remains neutral on the issue of inter-regional conflict. This sentiment was echoed by other members of the Asia and ACLAO blocs, who see the actions by the specific delegates as an appeal for greater “further negotiations.”

When asked for further comment, the ACLAO bloc expressed that they would remain reserved on the issue.