Daniel McNeill for NZHerald
New Zealand has proposed the resolution ‘The Question of Protest Management’, supported by the delegate for Lithuania. This resolution that would implore members of the UN to “not only address [the COVID-19] global protests but also to assess and improve national and international reaction towards protests”, as the management of these protests have been “lacking and decelerated in most governments, creating further civil unrest”. The delegate of New Zealand started off the session with an impassioned speech discussing the purpose of this resolution, followed by Lithuania discussing the importance of protest, saying that “protest is the reason most of us are here”.
However, this initial passion was shattered following a staggering list of 13 speeches against the resolution, with many reserving the right for their government to maintain “civil disobedience”. In a discussion with the delegate for New Zealand, they reported that, despite this extremely brutal blow at the start, “we have a strong team here. With power, persuasion and compromise we can get this passed.”
As the debate continued on, more and more amendments were made and passed that would remove the power of this resolution to perform its original purpose. The final nail in the coffin came when the delegate for Bhutan proposed an amendment that would allow for member countries to deal with protesters “as they please”. With this change, New Zealand commented, saying “we are no longer in support of this resolution”, imploring members to vote against the final amended resolution.
The final resolution passed with a clear majority.