It is important to introduce the Holy See and Palestine in MMUN’s committees because it’s a chance for delegates and teachers to get one step closer to the workings of the real UN: the two have accredited Missions to the UN.
Students and teachers will enlarge their horizons by learning about them in the international panorama: everybody will have a clearer vision over the definitions of Permanent Observers and Non-member States, which are essential to grasp the nature and roles taken on by the Holy See and Palestine.
They have been granted the status of permanent observers:
- Holy See was granted this status early on (i.e. long before many states that joined the UN much later)
- Palestine is defined as a “Non-permanent Observer State”.
They have jurisdiction (at different levels) over some territories: the Holy See has jurisdiction on an administrative land, i.e. the Vatican City State, and has religious (and moral) jurisdiction over significant territories where its worshippers reside. Palestine has jurisdiction over territories recognized by most of the member countries, and the UN has a presence with its OHCHR office.
There are exciting advantages for Delegates during negotiations when topics are discussed in committees with the participation of the two:
- the Holy See:
- Is active in almost every UN Agenda topic,
- Participates in all discussions,
- Delivers speeches about all issues dealt with by UN organs,
- Has experts all over the world,
- Contributes to the maintenance of international peace and security at several levels (was an early supporter of the League of Nations, and then the UN).
- Is An active participant in other UN agencies and committees,
- Is so important that it has Embassies all over the world (and its Ambassadors are formally accredited to the respective host countries),
- Has an agency on Palestine refugees (UNRWA – unrwa.org) established in 1949.
The work of these observers is the same as the work of any member state, except they cannot vote on the Resolution. Their Delegates can actively vote on procedural matters and enjoy discovering how important it is to work side-by-side with other members to create the Resolution.
This is a chance for students to study and represent two of the most influential – and sometimes controversial – actors on the UN and world scene whose Delegates are often able to steer resolutions towards unexpected paths.