Global Diplomats Descend on Canberra for Model Global Parliament
International politics recently visited Canberra as representatives of various nations and organisations met at the Australian National University to discuss pressing global issues. Tensions occasionally boiled over as motions were debated rigorously.
After the event, diplomats returned to their dorms, share houses, and other forms of student accommodation as another successful Model Global Parliament had come to an end.
The MGP is a forum which allows students the opportunity to address global issues of our time in an environment similar to a national parliament or United Nations sitting. The forum is also an ongoing feasibility test for a future world parliament.
This year’s Canberra event held in late May was organised by the Crawford School Student’s Association, in conjunction with Pera Wells, the Australian representative on the Steering Committee for the Global Interdependence Movement. The event was introduced by speeches from Professor Tom Kompas, (Director of the Crawford School of Public Policy), Professor Bruce Chapman (architect of the Australian HECS), and Federal MP Dr Andrew Leigh.
The central theme underpinning the Canberra MGP was global inequality. Thomas Piketty’s ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ and Andrew Leigh’s ‘Battlers and Billionaires’ were set as background readings to spark the fire within the student parliamentarians. The meeting also focused on three specific topics: food security, water and energy, and capitalism.
Students were randomly allocated to various regions or organisations which they were required to represent. Some of these included Latin America, Asia, Africa, North America and Europe, Global Civil Society Organisation, International Conservation Union, and Mayors of Global Cities.
Motions that were passed on food security involved increasing agricultural research and the reduction of food wastage. Water and energy motions focused on limiting the privatisation of water supplies and supporting renewable energy development projects in Africa. The topic of Capitalism produced motions on increased progressive taxation and more effective and equal distribution.