Neglected by a world prioritizing pride over peace and apathy over empathy, diplomacy often feels like a lost art — if it ever existed in the first place. Although our precious world suffers scars of war, pollution, crime and division, it will always be worth investing in for its diverse and unique people. As long as humans possess the treasured gift of communication in all of its beautiful forms, striving to practice diplomacy merits a valiant effort.
In 1945, 51 countries heeded an international call for social progress, security and peace by establishing the United Nations, or UN. An international organization founded upon visionary principles of protecting human rights and globalizing sustainable development, the UN idealistically symbolized future harmony for countries recovering from World War II. Yet, despite seven decades of discussion and activism, many of the world’s historically pressing issues remain today.
Nations waging war, political leaders inciting violence and rampant systemic inequality obstructing social mobility are just a few trademarks of modern division. Still, the UN and every ardent force of diplomatic reformation remain dedicated to the world and its people, refusing to concede victory to adversity. Neither remnants of past conflicts nor the surging insufferableness of perpetual racism and injustice are testaments to diplomacy’s death and obsolescence. Contrarily, these conflicts and pains resonate daily reminders that the path to global reformation and progress is treacherous and not to be championed by the faint of heart.
Diplomacy works best in conjunction with resilience. For the sake of peace, I internalized this challenging maxim in my share of Model United Nations conferences. Simulating authentic UN procedures, Model UN unites diverse students to represent assigned countries and debate controversial world issues with the aim of a resolution. The arduous yet enlightening process of communicating with people I barely know to alleviate turmoil and division taught me diplomacy is not a lost art; it is a tool for peace waiting for the right architect to wield it and construct a better future.
We often slight the immense power of words, proceeding to toss them about carelessly while failing to comprehend their impact on the world we cherish and the people we love. Listening to and delivering countless speeches aimed at global unity and prosperity, I realized ripples of positive change radiate from the magnitude of the intention behind them. In the bleak absence of intention, change is constricted to theory rather than initiative. Whether you are quelling the chaos of global corruption or resolving a household argument, diplomatic change requires patience and intention of a monumental magnitude.
All of my successful Model UN conferences were led by students whose hearts and minds brimmed with this monumental magnitude of intention for peace and empathy. If a Model UN delegate’s goal is to start an aimless war, they often ignore the welfare of fellow delegates by dictating aggressive and occasionally authoritarian policies embedded within hostile speeches. Conversely, if a delegate is driven by a productive intention for unity, they campaign for peace and prosperity by processing their words and considering the shared goals of everyone within the committee. Following a successful trajectory, they draft speeches and motions for caucuses to diplomatically debate with their peers on an optimal course of action. Nearing a resolution, the diplomatic delegate courageously addresses the committee with strategy and tenacity. While this wise delegate often receives several conference awards, their paramount achievement is uniting diverse and unique people for constructive change.
The diplomatic path to reformation requires more restraint and resolve than the violent and impulsive dead-end alley, yet it yields a marginally beneficial and inclusive outcome. Pursuing this path will not rid the world of its shortcomings in a mere blink of an eye. Rather, it will open eyes to the potential of people collaborating for gradual progress. Communication in daily life may not be as structurally complex as in a Model UN conference, but if we can all learn to master the way of the diplomatic delegate, we can take one step closer toward a less divided and more empathetic future.