The African Development Bank (ADB) is an intergovernmental organization comprised of 53 Regional Member Countries (RMCs), which are African states, and 24 Non-Regional Member Countries (Non-RMCs), which are basically Non-African donor states. The ADB was founded in 1964 as a unique African bank. The main objective of the ADB nowadays is to assist African states in their commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Therefore in 2006, the ADB had a total amount of authorized capital of 33 billion US-$ to support different projects all over the continent.
For the National Model United Nations Conference 2007, the provisional agenda of the ADB contained the following topics:
- Challenges of Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in War Effected Economies,
- Policies for Regional Integration in Africa, and
- Promoting Good Governance for Sustainable Human Development.
At the first day of the conference, the formal session started with a minute of silent prayer to remember the victims of Malaria in Africa which had been brought forward by our delegation. Afterwards, the speakers’ list was opened to discuss the setting of the agenda. Soon it became obvious that the majority of RMCs favored to discuss the most pressing political topic, namely the Challenges of Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in War Effected Economies, while the Non-RMCs preferred to address good governance issues first. After a lively discussion, the committee voted to put the first agenda topic on top, acknowledging that infrastructure backlogs are the main obstacle for achieving the MDGs in Africa.
There was no time left to discuss substantial issues during formal session. Nevertheless, we spent the late evening hours to meet with possible allies in order to talk about our objectives concerning the agenda topics and to substantially prepare for the next day. After that, we met with our fellow Moroccan delegates to exchange our impressions of the first day and to discuss further strategies. We continued to convene within the delegation each evening after the official conference to discuss our experiences and to support each other when necessary.
The next day was dominated by fruitful discussions about various aspects of infrastructure development. Soon the committee came to the conclusion that several parts of the topic needed to be addressed separately in different working groups. We started to work on a paper with member states of the Arab League, focusing on sanitation issues and the improvement of the ADB’s review mechanism. Our aim was to work towards a more transparent and efficient ADB, as Morocco is the biggest African donor state. Fortunately, our delegation was represented with two delegates in the ADB, which enabled us to split up so that one delegate could continue to work on our paper while the other one was lobbying to receive further support. At the end of the day, our working paper was approved by the chair as an official draft resolution. Despite the hard work and tough negotiations, all delegations were very content with the outcome and the achieved progress.
On the last day of the conference, our committee had a long informal caucus, in which we discussed the several draft resolution on the floor. Unexpectedly, we faced a problem as France tried to oppose our draft resolution. Therefore, we had to spend most of the informal caucus to persuade France and its allies to change their opinion and support our draft resolution. Unfortunately, France was not willing to discuss on a substantial level. Hence, we were not able to convince them to vote in favor of our draft resolution. Back in formal session, we used the remaining time to hold our last speech, in which we summarized the most important aspects of our draft resolution and called on all states to stand united in the spirit of the ADB.
In the afternoon, we finally entered into voting procedure. Several resolutions covering the various aspects of infrastructure development were on the floor. Some of them were adopted by consensus while others had to be voted upon. Our resolution clearly passed with the support of our allies (other African and European countries) which fortunately did not share France’s skeptical position towards our resolution.
Due to lack of time, our committee session ended after voting procedure, since the committee adjourned the meeting. Altogether the whole committee was very satisfied with the achievements of the last days.