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Messing Around with Disarmament and International Security

Making First Committee A Little Less Boring

Week one: Welcome to the general debate!

And off we go! What a thrilling ride awaits as some of the world's most riveting speakers dazzle us with their imaginative, spirited rhetoric. Startling, original ideas expressed in clear, inspiring language. What could be better?

Well, almost anything, to be honest. So to help you, the long-suffering delegate, get through the next few days without gnawing off your own arm, we have put together a few diversions.

Competition time!

As the first week draws to a soporific close, it's time to liven things up with not one but two contests. Win real cash!

Competition 1: The Wildfire>_ Historical Research Prize: We are offering $50 to the first person who can convincingly find and document the first use in the General Assembly of the term "cornerstone" when referring to the NPT. (We will offer an additional $50 for anyone who tracks down the originator of this term, if still alive, and makes him or her eat a copy of the 2010 NPT review conference final document - video evidence required.)

Competition 2: the Wildfire>_ "Do-as-we-say-not-as-we-do" Weasel Challenge: This one is inspired by something Norway said in the general debate: "Pending the total elimination of nuclear weapons, we should continue our efforts to reduce the role of this category of weapons in security policies and doctrines." Has Norway, a NATO member, ever done anything to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its security policies or doctrines? Has any weasel done any such thing? What about the weasel members of the NPDI, who called in Hiroshima last April for those who have not done so "to start reducing the role of nuclear weapons in their security strategies and military doctrines"?

So we are offering a prize of $50 to the first delegate of a weasel state who can point to a single concrete, practical, measurable action that his or her government has taken to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its security policies or doctrines.

Send your entries by e-mail to, with "contest" in the subject line. Entries close whenever we get tired of it.

China's blast from the past

Among the other worthy assurances tossed into the General Debate this week was this one from China: "China has consistently stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons".

Well, maybe not quite that consistently. Here's a picture sent from a Wildfire>_ accomplice of a fascinating exhibit in the Shanghai Propaganda Museum:

How times have changed! Nowadays, of course, nuclear-armed states - and the P5 in particular - have to pretend they don't like their nukes. But we can't help noticing they still have them.

General debate - Day 1 quiz

ProProfs Quiz- General debate quiz - Day 1

Poll: Things that make you go "uh?"

Which of these statements struckyou as most bizarre?

First Committee Buzzword Bingo

Click here to play First Committee Buzzword Bingo (opens in a new window). Listen for the buzzwords in the debate, and click them on the card. Get five in a row, horizontally, vertically or diagonally, and you've won. Shout BINGO! as loud as you can - it is important that your colleagues know you have won.

World of Peacecraft

Multilateral diplomacy getting you down? You're not alone! But this video from John Oliver will cheer you up:

First Committee Hangman!

A simple, old-fashioned game. Guess the hackneyed disarmament cliches before you get hanged! Hint: all these terms will be used in the general debate.

First Committee Hangman game » hangman online

What are you doing about the unacceptable humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons?

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