By Lyn Drummond, Australia

The second day of the three day simulation was a very long one. It started just after midnight, then 2am, and 4am as negotiators were hauled from their beds to find out the latest and changing news that would affect their bid to reach major agreements on the
transition process of the mythical country, Kanrayistan. Tempers were hard to keep at bay later as tiredness took over.

In one incident role plays verged on realism as three Intelligence officers from a country with large vested interests in its neighbour Kanrayistan interrupted a high level meeting of the strategy group demanding to know why they had been expelled from their particular working group. The officers ended up in jail for a potential security breach, or not following procedure, or aggressive behaviour; it isn’t clear yet.

When the heat abated, the three issued a press release from jail asking for an explanation for their expulsion and gave solid reasons for being back in the big transition picture.

As can be seen from this scenario, the international debate on transition is fraught. Those who discuss and argue and do covert business in huddles away from the main table, are all after the same thing- the heady scent of power. Of control. Or at least as much power as they can reasonably attain. Without too much finger pointing and blame throwing.

Diplomacy is still the key to an agreement that works reasonably well, even if not all are totally satisfied. The art of diplomacy as we are learning is how to let others have it your way – without their realising it.

How to achieve the progressive transfer of power, property and legitimacy for key tasks and responsibilities so the nation in question moves forward is to be decided tomorrow with the last of the three days of agreements due to be completed.