By Katie Jain
CAIRO (UN Press Corps) - “Without victory there is no survival,” or so said Winston Churchill, and on November 22nd, 1943, victory was a highly sought after feat. Ally leaders are meeting exclusively at the Cairo Conference, an ad hoc committee, to discuss the imminent threat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
The modern connotation of the Latin phrase Ad Hoc is “created with a purpose,” and this committee—consisting of 13 global leaders from nations such as USA, USSR, UK, France, and China—has exactly that. Italy just surrendered the war, Japan has been increasing its influence in the Pacific, and Germany tried to invade the Soviet Union in July. Fortunately for the allies, the Soviet Union fought back and for the first time, Hitler retreated, which, for Belgium Prime Minister Hubert Pierlot, “was a turning point for [the allies].” However, the latest crisis update affecting the committee regards the German bombs that just destroyed a number of ally oil supplies, primarily in the Middle East and Europe. Pierlot claims, “This has caused huge resource-related issues, and has really been the driving debate in committee as we figure out how to handle this immense loss.” As such, many delegates spoke of supplies, with some acknowledging that though resources have been lost, they will need to make do with those they have, as the imperative task at hand is to vanquish the Axis powers.
Moreover, some leaders, such as that of Iran, spoke of a need to “rebuild and recover” various war-torn countries, even after the fight is over, reminding nations that “the end of the war is not the end of everything.” Life will continue even after a peace treaty is signed and it is this committee that needs to decide how.
For some delegates, securing a long-term future after the war is the ultimate goal of the Cairo Conference, while others, such as Pierlot, prefer to focus on the present, saying that their ideal outcome is simply “winning the war.” However, there exists another driving force behind this committee, one that comes from the voices of the colonies. As King Farouk of Egypt put it in one of his speeches, “What directly affects allied powers indirectly affects their colonies. Because the UK has lost their access to oil, Egypt’s economy has been hurt as well.” So often are colonies and underdeveloped nations forgotten, their struggle cast to the side, but when looking critically at World War II, one can see that all parts of the world were affected, from France and England to Egypt and the Philippines.
Additionally, whether the allies should ask for unconditional surrender from Japan or should instead provide certain benefits to ensure no future war seemed to be a prime topic of debate. The U.S. was the first to speak during this discussion, noting that allied powers, “don’t want to make the mistake we made with Germany at the end of World War One. We destroyed everything, and then they came back.” Countries such as Poland, on the other hand, prefered to focus on the present, on finishing this war, “rather than aggravating Japan.” Poland even called for a vote of the committee, with results showing that only two delegates support unconditional surrender, while conditional surrender with the potential of negotiation won with seven delegates.
Though an end to the fighting may not be in sight for everyone, this committee was an assembly of the most influential nations and colonies of the 20th century, gathered to expand resources, to end the war, and to ensure a safer global community for the youth of tomorrow. There were disagreements and there was conflict, but the unity of allied powers against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan is imperative for this war to end.