Co-Chair: Lida Hamidi Co-Chair: Amal Latif Moderator: Julia Bissonette
Position papers will be due on February 2, 2018. The position paper format, and all other important conference documents, can be found on our conference website, http://lhhsconference.weebly.com/. Email all position papers to our committee email: email@example.com. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns! Hi my name is Amal Latif and I am your co-chair and I am a senior at Laguna Hills High School. I have been doing MUN for 3 years. I like meeting new people and debating about topics that I haven’t heard of before. Hello delegates! My name is Lida Hamidi and I will be your co-chair! I am currently a junior at Laguna Hills and have been in MUN for 3 years. I am the junior class Vice President in ASB and I’m on swim. In my free time I like to watch The Office and I’m the proud president of the Office Club at my school. Hi! My name is Julia Bissonette and I am your moderator. I am a sophomore at Laguna Hills High School and this is my second year in MUN. I enjoy learning about others’ perspectives on topics and spend my free time writing, drawing, and doing ballet dance.
Topic A: Yemen Conflict Background Near the beginning of 2011, the former president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, stepped down from office to hand over his power to Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi because of the pressures from his former allies. This led to unstable political transitions for the people of Yemen. Four years later, the Houthis, a predominantly Zaidi Shia-led armed group, created the beginnings of a civil war against President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi with plans to take control of the country. In response, a Saudi-led coalition was formed in order to restore the country’s internationally recognized government. Yemen’s infrastructure has been severely damaged due to airstrikes caused by the conflict, affecting its economy and persons. Continual airstrikes have destroyed many schools, hospitals, and homes, leaving over 8,000 civilians injured, 5,000 dead, 7 million in famine, and 540,000 suffering from cholera, with over 20.7 million people in need of humanitarian aid. The cost of this destruction was last reported at $14 billion. 62 NGOs recognized the outbreak and formed a coalition warning the UN that severe human rights violations are being committed in the area. Additionally, several terrorist groups are in the location, so the USA has decided to get involved in the situation. To further complicate the matter, the UK government has been earning a large profit from arm sales to Saudi Arabia.
UN Involvement The UN has sent humanitarian aid to the country of Yemen in efforts to help alleviate the massive stresses put on the country by this conflict. The UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, called for predictable and stable access for both humanitarian and commercial imports through Yemen’s land and port routes. There is a current famine going on in Yemen, putting it in a state of multiple, complex emergencies. The UN recognises the the crisis Yemen is experiencing ranging from the conflict which is causing internal displacement and to poverty leading to food shortages. To help this country's diverse issues they have utilizes several different UN agencies and partners which specialize in different aspects of Yemen’s overall problem. One being the OCHA which has assisted in funding and in collecting research on the status in Yemen. UNICEF has also stepped in by implementing mobile medical clinics for the impoverished children. Groups such as the WFP and and FAO which specialize in food have doubled the number of assisted people in 2017 and continue to send their aid. By reaching out to these groups the UN has broadened their reach and are thus able to provide more assistance and aid to Yemen. The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed stated that the people of Yemen are getting poorer while the influential leaders are getting richer. Yemen’s own government is not interested in finding solutions because as a result of doing this, they will lose their power and control in a settlement. The UNSC and the Yemeni government are trying to both bring themselves to the negotiating table as it will bring about the security of securing humanitarian access. This remains essential as it will not replace a solution as a larger comprehensive peace deal.
Bloc Positions African Bloc: African countries such as Nigeria, Somalia, and South Sudan along with Yemen are facing a drought and famine. Asian Bloc: Saudi Arabia is unhappy with Pakistan’s reluctance for joining the coalition of houthi rebels because they are one of Pakistan’s financers in multiple factors. Middle Eastern Bloc: There are a total of 22 member nations in the Arab League, many of which have not given aid to Yemen although Saudi Arabia has set up a coalition of nine African countries and Middle East countries. This conflict challenges Oman’s neutrality in this conflict. The Sultanate has had a traditionally neutral and non-interventionist policy; he states that Oman is a nation of peace. Yemen poses as a serious threat to Oman’s interests in the area.
Questions to Consider
What are some solutions your country can implement to help?
Is your country directly or indirectly involved in this crisis?
What are some policies Yemen can help integrate to encourage the betterment of the country?
How specifically is your country involved in this crisis? How have they helped? How have they contributed?
Are there any permanent solutions to this conflict?
Background Making up 15-25% of the population of Turkey, the Kurds have been involved in a periodic war against the Turkish state for the past 33 years with the intent to establish an independent Kurdish state. Until mid-2015, the groups had been relatively peaceful for the previous two years. On July of 2015, the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) position in northern Iraq was bombed by the Turkish army, followed by attacks on Turkish police stations in August. Frequent attacks have been occurring to this present day, causing numerous casualties to officials, civilians, and youth alike. Furthermore, the US has allied with the Kurds because of the terrorist activity in the area in order to put an end to those terrorist organizations. Recently in mid-October 2017, Iraqi forces planned to seize Kirkuk, a major city of Kurdistan that is nearby oil fields, potentially causing a crossover of Middle Eastern wars.
UN Involvement The UN has been directly contacted by neighboring countries, specifically Syria pleading for their aid in order to alleviate the violence and conflict that is prevalent in the area at hand. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, otherwise known as the OHCHR, has acquired series of reports on the crimes in the area, including ISIL’s actions of murdering and seizing hundreds of Kurds. These actions have led the Secretary General to make an announcement demanding an end to the violence in this region. Additionally, the UN Refugee Agency has reached out by providing necessary resources to countries such as Turkey who are experiencing a flood of newcomers, predominantly women and children.
Bloc Positions Asian Bloc: There are multiple countries backing the Kurds fight the Turks. There has been a divide mostly between Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. The turkish oppose the Kurdistan Workers Party. African Bloc: They are not directly involved in the conflict Middle Eastern Bloc: They are currently divided upon this issue.
Questions to Consider
What steps has your country taken to intervene in the issue?
What is your country's position in the backing of the Kurds?
What can your country contribute to help achieve Kurdish Independence?
What are some things that can fall in place in order to end this conflict?
Are there steps that your country is taking in order to accomplish peace in the region?