Head Chair: Megan Gramling Vice Chair: Julia Bissonette Moderator: Dominic Busch Position papers will be due on February 2, 2019. 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:LhhsSC@gmail.com Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns!
Hello, delegates! My name is Megan Gramling and I am your head chair. I am currently a Senior at Laguna Hills High School and this is my fourth year in MUN. In addition to my involvement in MUN, I am captain of our school’s cheer team. Hello delegates! My name is Julia Bissonette and I will be your vice chair. I am currently a junior at Laguna Hills High School, and this is my third year in MUN. Outside of MUN, I am President of Science Club, Secretary of Chinese Honor Society, and a member of National Art Honors Society at my high school. Hi delegates. My name is Dominic Busch and I am your moderator. I am a sophomore at Laguna Hills High School and this is my second year in MUN. Besides Mun I also sing bass in choir, play water polo, and I'm also almost an Eagle Scout.
Topic: Situation in Myanmar
Background: In the country of Myanmar, many people have been suffering due to political and military conflicts plaguing their state for the last 60 years. Escalating the situation, now one group of people is being personally eliminated by the military, forcing them to flee to the neighboring country of Bangladesh. These people are the Rohingya, a Muslim minority who lived in the Rakhine state of Myanmar and are persecuted by the Buddhist majority military. The military does not view the Rohingya as legitimate citizens and, therefore, does not allow them the same basic rights and services as other people residing there. For example, Rohingya have been denied the same medical care and education that most other Myanmar citizens receive. August 25, 2017 marked the day when large scale fighting started between Rohingya people and the Myanmar troops. A Rohingya group named Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) admitted to committing the act on August 25, leading the Myanmar military to attack all Rohingya. Almost 700,000 Rohingya people have been displaced to further conflicts, and the military has been accused by many countries of performing an ethnic cleansing.
UN Involvement: Despite various calls to the state, Myanmar has refused to follow or cooperate with UN human rights regulations and bodies. Beginning in 1992 under the Commission on Human Rights Resolution 58, a Special Rapporteur on the situation in Myanmar has been mandated annually. After an independent UN investigation found gross human rights violations in the country and called for the prosecution and further investigation of the nation’s military leaders, Myanmar’s representative has stated that the government does not recognize the findings of the investigation due to concerns of impartiality. Although signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN in June 2018, Myanmar has failed to invest in reconciliation of human rights according to UN chief Guterres. In response to the condition of the Rohingya population, UN organizations, most significantly the UN Development Programme and UN High Commission for Refugees, have been working to implement the Memorandum of Understanding in Myanmar with the hope to put an end to systematic discrimination and allow refugees to return home.
Bloc Positions: Western Bloc: Western countries have yet to intervene in this situation. Most Western countries fail to acknowledge the situation as a genocide, instead referring to it as “ethnic cleansing.” The EU and U.S. have already placed sanctions on Myanmar, including economic sanctions and travel bans on several Myanmar officials.
Latin Bloc: Similar to most other countries, the Latin bloc has also lacked any action against Myanmar. Countries such as Brazil and Mexico have stated that they strongly support the Rohingya and agree that the violence must be terminated. Although they have expressed their worries for the civilians affected, there has been no action to stop the Myanmar government and military from Latin America.
African Bloc: Almost all African countries have condemned the situation occurring in Myanmar. Many countries’ leaders have expressed deep concern for the Rohingya. However, the African bloc has failed to act in this situation and have not attempted to alleviate the Rohingya.
Asian Bloc: A few Asian countries, including China and India, have been supporting Myanmar. China and India both back the Myanmar government in trying to domestically stabilize their country. The Myanmar military receives most their weapons from China since Western countries placed a block on the sale of weapons to Myanmar. Bangladesh has not directly supported Myanmar, but they have accepted hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, until the violence ceases.. However, not all Asian countries have been supporting Myanmar and some, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, have been criticizing the government’s actions.
Questions to consider: 1. Are any Rohingya who have fled willing to return to Myanmar? 2. What can be done to create peace and acceptance between Rohingya and the other citizens of Myanmar? 3. Can the international community prevent any further attacks on Rohingyas without threatening Myanmar’s sovereignty? 4. How can the refugees be assisted to be healthy and safe? 5. Has your country done anything to stop Myanmar from harming the Rohingyas? Sources: