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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions or concerns! * **IMPORTANT NOTE: For these topics, make sure you only base your position papers and solutions off of how the crisis is affecting CHILDREN only, not adults.
Hi all! My name is Incia Haider and I will be your Head Chair for this committee! I am currently a senior here at Laguna Hills High School and this will be my third year of Model United Nations! Other than being involved in Model UN, I am also the president and founder of my school's UNICEF club, so I have a lot of experience with topics of these sorts. When I am not busy with schoolwork or studying, I love hanging out with my family and close friends at the mall, restaurants, etc. I am also an avid foodie and will eat literally anything. Your Vice Chair for this committee will be Nishan Kaura, a sophomore. He has been a part of the MUN program for 2 years and actively advocates class pets along with being apart of the Red Cross Club. Additionally, your Moderator will be Ainsley Ochoa, also a sophomore. Other than MUN she is also a part of the softball program here at Laguna Hills High School. We really hope all of you enjoy this committee and LHHSMUN 2018! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send an email to the committee email listed above! Go Hawks!!!
Topic A: Rohingya Crisis in Myanmar
Background: The Rohingya are a Muslim ethnic-minority group currently living in the country of Myanmar. After Myanmar gained independence from the British in 1948, an act was passed that stated ethnicities could obtain citizenship. The act did not extend this right to the Rohingya, however, if a family had lived in the country for two or more generations, they could apply for identity cards. In 1962, every citizen of Myanmar were required to possess national registration cards. The Rohingya were only given foreign identity cards, which limited their rights as citizens in the country. Since 1982, a law was passed that declared them stateless. In order to receive the basic level of citizenship, one must provide paperwork that many Rohingya did not possess. This affected yet again, their rights as citizens. They are not allowed to leave the country without government permission. Since the 1970s, violence has swept across the country as acts of hate crime towards the Rohingya. Because of continuing violence and persecution thousands have fled to other countries. Over 622,000 of the refugees live in overcrowded camps, 60% of them are children. Many children are forced to leave their lives in order to flee from the violence happening around them. Some are left parentless because their parents were killed by Myanmar soldiers or died from disease. Children witness their parents being brutally murdered or raped and even burned to death themselves. Many experts point the finger of blame at Myanmar's citizens. Many of the citizens are frustrated that their religion has suffered due to its tolerance of others. The core reason of conflict is the struggle and difference of the two dominant religions in Myanmar. The loss of family, the hate crimes, and the fact of being a refugee has taken away the childhood of many young kids. Efforts have been made to meet the needs of children in refugee camps of other countries. On October 2nd of 2017, UNICEF launched a $76.1 million appeal to tend to these needs. The funding will help children and families fleeing from this violence, a total of 720,000 children.
UN Involvement: The United Nations recognizes the urgency and brutality that the Rohingya are facing, but has not taken direct action. In September, Secretary General António Guterres briefed the General Assembly on the situation. In October, a UN-backed humanitarian conference raised upwards of $344 million. Earlier this month the UN Security Council agreed to place political pressure on Myanmar to handle the crisis without any violence. To further emphasise his -- with the situation, the Secretary General has called the situation “catastrophic”. After this the Security Council formally condemned the violence. However condemned, the violence is not recognized as a genocide due to its nature. Myanmar has refused to acknowledge the situation, and will not enter talks with the UN. As the crisis has escalated, the leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has canceled his journey to the UN General Assembly. The UN and the US has recognized and formally thanked the efforts of Bangladesh in helping refugees. Countries surrounding Myanmar such as Bangladesh have played a large role in the housing refugees.
Western Bloc: Countries in the Western Hemisphere have given monetary aid to Rohingya victims and Bangladesh, which is the country most victims are fleeing to. In addition, the US and Canada have proposed using economic sanctions on Myanmar to prevent further human rights abuses in the country. The United States has also withdrawn military assistance to the country of Myanmar, due to their human rights abuses. Due to stricter immigration laws, specifically in the U.S., many Rohingya children have not been able to settle in the U.S. African Bloc: Many African countries, such as South Africa, have protested the genocide of many of the Rohingya Muslims in their own country. In addition, leaders of these countries have called out Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar, due to her lack of action for the Rohingya minority and genocide in her country. Asian Bloc: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has condemned the actions of Myanmar’s unresponsive government. However, the organization has been more reactive, rather than proactive and have not taken any immediate measures to stop the widespread killing of Rohingya. They do recognize that the economy in Myanmar is deteriorating due to political instability, which in turn, is affecting many other Asian nations. Migration to Bangladesh is primarily where Rohingya children are fleeing to. Middle-Eastern Bloc: In the Middle East, many citizens are protesting the atrocities occurring in Myanmar due to the fact that many Middle-Eastern residents are Muslim and can empathize with the Rohingya. In addition, Saudi Arabia has been the only Middle-Eastern country to open their border to Rohingya refugees and allow large amounts of them into the country.
Questions to consider: 1. What can countries expect economically as a result of the crisis? 2. Which countries have accepted the most Rohingya refugee children and provided the most aid? 3. What can be done in order to provide a territory for the stateless Rohingya people? 4. Are economic sanctions a viable option for countries to impose on Myanmar? 5. Has your country allocated funds towards assisting Rohingya children?
Topic B: Education Reform in Third-World Countries
Background: Many children in most developing countries don’t ever finish secondary school and some don’t even finish primary school. The programs implemented for children have helped but many still do not complete school. An estimate of 72 million children around the world do not have access to education. Factors for this include the still existence of inequality (including sex, origin, and race), poverty, and financial issues. Many girls are not allowed to attend school because they are females. Members of certain religion origins or race are discriminated and kept from education because of these factors. One reason is the cost of attending school altogether. Even if tuition is free, parents still must pay for supplies, lunches, uniforms, and books that they cannot afford. Even if children finish primary school, many do not make it to and/or through secondary school. Some part in that is because as they become older, they are needed for labor and having an education does not help much in poor countries. Parents do not see why they should send their children to school when the child could be working and making money for the family. Many governments in developing countries do not have the money or resources to attempt and fix this issue. However, world leaders made a goal to make sure children in developing countries have access to education. This issue is most prominent in Sub Saharan Africa, where 32 million children are not in primary school, as well as Central and Eastern Asia with 27 million.
UN Involvement: The United Nations has strived to better the education of those living in developing countries for over 25 years. In 2000 the United Nations started a program called Education for All. This UNESCO was apart of the Millennium Development Goals. Once the UN failed to meet the requirements of the MDGs, they drafted the SDGs. This program was moved to the SDGs due to its relevance and importance. The goal of EFA was to provide free primary-level schooling for children around the world. However this program was not as effective as it should have been. By 2015, only one-third of countries had achieved their goal. The UN has continuously met to improve education in developing countries. Many NGOs have been created solely for this goal. NGOs such as Room to Read have been around for more than 15 years trying to help children with their education. Due to the failure of the Millennium Development Goals, the UN places a large importance on educating children. Aside from NGOs, many European countries have directly provided aid to developing countries for the sole purpose of improving education.
Western Bloc: Many countries located in the West have been very preoccupied in reforming their own education systems. However, many NGO’s in the West have been formed and centralized around reforming education in war-torn countries or countries with very low GDPs through the means of allocating funds to assist these education programs and promoting NGO’s. Latin Bloc: Some countries in Latin America are developing countries and have increased funding for public education programs throughout their respective countries. For example, President Pena Nieto of Mexico has enforced policies in which the national government will be more in charge of funding and reforming schools. African Bloc: Through assistance from multiple NGO’s and global partners, African countries have recently been able to increase funding as well for educational programs. However, many third-world countries in this bloc still suffer because of political instability and more of the younger generation being put to work before gaining an education. Asian Bloc: In Asia, few countries are developing and have weak educational systems on a national scale. However, such a large amount of GDP from countries in Asia is used for their own educational purposes, that not much assistance is going towards education reform in third-world countries.
Questions to consider: 1. Does the national government have to get involved to reform education systems? 2. How large of a role do NGO’s play in educating those in 3rd world countries? 3. What is your country’s main policy towards assisting with global access to education? 4. Is money the only factor affecting how weak/strong a country’s educational system is? 5. Is your country able to focus on reforming other country’s educational programs? If applicable, explain how your country does so.