Welcome, delegates, to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees. Receiving its mandate in 1950, it has since worked tirelessly to improve the circumstances of stateless peoples around the world. The topic facing the committee now is urgent, as the plight that the Rohingya Muslims in Burma have been facing for centuries continues to violate their basic human rights. Since the 1970’s, the crisis has only increased in scope and conditions have worsened. So far, the Burmese military has carried out thirteen operations against the Rohingya. They have raped, killed, shot unarmed families, and burned down Rohingya Muslims properties and mosques. Without healthcare, access to education, religious freedom, or citizenship, they have been marginalized by the government. This violence has led the Rohingya Muslims to flee to other Southeast Asian countries like Bangladesh, Thailand, and Malaysia, where they continue to face extremely poor living conditions and discrimination. Delegates must collaborate to determine the best course of action for the UNHCR to take in resolving this crisis peacefully. Navigating political divides between the democratically-elected Burmese president and the powerful, anti-Muslim Burmese military presence, delegates must tactfully and effectively decide how the UN should address the high rates of poverty and statelessness among the Rohingya Muslims.
The conflict in Yemen dates back to the Arab Spring of 2011, when the long-time authoritarian president, Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to hand over power to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Hadi was a Yemeni politician, former Field Marshal of the Yemeni Armed Forces, and the vice president of Yemen from 1994-2012. He has been the president of Yemen since 2012. Although this transition should have been stable, issues relating to corruption, food insecurity, and the continued loyalty among some military officers to former president Saleh left the central Yemeni government weak and fragile. In 2014, a Shiite rebel movement commonly known as the “Houthis” seized control of the capital, Sanaa. In response to the seizure of Sanaa by the Houthis, in 2015 Saudi Arabia and eight other Arab states began conducting airstrikes on Yemen. Since then, Yemen has been constantly engaged in a brutal civil war. While there are various groups involved in the conflict, the main players are Saudi Arabia and Iran. With anti- Houthi groups finding support from Saudi Arabia while pro-Houthi groups side with Iran. Players such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State lean towards the anti-Houthi bloc but act on their own accord. Due to the ongoing civil war, the UNHCR reports more than 2 million displaced Yemeni civilians, with 22 million being in need of assistance. Yemen’s refugees also faced dire living conditions, with a lack of food, water, and shelter leading to near starvation and a cholera outbreaks. The country, which was a net food importer before the war, also faces famine, with 12 to 13 million civilians are at risk. The international community is tasked with helping these refugees and holding governments accountable. The UN Security Council has placed sanctions and arms embargoes on the Houthi movement and leaders. These embargoes further entangle Iran, as the Houthis receive diplomatic and military weaponry from their government. Saudi Arabia may also face war crimes, due to its use of air strikes in densely populated civilian areas. Additionally, the UN is attempting to sponsor peace talks between rebels and the Saudi-backed government. Due to the ongoing violence, many NGO’s and other aid organizations are facing difficulty supplying the necessary aid to refugees. Millions of Yemeni civilians depend on decisive action by leaders in the Arab world to end the conflict and restore stability to the country - it is up to the Arab League, the primary international body of Arab nation-states, to help resolve this conflict.
Your ancestors called it the end of the world. The oceans rose, and took cities with them. Plagues, famine, and unrest swept the globe, empty voices calling out to leaders who didn’t – couldn’t – have the answers they needed. When the bombs finally fell, some believed it reckoning, and others divine mercy. But their end was not the end of humanity, of civilization itself. Your ancestors were the ones that made it through; they were the doomsday-preppers and the bunker builders, the blessed and the righteous, the lucky ones and the cowards. They were the survivors, and you inherit their legacy.
In what used to be the Eastern United States, an order of settlements has come together under the banner of the New World Alliance. You, the members of its council, have all been instrumental in the successes of your home settlements. Individually, you have battled warlords and plagues, settled farms and foundries, and carved out legacies that you hope will last for generations. From the West, however, comes the growing threat of the Millennium Empire, a brutal autocracy bent on bringing order to a post-apocalyptic Earth by any means necessary. They have conquered several nations already, and they now stand on your doorstep.
As the leaders of the New World Alliance, you are not just survivors; you have been chosen to lead humanity from the ashes into the new world order. Will you be sparks extinguished in an unforgiving world? Or, will you burn bright, as past generations intended, to secure a free and prosperous future for those to come?