United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime

Letter from the Chair


Welcome to the 46th Annual Houston Area Model United Nations Conference! My name is Leyah Mathew, and I am honored to be serving as your chair for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Committee. 

Currently, I am a freshman at Rice University, where I plan to major in economics. I am currently involved with the Rice University Mock Trial Team and Baker Institute Student Forum. At university, I am excited to explore the intersection of economics with international development, and ultimately, I hope to pursue a career in law or public policy. 

Reflecting on my high school experience, Model U.N. was undoubtedly the most meaningful organization I was involved in. I have attended HAMUN three times as a delegate, and I am thrilled to be participating once again as a member of the staff. HAMUN always allowed me to explore global issues that I may not have otherwise been exposed to and to learn from my fellow delegates in committee, and I am certain that this year will provide us with the same opportunity.

This year, we will be exploring two significant issues: combating military violence across the Sahel region and enhancing efforts to counter the financing of terrorism. I urge you to research both topics in the context of your country’s history and policies. While this background guide will provide a starting point for your research, please keep in mind that it is your responsibility as a delegate to prepare further research for committee.

In the past year, global attention has been focused primarily on COVID-19. However, pre-existing issues, including violence in the Sahel region and the financing of terrorism, have remained in the backdrop of the pandemic. These issues warrant international attention and dialogue on appropriate solutions. Additionally, this provides us with the unique opportunity to explore these topics in the context of COVID-19, and therefore I encourage you all to consider how the pandemic has impacted both topics of our committee.

Delegates, I am excited to see what each and every one of you will offer in committee. My greatest advice is to research and prepare before committee and to speak up, no matter how nervous you may be. Regardless of your level of MUN experience, I hope that you will all take something away from committee. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns — I am more than happy to help! I look forward to meeting you all soon. 


Leyah Mathew

Chair of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Committee, HAMUN 46



Committee Topics

  • Combatting military violence across the Sahel region
  • Enhancing efforts to counter the financing of terrorism


Leyah Mathew

Vice Chair

Natalia Roncancio