High Commissioner for Refugees Committee

Letter from the Chair

Hello, and welcome to the 46th edition of the Houston Area Model United Nations Conference.

These two days will involve debates, discussions, and deliberations over pressing global issues and will give all you delegates a chance to develop your personal speaking skills as well as your knowledge in international relations. 

My name is Siddharth Khurana and I will be your chair for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Committee. I am a sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin double majoring in government and international relations, and minoring in history. 

My Model United Nations experience began with my second year in high school, when I joined my school’s chapter of the organization. That year, I attended HAMUN, representing South Korea in the Human Rights Committee. In junior year, I became vice president of my school’s club and worked to expand our membership. At HAMUN 44, I participated in a Crisis Committee involving Avatar: The Last Airbender, representing the Water Tribes. My three year involvement with HAMUN in high school inspired me to pursue moderating in college; this is the second year I will be a chair at HAMUN. Last year, I led DISEC, and we discussed arms proliferation in Russia as well as growing tensions between India and Pakistan in Kashmir. I also was a staffer at CTMUN, a conference hosted by UT.

This year, the topics of the UNHCR are resolving the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar and the enhancement of food security in refugee camps. Both are pressing topics of global importance and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matters.

I will briefly summarize these topics. First, the Rohingya: in August of 2017, a crackdown by Myanmar’s army forced thousands of Rohingya, who are a mostly Muslim minority, fleeing across the border into Bangladesh; since then, there have been numerous allegations of genocide against the Myanmarese government. Second, the issue of food security in refugee camps.  This largely affects Middle Eastern and African settlers, who are disproportionately influenced by the refugee crisis. Ensuring that food can safely get to such camps and that they are consumed by refugees is a top priority. 

In short, I anticipate your reflections and thoughts on these pressing issues. I hope that each of you will be prepared with both your country’s viewpoints as well as those of others. Lastly, I aim for all of you to have an enjoyable conference. 

Thank you,

Siddharth Khurana

 

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