General Assembly Topic Synopsis
My name is Lori Harper and I will be the chair of the GA committee this year. I
am a senior and I have been a part of the Mira Costa MUN program for four years. The
Vice Chair is Mallory Bernstein and has been part of Mira Costa Model UN for three
years and counting. We have both been in various GA committees and understand what
it will take to make this committee work and run smoothly. We look forward to the
creativity and problem solving that will be presented in this committee. As you progress
in you research please feel free to e-mail myself or your vice-chair, as we will be looking
for well prepared delegates ready to solve the issues that we have presented you with.
Good luck with your research and preparation!
See you soon,
The Crisis in Darfur
Background of Topic:
Darfur has been one of the most prevalent crises in the modern day world, and continues
to be a humanitarian crisis in the western region of Sudan. It must first be understood that
the crisis has evolved and grown from a conflict that stemmed between culturally
different ethnic farmers. Central Sudan belongs to a group of mainly Sudanese fur
farmers, while other regions of the nation belong to Arab farmers. The history of this
crisis begins with the drastic weather conditions that plagued the African continent during
the 1960’s. As fertile lands became scarcer and scarcer, Arab and African farmers were
forced to work in closer proximity resulting in territorial tension, which has resulted in
the ongoing war. The Sudanese farmers most represent themselves with the Sudan
Liberation Army and the Justice and Equality movement. The Janjaweed are the pro-
Arab militia forces that are rumored to be supported and funded by the Sudanese
government. To date, approximately 400,000 civilians have been killed and millions
forced out of their homes, seeking refuge and escape from the ongoing war.
The UN’s most drastic steps towards assisting those suffering in Darfur begin in 2006.
On August 31, 2006 the UN Security Council passed resolution 1706 that requested rapid
deployment of UN peace keeping troops to the conflicted area, commonly known as
(UNMIS). This program was to work in conjunction with the AU’s attempts at ceasefire
communally known as AMIS. The ceasefire agreements that had been on the table in
2007 were to be collaboration between the major international organizations at hand, AU,
EU, Western powers and the UN. As negotiations continued western powers pulled out of
their previously promised contributions. Discussion at the UN council in January 2008
resulted in a bleak future Darfur. It was announced that only 9,000 of the 26,000
thousand peace keeping troops were present and that the limited funding for the peace
programs were hindering further progress in the troubles region. Also hindering progress,
was Sudan’s continual inability to cooperate with the UN, also seen publicly as recently
as January 2008.
Bordering Nations- Most of the bordering nations of Sudan (i.e. Libya, Egypt, Chad,
Ethiopia, etc.) are relatively poor. Depending on the religious sects of the bordering
nations, some might be more open to refugees than others. Of course countries such as
Chad have an overwhelming amount of refugees so they are also considered a target.
These nations, although also pressed with their own internal conflicts, are the countries
most capable to provide protection and aid to the Sudanese refugees.
African Nations- These nations are also nations that are preferred to the western nations.
Unfortunately these countries do not have ample funding available to help the Darfur
Western Nations- The Western Nations provide the most for Sudan. Although these
nations are more than willing to help Sudan, Sudan does not like western influence
European Union- Along with the western nations, these nations are also capable of
sending funding and aid to the Darfur area. The European Union pulled Darfur related
expenses out of their budget, although they appear to care about the situation.
Asia- Large nations in Asia are somewhat dependent on Sudanes oil (China).
Questions to answer:
What has my country done for the conflict?
If your country has not done anything, why have they not taken action?
What hasn’t my country done, that is a VIABLE solution?
How else can the international community assist, without the support of the Sudanese
Does my nation believe that this crisis should be declared genocide? Why or why not?
New solutions! Be creative!
Security in the Gaza Strip
Background of Topic:
With the crisis continuing between the Palestinians and Israel, the poverty in the Gaza
Strip has worsened dramatically. Eighty percent of the population is impoverished, and
unfortunately the government (Hamas) has not done anything to help their people. On the
other hand, the current leader of the Fatah movement (Yasir Arafat’s movement),
Mahmoud Abbas, has been willing to work with the Israeli government to settle the
dispute to help aid these people. Unfortunately, Abbas has no control of the Gaza Strip,
and only controls the West Bank. Israel has placed severe restrictions on Gaza in order to
limit the importation of weapons that would be used by Hamas to bombard Israel. This
action, although it has greatly reduced deaths of people in both Israel and Gaza, has taken
a toll on the populous of Gaza. There have been meetings between Abbas (the president
of the Palestinian National Authority) and the Israeli government in an effort to aid the
Palestinians. These agreements are attempting to accomplish what the world hopes will
be a peace agreement by the end of 2008. However, this may have no effect on Gaza.The
Gaza Strip has no natural resources, and the economic restrictions here further worsen
their economy. Improving the economic standpoint of Gaza as well as establishing
reliable aid may help to secure a peace agreement between the Gaza Strip and Israel.
The United Nations has condemned both sides of the conflict in Security Council. There
have been resolutions passed that try to deal with the peace agreements between Israel
and the Palestinians, and the UN has made some contributions to the area to help
eradicate poverty and improve the humanitarian situation. The WFP(World Food
Program), WHO (World Health Organization), UNDP(United Nations Development
Program), and UNICEF (United Nations international Children’s Enquiry Funds) all have
given aid to these people. The World Food Program has given food to many of the people
and they have a sub-office in the Gaza Strip to help deal with the people directly. Other
ways of aid to ease this troubled area have also been tried. For example, “…teachers (are)
trained by UNICEF to use sports as a tool to ease the stress of living with ongoing
conflict and restrictions. She (one of the trainees) is the Sport Development teacher at a
modern all-girls school in the heart of Gaza City.” Many nations have also taken it upon
themselves to give specific aid to this area. Nations such as Argentina, Spain, Japan,
France, and even Israel have sent multiple kinds of aid these people. In 1999, Japanese
specialists went to Gaza to help with agricultural education and community development
projects to help the Palestinians not just right now, but also to help them economically in
the future. NUNV (National United Nations Volunteers) helps to deal with the
Palestinian refugees, and has been in the Gaza Strip since 1994. Projects such as the
Child Friendly City Project, Choose a Future, and Token for Peace (proposed by past
Israeli president Sharon) have all been community projects to help to educate and
eventually raise these people out of their poverty.
Bordering Nations- The bordering nation of Israel definitely has helped the people of
Gaza the most. This nation and the nations bordering Israel are in the ideal area to
provide aid. Although they are in the ideal position, they have not aided as much as Israel
itself has. Also, these nations might not be in support of the Hamas organization, which
currently rules the Gaza Strip.
Western Nations- Western nations have the money to aid these people, although the USA
opposed to foreign donation to the area until Hamas will come to terms.
African Nations- These nations generally have little interest in the area, however they
have so far condemned the Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip.
Asia- Japan has been one of the leading donors to the Gaza Strip, but otherwise not too
much has been done by this area.
European Union- These nations have also been big donors to the Gaza Strip. They have
the ability to supply these people with money and personnel to aid them and ease their
lives in this crucial time. They have also been helping to pay for the electricity of the area
and the fueling of the Gaza power plants. Unfortunately, “The EU cut off aid funding on
Sunday because of suspicions that Gaza's Hamas rulers were pocketing electricity
Questions for Consideration:
What contributions has my country made to help the people of Gaza?
If no contributions have been made, why is this so?
What economic/infrastructure projects have worked in your country and been successful?
Could these be used in this case for the people of the Gaza Strip?
Which possible solutions for this crisis can also add to the overall peace issue between
Israel and the West Bank/Gaza Strip?
How far should the UN be involved?
Make sure to not just point fingers at one country. Stay by your policy to find creative
solutions that are realistic and could possibly be used in the real world.
CIA World Fact Book - Gaza Strip
WHO | WHO statement on the situation in the Gaza Strip