High Commission on Refugees
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees, also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is a UN programme that protects refugees displaced by conflict and persecution. It supports them in repatriation, integration, and resettlement at the request of certain governments or the United Nations itself. Winning two Nobel Peace Prizes, it has drastically changed the lives of displaced peoples in nearly every corner of the globe since its establishment in 1950.
This committee is designed for both beginners and experienced delegates alike. Position papers, although strongly recommended, are not required. However, delegates who wish to be considered for an award must submit their position papers by Sunday, January 8, 2017, at 11:59 pm. More information about position papers will be found on page 3 of each Background Guide.
The issue of sexual abuse of refugees, though having only gaining prevalence in the last six to seven years, has always affected vulnerable peoples in war zones. Defenseless refugees, uprooted from their homes and lacking resources, are targeted by sexual perpetrators who are often motivated to exert authority or power. With abuse occurring between refugees, local authorities and even international peacekeepers, UNHCR must act upon this injustice, protecting global citizens’ rights to security.
South Sudan, a landlocked country located in East-Central Africa, is currently hosting the first genocide of the 21st century. Since December 2013, political and social chaos in South Sudan has taken thousands of lives and forced 2.3 million civilians from their homes. Teetering under the weight of violent rebel groups and widespread economic and food crises, the world’s newest country faces a disaster that requires delegates to analyze a pressing humanitarian issue that includes complex political unrest.
Vivian Qiang | Director
Vivian is currently in grade 12 at Richmond Christian School, and is thrilled to be directing UNHCR. This will be her third VMUN conference, but Vivian still does not guarantee that she knows the rules of procedure, how to avoid long elevator lines, or where the best coffee place is; however, she is certain that this weekend will bring countless opportunities for personal growth and new friendships. Outside of MUN, one may find Vivian watching Disney movies, trying to find the next Spotify discount, or eating popcorn. She also enjoys working with children with disabilities. Vivian truly looks forward to meeting everyone at VMUN 2017. Please do not hesitate to contact her with any questions!
Samuel Chen | Chair
A sophomore at St. George’s School, Samuel first immersed himself in the world of Model United Nations in grade 7 and hasn’t looked back since. He has attended over 10 conferences as a delegate in his MUN career and is honoured to continue to share his passion for Model United Nations through staffing. Samuel is an avid public speaker and debater who adores discussing world issues. Outside of Model United Nations, Samuel spirited athlete who mainly dedicates his time in the gym or on the field working on his game. He plays basketball, volleyball, and ultimate. Samuel can’t wait to meet all the new delegates and is excited for VMUN 2017!
Rachel Jessica Lai | Assistant Director
Rachel is currently a senior at Burnaby North Secondary and is honoured to be serving as the AD for the UNHCR at VMUN 2017. Rachel has continuously shown her passion for global issues and debate ever since attending her first Model UN conference in Grade 9. Not only has Model UN provided an amazing learning experience for Rachel, but it has also allowed her to meet many different people from around the world, and has given her plenty of new opportunities. Outside of Model UN, Rachel can be seen volunteering in her community, working alongside organizations/clubs, jamming to music, socializing with her beloved friends, and catching a snooze whenever she can. Rachel can’t wait until VMUN 2017, and hopes to see you all there!
You can contact the Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions regarding the committee or its debate procedures will be answered by email. Position papers must also be submitted to this address.