I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) at WorldMUN 2013! My name is Rachna Raina, and I am a senior at Harvard University. This will be my third (and final) WorldMUN, and I am thrilled to be your chair!
I am majoring in Economics with a minor in Computer Science – yes, my love of studying development goes beyond the committee room. Though I was born in India, I have spent most of my life in the United States for school. At Harvard, I am an active member of Model United Nations, as I also am a member of our competitive team that travels on the intercollegiate MUN circuit. Outside of Model UN, I work for the Harvard College Consulting Group and choreograph Indian dance for the College. Needless to say, curiosity always draws me to other activities as well. I have an infamous sweet tooth (mostly chocolate), and love to travel, so I may be in your hometown someday!
I hope that you are as thrilled as I am about our meeting in UNESCAP, because this year we are discussing a crucial topic in the region. I hope you all are excited to be in this body, and I look forward to hearing wonderful and productive debate! Finally, I look forward to meeting you all in Melbourne! Please let me know by email if you have any questions or concerns.
Single Topic Area: Systematic Discrimination Against Cultural Minority Groups
Asia and the Pacific are home to countries that repeatedly experience differences in treatment for those of varied socioeconomic classes. There are frequent international headlines surrounding the influence of discriminatory government action in public works projects on the economic outcomes of various cultural groups within a nation.
Australia is a country that has a large population of aboriginal people. A 2011 survey states that 70% of aboriginals face discrimination or racist attitudes in the workplace. In many Asian nations, being a minority results in these discriminatory tactics. In Japan, many Burakumin (those designated to be of lower class) face difficulties locating housing due to strict rules as to where they may and may not reside. Similarly, Malaysians in the Singaporean army find it challenging to obtain high-ranking positions and succeed within the military sphere.
This crisis is comprised of two major parts in the context of international attention. The first is analyzing where this discrimination is prevalent, and considering why the discrimination has remained so consistent. The second is determining what types of resources have been denied, and determining how to ensure proper allocation or access in the future. In terms of development moving forward, more consistent support should be shown by the United Nations in determining a future for these people so strongly affected by economic inequalities due to social status.
The goal of this committee is to reduce the inequalities faced by those of varying social status in Asian nations, and increase the access that those of minority or lower social classes have to other resources.