Hi everyone! This week at EagleMUNC, we are excited to announce that over 800 delegates have signed up for our conference in March! We are proud that the conference continues to grow each year. Since we reached capacity, we have opened a waiting list for remaining delegations that would like to join us in March.
As you know, the theme of this year’s conference is how a state opts to overcome adversity. Bangladesh currently faces a refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. The refugees are currently living in horrific conditions in Cox’s Bazar, a city in Bangladesh known for having the world’s longest sea beach.
Back in 2015, Bangladesh’s government proposed a “solution” to overcrowding from the swelling refugee population by relocating the refugees to an remote island in the Bay of Bengal called Thengar Chal. This proposal received backlash from the UN and other humanitarian organizations, who called to attention that the island is underwater for much of the year and that some of the refugees have lived in Cox’s Bazar for over two decades. Critics also contend that the plan mostly stems from Bangladesh’s desire to develop the city’s tourism industry.
Now in 2017, Bangladesh’s government stated that it wants to resume the relocation plan, stop any further “illegal entry of Myanmar nationals,” and prevent the refugees from “mixing in with local populations.” The government also released orders to arrest refugees if they try to leave their designated camps. Another major concern of the government is the risk of a cholera outbreak in Cox’s Bazar due to the unhygienic conditions the refugees live in. Furthermore, the UN World Health Organization discovered that more than 60 per cent of water sources tested in the refugee camps are contaminated with E. Coli. UNICEF is contributing financial and technical support to Bangladesh’s ministry, which is building 10,000 latrines and mobilizing 900,000 doses of oral vaccines to the hundreds of thousands of people threatened by the likely cholera outbreak. The latrines will be regularly disinfected so they do not become contaminated.
Bangladesh is evidently having difficulty managing this crisis and lacks international support for its controversial relocation plan. Fortunately, the state is working with UNICEF to avoid a potentially devastating disease outbreak.
From the New York Times:
From the UN News Centre: