September 16, 2019
 In Articles

Country: Fiji

Committee: SOCHUM

Topic: Combating Racism and Xenophobia

Delegate: Eva Talberg

School: Williamston High School


    The topic of racism and xenophobia is a widespread problem that has been infiltrating societies since the beginning of society itself. The feeling of superiority of ones’ own race, in combination with feelings of disdain and inferiority towards other ethnicities can escalate and turn violent, as seen so many times in the past. The Armenian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide, the Holocaust, the apartheid, and both world wars have stemmed from racism and xenophobia.  These massively lethal historical events would all be avoided with the absence of racial prejudice. As well as these significant events, racism and xenophobia have also caused constant displacement of ethnic groups all around the world. Most recently, people in northern Africa and the Middle East migrating to Europe to escape political turmoil, as well as South Americans and Muslims migrating to The United States of America. SOCHUM must work to create a solution to reduce migration levels based on ethnicity, and carefully learn to analyze the point where nationalism escalates to a dangerous, and potentially genocidal levels. 

    Fiji, like many other countries, has had a hierarchy based upon race in the past. Under British rule in the mid 1900s, Fiji had a higher population of Indians who were brought in to work manual labor jobs. This was known as the girmit system and is at the root of internal Fijian ethnic tensions. A current serious internal issue in Fiji is the distribution of land to indigenous Fijians, versus land to Indians whose’ families were brought in by the British. As agricultural leases began to expire in the 1980s, Indo-Fijian families were widely evicted and forced to move into cities, while native Fijian families were permitted to stay on farms. This resulted in mass urbanization and the rapid expansion of cities. These cities were highly rushed in their developmental stages and had poor sewage systems, mass transit systems, and became dirty. This pattern is seen around the world with mass urbanization. Fiji has taken great lengths to reduce internal racism, and it has seen a significant decline as Indo-Fijian families have become the most common ethnic group, rather than the two groups being kept separate

Fiji would like to work on a resolution that does not infringe on the national sovereignty of countries in conflict, but still promotes the nonproliferation of racism. By focusing on the development of democracy throughout the world, people will not be exiled as they are in some racial conflict areas because they will have a say in what actions their government takes. Fiji also believes that corruption in world leadership can cause racially motivated violence. By working towards effective democracy, the delegation of Fiji hopes to eventually limit the impact of this corruption. By increasing world education, xenophobia could also be minimized. Xenophobia stems from the misunderstanding of other races, and with education, people will begin to recognize these other people as equals. There are a few problems with requesting wordly education to many countries with religious based education systems. This would be infringing on national sovereignty and could be potentially violating religious views of these nations. Fiji would like to work with countries in agreement to come up with a resolution that incorporates these three ideas into a comprehensive resolution. 

  • Eva Talberg

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