Topic: Combating Racism and Xenophobia
School: Fishers High School
Delegate: Luke Ledford
Racial Tensions are nothing new to the Balkan region and certainly not new to Bulgaria. Sitting between Europe and Asia, and located in a region shared between Slavs, Roma, Greeks, and Turks, the Bulgarian people have had a long history of tensions with their neighbors. In the past this has been expressed through warfare, most notably the Balkan wars and the first world war, during which the then Kingdom of Bulgaria attempted to expend its borders for the Bulgarian people at the expense of its neighbors. While the nation today supports and promotes peace within the region, former tensions between races have left its mark on society. To this day Bulgaria remains one of the most monoethnic nations in Southeastern Europe, with most of its population being ethnic Bulgarians or Turks, most of whom settled in the nation during centuries of Ottoman rule. Besides tensions with its neighbors, the people of Bulgaria also have a long history of unacceptance and racism towards the unlanded Roma peoples.
Despite a history of racial tensions within the nation, Bulgaria does not endorse racism or discrimination within its borders and seeks to end this age-old issue. To at least start to bring about change in Europe, Bulgaria and thirty-eight of the forty-seven other nations in the council of Europe ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM). This was an agreement between states to protect the rights of any ethnic group that faced discrimination, lack of representation, racism, etc, within the continent. Similar actions have been taken by the United Nations.
The delegation from Bulgaria believes that the United Nations had made great progress in bringing the world’s attention to problems of racism, racial tensions, xenophobia, and discrimination. Bulgaria itself has made some steps itself to support change. The state of Bulgaria believes, however, that great change will not be brought about by assemblies and committees. Many nations and peoples, like the Bulgarians, have long complex histories which contribute to many of the race related issues that we have today. To really bring about change, individual nations must work with their own people to promote peace and equality. Nations may agree on how this could be worked out or not. Bulgaria would like to see general resolutions to this issue, but also see nations have flexibility with how they go about addressing this issue.
- luke ledford