Topic: Combating Xenophobia and Racism
Delegate: David Cornier-Bridgeforth
School: The Roeper School
My fellow delegates and honorable chair,
In the discussion paper, International Migration, Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), it is said one in every 50 human beings is a migrant worker, a refugee or asylum seeker, or an immigrant living in a foreign country. Current estimates by the United Nations and the International Organization for Migration indicate that some 150 million people live temporarily or permanently outside their countries of origin (2.5% of the world’s population). Many of these, 80-97 million, are estimated to be migrant workers and members of their families. Another 12 million are refugees outside their country of origin. These figures do not include the estimated 20 million Internally Displaced Persons forcibly displaced within their own country, nor tens of millions more of internal migrants, mainly rural to urban, in countries around the world.
Increasing ethnic and racial diversity of societies is the inevitable consequence of migration. Increasing migration means that a growing number of States have become or are becoming more multi-ethnic, and are confronted with the challenge of accommodating people of different cultures, races, religions and languages. Addressing the reality of increased diversity means finding political, legal, social and economic mechanisms to ensure mutual respect and to mediate relations across differences. But xenophobia and racism have become manifest in some societies which have received substantial numbers of immigrants, as workers or as asylum-seekers. In those countries the migrants have become targets in internal disputes about national identity. In the last decade, the emergence of new nation states has often been accompanied by ethnic exclusion.
In the past Qatar has not had the best record in combating these issues. With a considerable percentage of its workforce originating from outside of Qatar, political tension between groups has risen time and time again. These differences at times divide the Qatari people but it is the position that these differences are what will unite them. This last September, HE Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Office in Geneva Ali Khalfan Al Mansouri gave a speech, telling the international community of Qatar’s commitment to ease the severity of these issues.
In terms of action it is imperative that this committee takes the correct stance to stand against discrimination. Effective legislation needs to be made or reiterated to maintain equality for all people.
Qatar affirms its rejection of all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, they are considered a serious violation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- David Cornier-Bridgeforth