September 16, 2019
 In Articles

Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee

Combating Racism and Xenophobia


Joshua Muldoon

Forest Hills Eastern

According to UNESCO, the terms xenophobia and racism often overlap, but differ in how the latter encompasses prejudice based on physical characteristics while the former is generally centered on behavior based on the notion of a specified people being averse to the culture or nation (according to Wikipedia). The country of Myanmar has been accused of being xenophobic, specifically committing genocide and ethnic cleansing against the Bengalis commonly referred to as the Rohingya. On the contrary, Myanmar will do everything in their power to prevent acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing. The government of then-Burma in 1962 announced the state religion as Buddhism, which many of the Bengalis disagreed with. The Bengali people are illegal aliens from neighboring country Bangladesh, who have come to this country to push a separatist agenda. The acts of these Muslim terrorists (the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, ARSA), such as planting IEDs, blowing up bridges, and committing arson (according to the UN Ambassador on SCMP), are what have led to Myanmar’s military to crack down on them. All military acts are against these Islamic Extremists in hopes of preventing further attacks, with national reconciliation and achieving peace the priorities of the current civilian government (according to the UN Ambassador, Fox News).


Myanmar has been called out in UN resolution A/HRC/40/L.19 (according to OHCHR) that accuses Myanmar of committing serious human rights violations and abuses and calls up Myanmar authorities, particularly the military, to end the alleged violence and violations of International Law. This one-sided resolution ignores the multiple reports of the ARSA committing acts of violence against innocent Burmese children, women, and men, as well as multiple reports of IEDs being planted and used against the Myanmar military (SCMP). 


Myanmar believes that the issue of racism and xenophobia shouldn’t be a major focus for the United Nations, while issues such as human trafficking involving forced labor and sex trafficking should be a larger concern. Each independent nation’s national sovereignty should be respected in regards to any future resolutions the Sochum committee may pass. The main issues Myanmar faces include fixing crumbling infrastructure, helping prevent the manufacture and trading of illicit drugs such as opium, and ceasing the violence caused by ethnic groups in the country (according to TIME). The main concern with the Social and Humanitarian committee should be preventing human trafficking in the world.

  • Joshua Muldoon

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