The UNHCR was created in 1950 as the refugee situation became critical; since then, it has been responsible for enforcing the protection and ensuring durable solutions for refugees. This commission not only improves the humanitarian conditions of refugees but is essential for regional and international stability. Considering that governments have treated refugees with hostility, the organization’s challenge has been to gain the cooperation of these governments. As an adept to the Responsibility to Protect, the UNHCR bears the commitment to stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Although the need for voluntary funding limits the UNHCR, it does not reflect the opinions of these donor nations; it is an autonomous organ that is internationally respected. This year the issues to be addressed are the Refugee situation in Darfur, the Palestinian Right of Return and the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Refugee Situation in Darfur
Over six years of conflict in Darfur have internally displaced 1.6 million people and created a population of 200,000 refugees in neighboring Chad. Sudan’s Islamic government implemented Sharia Law in the country, causing a backlash from the non-Arab population. The non-Arabic militias, JEM and SLA, have been fighting the government army and the Janjaweed militia which is suspected to have connections with the Sudanese government. Members of the international community wish that president Omar Al-Bashir is trialed by the ICC. The Darfur issue requires fundamentally the stabilization of Sudan and Chad, their cooperation, and humanitarian aid.
Palestinians' Right of Return
In 1948, the General Assembly passed Resolution 194 on the Question of Palestine, which established that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return”. Despite the clarity of this statement, there are over 4.6 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East and more worldwide. All refugees have a right to citizenship. The Palestinian refugees have been deprived of this because there is no Palestinian state. Israel refuses to allow the refugees to immigrate into it, claiming that this threatens the identity of the Jewish state and threatens the security of its people considering the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The current situation is also in violation of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states: "everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” The stalemate over the Palestinian refugees’ right of return is an issue that has substantially hindered the Middle East peace process.
Humanitarian Crisis in Congo
The current situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the world’s most outrageous humanitarian crises, and is primarily a consequence of The Second Congo War which lasted from August 1998 to July 2003, when the Transitional Government of Congo stabilized its authority (established by a peace consensus between all remaining parties involved in the war, event that led President Kabila to assign Rwanda troops to abandon the east of Congo. The Transitional Government lasted until December 2006). Seven African nations along with 25 other armed groups were involved, making this war be recognized as the most devastating conflict after WWII for the deaths of approximately 5.4 million people, mostly due to non-violent and preventable causes such as mal-nutrition, diarrhea and malaria. Today, ongoing clashes remaining from the war still strike the population and approximately 1, 200 people die each day from conflict-related causes. The abuses against civilians from armed groups and from the national army are also consequences of the distinct and uncontrolled corruption that is undeniably part of the DRC.