Topic A: The Situation in Lebanon
As the Syrian crisis continues, Lebanon continues to receive additional refugees from the conflict. This influx of refugees has proven to be one of the many issues placing strain on Lebanon and its social and physical infrastructure. According to the European Commission, Lebanon has taken in one million refugees from Syria, 30,675 Palestinians from Syria, 174,000 Palestinians, and 6,000 refugees from Iraq. These refugees place immense amounts of stress on the local Lebanese host communities and have exacerbated factors such as lack of basic necessities, job scarcity, and social tensions amongst communities. These strains also contributed to a slowing economy, which fueled instability in parliament and the rise of extremist groups in government such as Hezbollah. Political instability in parliament hinders public services from working efficiently, which increases tensions in local Lebanese communities, therefore creating a dangerous feedback loop. Additionally, Lebanon still faces cold relations with its neighboring countries in the region, namely Israel, and recent flare-ups in 2018 have the potential to lead to larger conflicts. In an effort to promote peace and stability, UNPBC is faced with the growing tensions between the local Lebanese people and the Syrian refugees as well as the backlash from the proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Topic B: The Situation in Nagorno-Karabakh
The current situation in Nagorno-Karabakh stems from the 1988 conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which ended with a ceasefire agreement in 1994. Today, about 17,000 square miles of territory are under dispute, despite the population of that territory being approximately 95% ethnically Armenian. Since the ceasefire in 1994, there have been several violent instances of hostility in the region. These sporadic events are due to distrust among the local people, which is fueled by state controlled media in both countries. While the UN Security Council has addressed the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, there has been ongoing violence that hinders the region from achieving peace. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group has been trying to create a comprehensive peace plan that will unfold in three sections in order to ensure long lasting peace. Stabilizing the region could boost both Armenia's and Azerbaijan’s economies by allowing for the transportation of natural resources. With this, UNPBC has the opportunity to help the region maintain peace in order to allow development and prosperity.