Eliza is a senior at Harvard, studying Social Studies with a citation in Arabic. Her academic interests lie primarily in international affairs, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, though she has also researched Latin America and dabbled in public health policy. She is currently writing her senior thesis on the allocation of foreign and humanitarian aid in the context of the Syrian refugee crisis. An avid consumer of the daily news, she also leads the research team for the Women’s Media Center. Originally from the rural town of Cedar Crest, New Mexico, she loves to explore wilderness areas, spending her summers hiking and kayaking through national parks.
Current president of the Harvard International Relations Council, Eliza is an active member in Harvard's Model UN community both as a competing delegate, chair, and secretariat member. In addition to serving as president, she also is the Secretary-General of Harvard Model United Nations India, a high school conference held annually in South Asia. As a chair, she has led committees on ancient Iran, modern-day Venezuela, the Russian Revolution, and the global mental health crisis. After such a fabulous time at WorldMUN 2018 in Panama, Eliza can barely contain her excitement for next year's conference, where she will be directing DISEC! She is passionate about her topic and cannot wait to share with and learn from delegates in March 2019.
Topic: Post-Genocide Reconstruction
From the Holocaust to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide to countless other countries and time periods, millions upon millions of lives have been lost due to genocide, ethnic cleansing, or destructive war. Mass violence tears apart local communities, countries, and continents, often leaving little in its wake. Yet, from these remnants, society must find a way to move forward or else descend into violence once more.
In the Disarmament and International Security Committee at WorldMUN 2019, we will tackle the maintenance of international peace and security through the establishment of systems for reconciliation and transitional justice after instances of mass violence. In this committee, you will be asked to write a series of guidelines for how international communities should approach this process— keeping in mind the balances between the individual and the broader communities, punishment and forgiveness, and the local and the international. Questions to consider include: How can we hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes? How can we foster a sense of trust within the broken community? Can we balance justice and punishment with forgiveness and stability?What does a true account of the incident look like and what does that truth mean for the country? What is (if any) the role of international actors? Who controls the reconciliation process? How can we prevent future violence?
This topic will require an understanding of the successes and failures of historical case studies, general theoretical knowledge of reconstructive processes, and an utter thoughtfulness and respect towards other delegates and the subject matter at hand. I expect a high level of debate and for delegates to give this topic the attention it deserves, as the international community currently lacks coherent standards for rebuilding an area after mass violence. Consensus will indeed be difficult, as there are examples of vastly disparate measures working or failing in differing environments. As legal scholar Martha Minow points out, “there are no tidy endings following a mass atrocity,” and thus I expect your debate to roar with nuance and critical dialogue.
This pressing global issue will test your understandings of human rights, ethics, international law, and the role of the local.