Cathy Sun ‘22 United Nations Human Rights Council

Cathy Sun ‘22
United Nations Human Rights Council

Cathy Sun


Who? I’m a sophomore at Harvard, studying the intersections of politics, philosophy, and economics.
Where? I’m originally from Singapore, where I was born, but have also lived in Shenzhen, China and Irvine, California in the United States.
Why? Growing up immersed in different cultures has crucially shaped my growth and personal values, and I hope to continue learning about stories and perspectives beyond my corner of the world. Uniting diverse outlooks and hearing pluralistic perspectives are crucial to addressing issues of international importance, and I cannot wait to move global governance forward at WorldMUN by engaging with delegates from all walks of life.
Fun Fact (or Two)? I can’t dance to save my life, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Also, I still know every lyric to Taylor Swift’s oldest songs—what can I say? They spoke deeply to my simple and sensitive middle-school heart.

Topic: War Reparations

The concept of war reparations is often highly contested between countries. Generally, war reparations are meant to compensate for the injury or damage inflicted by a war. In some post-conflict states, rule of law is often weak or non-existent and it is difficult to ensure justice for human rights violations. War reparations can potentially serve as a mode of transitional justice. In this committee, we will be working together to create an international code for war reparations. This will be a challenging task and will involve a definition of the kind of violations that should be subject to reparations. We will raise and discuss questions such as: what constitutes a reparation -- is there a distinction between monetary and non-monetary reparations? How do you even begin to quantify trauma and loss? Should evidentiary conditions be mandated in order to demand reparation? How feasible is such a request? Who has the authority to mandate reparations and what if they do not acknowledge the need for such war reparations? If reparations are determined to be owed, how should they be distributed? How can countries make reparations gender-sensitive? These are all questions that our committee will try to engage with in the broader discussion of what a war reparations should look like and how it should be carried out.