By KIRTHANA SASITHARAN, HURRIYET DAILY NEWS
“Eight Migrants die each day trying to reach better lands,” said the delegate from Chile, “We need to give names to the nameless that are dying.”
Committee Session one in the International Organization for Migration began with a disputed start, as many delegates within the committee were heavily divided in regards to what topic shall be set and discussed over the next few days. The delegates repeatedly went back and forth to justify their reasoning behind choosing to discuss Migration to the Arabian Peninsula or Border Crossing Risks.
The delegate from Chile strongly suggested that the first topic to be explored shall be Border Crossing Risks and validated that notion by presenting delegates with a reality check on the current state of our world. That of the delegates from Cyprus and Columbia further echoed the delegate of Chile’s concerns. The delegate from Cyprus brought forth an important point, stating that due to the rise of ISIL, it was important that topic B, Border Crossing Risks, be discussed.
However, not all delegates’ felt that the issues surrounding Border Crossing were particularly of importance, stating that topic A, the Migration to the Arabian Peninsula, was more imperative. The delegate from the USA had expressed that the International Organization for Migration’s resources were better suited to discuss Topic A. The delegate did mention that though migration to the Arabian Peninsula was not necessarily a global issue, it was still vital. The delegate from Mexico carried forth a heartfelt sentiment towards the caucus, acknowledging the lack of choice that migrant workers have in who they are and what they do, thus using a sentimental touch to convince the other delegates that Topic A was worth debating. The delegate from Nepal also agreed with the delegate from the USA, stating that though migration to the Arabian Peninsula was a regional issue, it was a pressing issue that dealt with human rights. With that in mind, the delegate from Nepal encouraged delegates to address Topic A.
Despite the strong arguments put forth by these delegates, there were many more appeals that were in line with that of the delegates from Chile, Cyrpus, and Columbia. The strongest defense used to justify discussing Border Crossing Risks was that the issue encompassed a global scale and continues to be constant. The delegate from Netherlands shared their own experiences with migrant crossing, as many migrants are looking to cross the borders of Netherlands. The delegate from Netherlands said, “We cannot ignore them, as they continue to come.” The delegate from Netherlands point raises some important concerns regarding ignorance and the obligation to care. The delegate from Thailand had suggested to the caucus that they begin by discussing border-crossing risks because of issues happening within their own country they are unable to combat. Much like the concern of the delegate from Netherlands, the delegate from Thailand expressed that Thailand deals with both immigration and emigration. Thailand tries to help migrants, but as a developing nation themselves, Thailand does not have the resources to do so. The delegate expressed with great empathy that Thailand would like to help the migrants, as the migrants want to come, but they just cannot. For these reasons, the delegate from Thailand believed Border crossing risks should be the topic to be discussed first.
Delegates look on keenly as the debate occurs between setting the topic to either Border Crossing Risks or Migration to the Arabian Peninsula.
Despite the strong arguments presented by delegates supporting both topics, the caucus seems to be leaning towards beginning with border crossing risks. The effects of border crossing risks, like many of the delegates pointed out, are strongly felt by many nations, including Turkey that has certainly put their foot in the door through the support they provide for migrants fleeing their own countries and seeking shelter. However, the security measures taken even within Turkey are bleak and by discussing border crossing risks, we can only hope the International Organization for Migration can develop a plan to address the issues that may arise as a result of an increase in border crossing risks.