African Union (AU)
Chairs: Devin Crowley & Angela Li
Topic A: The HIV/AIDs Epidemic
While progress has certainly been made on the issue, the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to seriously affect millions of people across Africa. Rates of HIV contraction in Africa are over 8 times higher than the international average, making the continent a global epicenter for the HIV pandemic. However, this statistic masks the far more nuanced situation on the ground. Not all African countries are equally impacted by AIDS, not all have responded equally effectively, and not all individuals are impacted by AIDS in the same way or to the same degree. Delegates will be expected to explore this nuance in committee and create policies that fight the AIDS epidemic broadly in addition to addressing the specific needs of traditionally marginalized groups.
Topic B: Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict
Sexual violence has been a pervasive feature of armed conflicts across time and across the world, including in Africa. Often fueled by a breakdown in social order, it is also frequently used as a tool of coercion and retribution against those perceived as belonging to enemy groups. Both men and women can and have been victims of sexual violence, and at particular risk are vulnerable groups like minors, the disabled, and refugees. Impunity remains rampant in many places, social stigma remains high, and access to rehabilitating services like health clinics remains limited at best. Delegates in this committee will be asked to address sexual violence on many levels, from preventing its occurrence during armed conflict to ensuring support for victims and justice for perpetrators.