Emma Doherty for THE AUSTRALIAN.
Much was covered at the first committee session of the UNHCR this SAMUNC, and whilst tensions flared towards the lunch break the discussion was mostly a measured affair.
Whilst the majority of debate consisted abundantly of current topical considerations regarding asylum seekers (ignoring the number of Middle Eastern refugees from ISIS), the everyday budgeting commitments of the UNHCR were also brought to the fore by the USA.
The US in its position as the primary capital contributor to the UNHCR has this year committed approximately $920 million USD. It argued this morning that such a commitment of funds is a strain on the US economically, and should be mitigated by higher contributions from other countries part of the UNHCR.
This request was overlooked by the next speaker at the committee, a delegate for Russia, in favour of returning to an earlier discussion regarding refugees fleeing from the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Venezuela however acknowledged the necessity of adequate funding for the UNHCR in order to support its operations, although they acknowledged that given their own current state of economic instability and inflation, whatever additional support they would be able to provide was not going to be a substantial increase.
The United Kingdom stated that they have recently increased the amount they are willing to commit to the aid of refugees.