Legal Committee


Topic Summary

Topic: Reevaluating Humanitarian Aid

Armed conflicts, refugee crises and natural disasters have never been more prevalent as they are now, in the twenty first century. Today, more than 125 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. These people are often already the most vulnerable populations of the world - those lacking food, water, shelter and human rights protections. From Latin America to the Middle East, humanitarian crises are further complicated by political, religious and ethnic tensions. In the past, some states have used humanitarian assistance to cover up their own political agendas. Such precedents make recipient nations suspicious of potential donors, therefore making it even harder to deliver much-needed aid. It has also endangered aid workers, with around 300 victimized by violence every year. Tremendous resources do not even reach the affected populations. As the humanitarian crises are only expected to deepen throughout the next decade, it is crucial for the global community to evaluate past responses and to increase the effectiveness of humanitarian aid delivery. It is also important to revive the main humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence. It is time to put the needs of the most vulnerable, whose rights and dignities have so long been violated, first, and to ensure that they are not only provided with short-term relief but also given the tools needed to rebuild new and thriving lives. 

Director’s Letter

Dear Delegates,

Hello and welcome to the Legal Committee for HMUN 2020! My name is Anastasiia Antiukhina, and I am beyond excited to be directing this committee.

I am looking forward to getting to know each of you during conference. To begin, here is a little bit about myself. I was born and raised in Kharkiv, Ukraine. In 2016-2017 I was selected to participate in the Future Leaders Exchange Program; as such I lived and studied in Sandusky, Michigan for one academic year. My first encounter with Model UN was a year ago, during my freshman year at Harvard. I served as an Assistant Director for the International Organization on Migration and also substituted as an Assistant Director for the Disarmament and International Security Committee for part of the Conference. I fell in love with Model UN because of you, dear Delegates. Last year, I was so stunned by the engagement and attention that many of you brought to the conference that I was inspired to make Model UN an important part of my life as well.

At Harvard, I live in Mather House and I am planning to concentrate in Social Studies with a focus field in Government and Economics. During my freshman spring I took a course called International Political Economy, where we learned about globalization, international trade, finance and development through the lens of both government and economics. Now I am determined to bring that same interdisciplinary approach to the rest of my academic career. Outside of class, I am involved in a couple of public service programs through the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA). I am actively involved in the Small Claims Advisory Service, where we are trained in Massachusetts law and help socioeconomically disadvantaged people protect their rights and bring their cases to the small claims court. I have also volunteered with Pets as Therapy, which recruits animals from the Harvard community to serve as companions for the residents of a local rehabilitation facility.

Outside of school, I like playing tennis, hiking and skiing. Over breaks, I have been traveling around the US and visiting my friends in different states; during the school year, I enjoy exploring Cambridge and the greater Boston area. I care deeply about meeting new people and building a strong community, and therefore I cannot wait for us all to get to know each other in January and evaluate the humanitarian actions of the twenty-first century.

Today, more people than ever suffer due to migration conflicts and natural disasters, and political and economic concerns further complicate aid delivery to affected populations. I am hoping that together as a committee we can work on improving the approach to aid delivery while keeping in mind the nuanced issues that arise from developments in the international realm. If there is one thing that I ask and encourage each of you to do during the conference, it is to be confident that your voice matters and that each of you has something unique to bring to the discussion. Therefore, I encourage you to speak up and to see this conference as an opportunity for your personal growth, to meet new friends and most importantly, to enjoy yourself!

I and the rest of the Dais are so excited to meet you all in January. In the meantime, I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have. I am always here to support you in your preparations for conference!



Anastasiia Antiukhina

Director, Legal Committee