Committee Information

Committee Name: Organization of African Unity (OAU)
Organ: Regionals
Undersecretary-General: Jose Villalobos Gonzalez
Deputy Undersecretary-General: Julie Antão
Chair: Gary Xie
Topic A: The Discovery of AIDS
Topic B: Western Sahara Territorial Disputes

Access the Topic Abstract for this committee here.

A Letter from the Chair

Welcome delegates,

Welcome to the annual session of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) as we meet in the historic city of Addis Ababa in November 1984. As representatives of your respective countries, you gather to discuss important challenges facing Africa today.

Section VIII of the UN Charter allows “regional arrangements” and recognize their right to deal with matters of “international peace and security.” However, the OAU lacked the binding authority to enforce their decisions. Recognizing the limiting authority you have, how can you achieve your goals?

In this session of the OAU, we will deal with two pressing issues affecting Africa and even the world. First, in 1983 the first case of AIDS was diagnosed in Africa. This disease is alarming some public health professionals. While you do not know the extend of its threat in the future, how could you work together to curtail its spread?

Second, in 1984, the OAU is embroiled in a debate about the future of Western Sahara. While Morocco claims sovereignty over the territory, the rebels in the territory, the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic wants independence. The OAU has a dual obligation to oppose colonialization and promote African Unity. With Western Sahara claiming independence and Morocco threatening to withdraw from the OAU over the conflict, how will you address this issue?

In debating these difficult problems, you will be expected to consider both your countries’ stances on these issues, as well as the interests of the international community, while ultimately formulating policies that meet the goal of the OAU in furthering African unity.

Good luck, or as they say in Amharic (the language of Ethiopia): መልካም ዕድል

Gary Xie

Chair, Organization of African Unity

[email protected]

About the Chair

Gary Xie is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service majoring in International Political Economy. From White Rock, British Columbia, Canada, Gary is fond of water sports and whenever he returns home he loves to feast on his hometown’s salmon (pronounced “san-man” not “sell-mon”). Gary is passionate about economic development in Africa. He has conducted research on agricultural development with the World Bank in Ghana, worked as an analyst with a micro-financing firm in Uganda and has toured the great Sahara of Morocco. Gary is excited to chair an Africa-focused committee at NAIMUN this year.

Learning Goals

NAIMUN strives to provide the most well-rounded educational and enjoyable experience to delegates. The learning goals for the Organization of African Unity are as follows. Delegates will gain:  

  • Experience in dealing with issues of national sovereignty and state recognition, specifically the polemic decision of Western Sahara to declare independence from Morocco.
  • Insight into problematic dealings of nationality and ethnicity, which cause different social groups to lay claim to certain areas and have led to some of the most fierce and violent conflicts in human history.
  • The opportunity to learn how international bodies and state actors deal with major health epidemics, trying to come up with effective solutions to diseases that don’t respect borders or status.
  • Overview of the post-colonial stage of development in Africa, with the creation of the OAU to improve living conditions in the region, help countries deal with the challenges of creating their own government structures, and helping those still under influence of Europe become more independent.