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Dear Delegates,

Welcome to Harvard Model Congress Latin America 2016! My name is Dustin Chiang, and I look forward to chairing the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) committee this year.

To start, I’ll share a little bit about myself. Originally from Fremont, California, I’m a rising sophomore at Harvard College studying Government. I’m very passionate about civic engagement, teaching civics at local public schools in Cambridge and conducting voter registration outreach. I’ve worked in numerous Congressional and local campaigns and offices, in addition to currently writing poll questions for the Harvard Public Opinion Project. In my free time I enjoy dancing with Harvard Bhangra, watching a variety of TV, and cheering on the Oakland Athletics. HMCLA will be my fourth time staffing an HMC conference and I hope you’re as excited as I am!

Inspired by the European Union, UNASUR was formed in 2004 and officially constituted in 2008 with the goal of regional integration in issues such as trade, energy, the environment, and infrastructure. As a relatively new organization, UNASUR is very much still defining its role as a major international body, currently considering numerous potential projects such as a common currency and a continental free trade zone.

At HMCLA, you will play a crucial role in defining this organization and its role in South American government policy. You will consider how to best strengthen UNASUR as an intergovernmental organization, especially in consideration of comparable organizations. You will also weigh the best options for serving the interests of your individual member states. One idea being floated right now is the creating of a South American Parliament similar to the European Union which would establish binding domestic law for UNASUR member states. These important issues and more are all in your hands.

Before the conference, make sure to fully read and understand the briefings as well as your country’s stances so that we can have more informed, productive conversations in committee. I encourage you to expand your research beyond the scope of our briefings to gain broader perspective on these issues. Please feel free to reach out before the conference to ask any questions you might have, or even just to introduce yourself. Get excited for an awesome conference!


Dustin Chiang