Written by Swasthi Shankar of Inkling, for UWCSEA MUN.
All amendments are finally being presented today, the second day of the MUN. After all the planning, the committees and delegates are now in session. Today, the Human Rights Committee (HRC), chaired by Head chair Digvijay Singh and Deputy Chairs Mika Sacdalan and Aditya Raj, focuses on human rights across the world debated amendments based on arbitrary detentions of people by governments. The delegates presented several points contemplating on the clauses and their uses.
This amendment was submitted by Bangladesh and co-submitted by several other countries. The amendment focused on how to avoid misuse of arbitrary detention as well on the legitimacy of entities who practice arbitrary detention. Bangladesh suggested that arbitrary detention should be very controlled and monitored to avoid any wrongdoings on the governments’ parts. A few delegates questioned Bangladesh’s motives and suggestions because of Bangladesh’s own history of misusing and manipulating arbitrary detention. The delegate of Bangladesh however responded by explaining that this resolution will help avoid such situations. Devanshi Loomba, the Indian delegate showed their extensive support for this resolution by stressing that “Following this resolution is better to ensure the safety of the country as a whole” but also claimed that for the safety of the citizens, “Detaining should be kept away from civillians.”
The delegate of Israel, a co-submitter of the resolution, suggested that the UN should be directly involved in all cases of arbitrary detention and that the UN should have the right to decide consequences for any government bodies who misuse this ability. The delegation elaborated to explain that this would be a “Safety measure and not an ability to exploit”. Howeveral many other delegations dismissed the notion as they believed this would be far too an intrusive action by the UN. The delegate of Saudi Arabia, Rita Malhotra, explained that the states should have the right to use arbitrary detention without ‘interference from the UN’ because it concerns matters of ‘national security’. The Chair explained that “The resolutions made here are not legally binding which means its more of a suggestion to the countries” when asked to clarify.
Several delegations critisised delegates of Nations such as Pakistan and Israel for misusing the ability of arbitrary detention in the past. Many such countries are known for misusing this ability to extract information through physical and psychological torture. The delegation of the United States claimed that to avoid this, medical reports should be presented to the UN to prove that no inhumane methods have been used to harm any detained people. However the notion was quickly dismissed by other delegations as it was impractical and easy to fake.
Friendly amendments that focused on details of clauses were passed with an overwhelming majority. However for those amendments such as the Australian delegation’s move to strike an entire clause and Malaysia’s move to not track suspicious citizens and members were rejected by an overwhelming majority as they were impractical and restricting. Most of the amendments passed were focused on methods to avoid unnecesary harm towards civillians and more specific and detailed clauses to avoid confusion. The delegates faced ‘heated’ discussion and brought up very useful points that helped make the resolution specific and helpful for several delegations.
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