Day 3 of the HRC for the URJCmun. The topic: Freedom of expression and press freedom in the modern societies and conflict areas.
The new session started slowly, the effects on the night at the Global Village had taken a toll on most delegations. It wasn’t until the floor was open for motions and a Moderated Caucus on ‘National Security and freedom of expression’ passed that life seemed to come back to our delegates. Israel calling out Brazil on endangered journalist in their own country because of the lack of protection from their government created the first tension of the morning. Later on Canada reproached the US on their hypocrisy because ‘how can they talk about freedom of expression when their government spies on their own citizens?’.
A Moderated Caucus on ‘measures to protect journalists’ was starting when our Secretary General joined us with breaking news that would change the course of the whole session.
One british journalists was killed in Mississippi and two other were in critical conditions at the ICU. The three of them were British citizens, two of them had also Congolian nationality. At first it was believed that they were shot by white supremacist that disrupted the march, called to protest against the Republican government and its measures, they were covering but later on it was discovered that it had been the State Police the one responsible. Both, the President and State Governor knew about this and tried to cover the information. The UK and Congo governments announced that they will take action on this matter. Israel spoke up to defend the US.
By then, delegates were unstoppable. Recriminations flew by and the lunch break was necessary to calm the nerves and be able to get together to start a working paper. After the Unmoderated Caucus a resolution signed by all the delegations, except th delegations of North Korea and US, was passed and it condemn the crimes committed against the three journalists.
The Moderated Caucus left unfinished earlier today continued with the novelty of Amnesty International being the moderator. A motion for an Unmoderated Caucus to be able to begin a working paper was passed and before the session ended the resolution was approved. For the next session we will probably extend the adopted resolution with some more amendments.
On our second day at the URJCmun’s Human Rights Council the positions of our delegates became clearer. The debate continued and after the last intervention the floor was opened. Only the moderated caucus proposed by the UK on the matter of ‘Decriminalization’ had enough majority to take place.
Everything was following the same steps as yesterday until Israel called out Brazil on being a bit of a hypocrite because their official position didn’t match what was actually happening in the country nowadays. From here on the Delegates started calling each other out until Iraq said: ‘there are no homosexual people in our country. It is you, the western media, the ones making them believe they are’.
Firm proposals where trying to come up but here is where all hell broke loose. The German delegate criticized this statement and refused to apologize later when asked to. Israel confronted North Korea on their incapability to provide for the LGBT+ community when most of their population didn’t even had access to food or health insurance. France called out Armenia stating that religion is, in no way possible, an obstacle for the human rights of the LGBT+ people to be granted. And with this polarized stage, an unmodulated caucus to try to come up with working papers took place.
More than four extensions where needed for the working papers to see the light. Two major blocs were formed.
The first working paper to be presented was the one presented by Russia and China, which was also signed by the majority of arab countries. It ended up being made of six major clauses which main objectives were the acceptance of the existence of LGBT+ people. This was a big step for this countries but the western bloc said that this wasn’t enough for protecting and promoting the LGBT+ rights.
The second working paper was presented by Finland, India and the US. It contained eleven points that are ‘the next step toward progress’ for the protection and promotion of LGTB+ rights.
The voting started and by only the minimum majority of 16 votes in favor. This result was widely applauded by the Comite.
A motion for starting the discussion for the second topic tomorrow was passed.
Could we be on the verge for a new era on inclusion and tolerance?
On the first day of URJCmun the Human Rights Council the Delegations jumped right into action on their first session. Only 32 of the 39 Delegations were present today and ‘The protection and promotion of LGBT+ rights’ was the first topic to come to the discussion table.
As de Delegates of each country took the floor, their positions on this pressing matter were quite fixated from the beginning.
On the one hand we had the ‘western influenced’ countries- such as the Germany, Finland, Australia, Canada, Brazil, France just to name a few - positioned in favour of the protection and promotion of LGBT+ rights, which for some countries like the US means achieving full coverage by the law on matters like marriage, adoption, non-discrimination. For the United Kingdom this includes the need to change the educational systems established nowadays to make them more inclusive towards the members of the LGBT+ community.
On the other hand we had countries such as Iran, India or Egypt whose position on the matter was quite the opposite. Iraq addressed the members of the LGBT+ community as ‘mentally ill people’ and said that the only solution for this matter ‘was to pray and take pity on them’. Saudi Arabia’s intervention started as a critic to the westerned media because they were to blame for spreading the ‘focus on gay issues’ and even getting say that ‘it was a problem that needed to be got rid of’. This interventions was widely applauded by some of the delegates.
The Russian Delegate’s intervention was the most shocking after stating that ‘Russia would not stop at anything when ensuring Human Rights’. Is this new take on the LGBT+ issue on part of the Russians going to stick?
When the motions for three different kinds of Caucasus were brought up all of them fail and after Israel’s proposal for continuing with the discussion of the topic tomorrow was approved by a wide majority of the Council the first session of the Human Rights Council for the 2018 URJCmun ended on a lukewarm note.