Conference Topic: Promoting accountability and human rights during the post-conflict era of Sri Lanka.
Practice Debate Topic: Advancing international human rights to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity with special emphasis on the developing world.
The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a vital organ of the United Nations which is mandated to promote and protect human rights for all. The UNHRC advises States on human rights related matters; coordinate education and public information programs; remove obstacles to realizing human rights for all and thus, strives to prevent further human rights violations. Additionally, they promote communication between governments and nurtures international cooperation.
The United Nations General Assembly established the UNHRC on the 15th of March 2006 by resolution 60/251. This replaced the UN Commission on Human Rights after it had been severely condemned for allowing countries that had poor human rights records to be members. 47 UN member states are now a part of the Council. This committee and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) work closely together to carry out action plans which further the promotion of human rights across the globe. This includes the employment of special rapporteurs and working groups. These special rapporteurs monitor states and their compliance with human rights conventions. They also assist in investigating and passing resolutions with respect to individual cases of emergency human rights issues.
The success of the UNHRC is dependent on the increasing number of countries in the world that have begun to work in unity to improve and better human rights, irrespective of any shared history and regional politics. The importance of the matter of human rights being taken seriously by member states has allowed for considered discussion as well as collective action.
The simulation of the UNHRC at SLMUN 2021 is a great opportunity to allow delegates both old and new to engage in lively debate and discussion on the ever-important subject of human rights. As the UNHRC has such a wide area of discussion, the debate is sure to be dynamic and vibrant.
Delegates must have interest in all areas of human rights, and it is important to not be influenced by personal bias other than those perpetuated by the delegate’s nation. Human rights are a constant conversation on the international platform: hence, delegates must also have a thorough knowledge of their country’s historical record with human rights violations and conventions, as well as the country’s present relationship with human rights. Thus, delegates can accurately represent their countries and ensure smooth debate when the committee discusses the topic.