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The United Nations Human Rights Council

Topics

1. Freedom of Information in the 21st Century:

Any state whose citizens are unaware of the acts of their government and their rulers, should not be considered as fully democratic. Nowadays, it is indeed appropriate to suggest that access to information is vital for a true democracy to be considered as such. In fact, information on executive actions allows people to hold their government accountable and thus it acts as the basic source to initiate public debate.

It is generally observed from governmental practices around the world that a large number of governments do not publish the details of most of their executive obligations. Even countries which are considered to be truly democratic prefer to keep actions unknown to their masses in the name of national security, law and order considerations and the prevailing ‘national interest’. However, it is necessary to emphasize that information retained by governments cannot be merely withheld under the plea of state security; governments should rather bear in mind that any information so withheld is to be kept only on behalf of the public that they represent.

2. Strengthening human rights of returnees and internally displaced persons in conflict regions

Too often, people officially recognised as refugees are denied an internationally recognised human right, that is their right to return to their home. Nevertheless, violations to this right are numerous and the international community has a fundamental role in the management of this issue: first of all, the denial of return is a way to impede the accomplishment of one’s life from a political perspective; that is to say, such an individual is forbidden to achieve his political development due to an exogenous factor that he cannot even fight. In other words, states denying this right are unilaterally deciding over one’s political development, causing a severe loss to an innocent person. Secondly, denial has a strong impact on one’s identity, since a refugee willing to return home after a conflict will less likely accept to settle somewhere else, therefore condemning an innocent to exile. Finally, violation of the right to return is a severe violation of international law, although such violation is not prosecuted, mainly for the objective difficulty of finding solid ground for such accusations.

The Human Rights Council is therefore called to discuss the strengthening of this right, so that international law can be effectively recalled when such right is refused and the return denied. The many aspects of this debate should include the right of the individual as refugee, the collective right of a community of refugee, the role of the hosting state and the conditions of the state from which the refugees fled. Moreover, the Council should consider the opportunity of expressing some recommendations on the duties and conditions of a hosting state according to international law, and evaluate whether to reinforce the current international norms over the subject.

chaired by
Ms. Mihaela Cerbari
Mr. Andrea Fatale

Available Positions

Angola
Argentina
Australia
Azerbaijan
Benin
Botswana
Brazil*
Burkina Faso
Canada
Chile
China, People’s Republic*
Colombia
Cuba
Denmark
Dominican Republic
Ethiopia
Gabon
France*
Guatemala
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Italy*
Japan
Kenya
Kuwait
Libya
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Mexico
Montenegro
Morocco
Pakistan
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Qatar*
Republic of Korea
Russian Federation*
Rwanda
Spain
Thailand
Togo
United Arab Emirates*
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland*
United States of America*
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

*For these positions, experience is preferred.