“What is the name of this committee again?”
Small clarification at UNHRC yesterday afternoon.
“What is the name of the committee?” said the Chairs to open the afternoon session. Delegates looked up, surprised. “Human Rights Council?”. “Yes right” continued the Chairs “Not Security Council or whatever”.
It seems that the HRC has lost track of their subject. They are supposed to focus on Sudan only, and not on America, nor South Africa as could have thought someone attending the sessions of these last few days.
An anonymous delegate confessed: “I would say debates are fruitful and delegates are really active in the committee which is really appreciated. We are talking about justice, economics, politics and justice however we are not focusing on the topics which are actually in the UNHRC mandate and that is quite frustrating. Delegates are eager to solve the overall situation in Sudan but it is not our role as delegates in the Human Rights Council. Therefore debate is often shifting to topics that are irrelevant to our committee. Nevertheless, delegates are doing the best they can so that the debate moves forward and those draft resolutions are submitted at the end of the day. Consequently I would say this is the biggest issue in our committee. Another issue would maybe be the questions of asking the UNSC to lift the sanctions (mainly economic ones) on Sudan or not. Some countries feel that it would weaken the Republic of the Sudan and others feel this would, on the contrary, give more power to the military regime which has already committed abuses in the country.”
While the delegation of Czech Republic is upset that Saudi Arabia called the delegation by its Cold War name – causing great hilarity in the committee, he quite agrees with our anonymous delegate about debates being too often off the subject.
However, the delegate of China said he is happy about the ongoing debate. They have been focusing on main topics such as refugees, economic stability… Countries from the Africa Union and the European Union being especially open to compromises, it promises great things. Uruguay holds the same view: “negotiations are going well” and her draft resolution is moving forward.
The delegate of Bangladesh said there is nevertheless a package of burning issues to discuss with her fellow delegates until reaching a consensus but she is optimistic. We cannot wait to see the final resolution!