Human Rights Council

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International Monterrey Model United Nations Simulation American School Foundation of Monterrey Human Rights Council Topic B: Freedom of speech concerning criticism towards the government Director: Katia Gonzalez (MS), Regina Benitez (HS) Moderator: Claudia Scala (MS), Alexa Vasquez (HS) I. Committee Background The Human Rights Council was established on March 15, 2006 by the United Nations General Assembly, with the goal of addressing and resolving international Human Rights issues. The Human Rights Council is an intergovernmental body within the United Nations system made up of representatives from 47 States,(10) elected by the General Assembly. The Human Rights Council is responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe. The current president of this committee is Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, a Thailand national. The members of the HRC are elected into three year terms that are staggered from each other (their terms don’t end at the same time).(10) These members include countries such as Mexico, The United States of America, Poland, the Republic of Korea, France and many others. The main purpose of the HRC is to address situations concerning human rights violations and recommend solutions. Countries can be condemned by the HRC if they commit violations during the sessions that it holds, and can be condemned multiple times. There have been 15 sessions, and 13 special sessions of the HRC since its founding. The HRC over-arches the Commission on Human Rights, and the Sub-commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. Human rights complaints are filed using a standard complaint procedure(21), and procedure rules concerning the sessions. The resolutions and recommendations that the HRC makes are not binding. They are only recommendations for what should be done to amend the situation. II. Introduction and Description Freedom of speech means expressing your views without censorship, limitation or fear. This topic deals with the criticism towards the government and the quantity and depth of information the citizens are allowed to emit to the public. The importance of this topic consists of the violation of rights that the government imposes on citizens, and the prohibition to speak the “truth”, according to the citizens. This topic has grave importance due to the power of censorship governments have around the world, maintaining certain information as secret and remaining silent towards certain situations that can’t be published to the public in order to prevent chaos and promote transparency. The Problem The dispute between benefits and detriments of stating your opinion disturbs citizens, frequently causing them to prefer to stay silent. Those who AVE. MOR ON ES PRI ET O K M. 1 .5 • SANT A CAT ARIN A, N .L . MÉXIC O 6 6354 TEL EPHON E: (81) 8389-440 0 • FAX: (81) 8389-4455 WWW .I MMUNS.OR G

International Monterrey Model United Nations Simulation American School Foundation of Monterrey do speak up may be punished for their words on topics like corruption in the government, depending on whether the system of government allows the ability to speak freely. Many conflicts also involve the press, for stating their opinions too freely over issues the government would rather keep quiet. Nowadays, both governments and citizens are even limited in their freedom of speech due to powerful groups like drug cartels and mafia organizations. The Controversy The controversy surrounding this topic is based on the amount of liberty that citizens in each country are granted. There are many gray areas in this issue, but the Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC)(24), which was founded in 1960 operates to represent all the writers persecuted or detained for their expression of opinions. Taking into consideration whether or not the writers used any type of hatred in declaring their controversial statements, this committee exists to take action in favor of unfairly judged and imprisoned press....
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