A. Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (70a)
Recently, there has been an increase in violent incidents and racially motivated acts of hate in different parts of the world. Of serious concern to the Human Rights Council is racial profiling and its impact on minority populations. Recently, the Council has discussed how to combat the glorification of Nazism and the immense challenges neo-Nazism has posed to the international community. This is just one example of contemporary forms of racial discrimination. It will be important for this committee to consider various global instances of racism and racial discrimination and discuss both the impact it has on targeted identities, but also how to decrease and prevent intolerance as a whole.
B. Rights of indigenous peoples (69a)
There are about 370 million people in over 70 countries that identify as indigenous, with over half of them living in Asia. Indigenous populations are still heavily marginalized all over the world, and have been for centuries. They are victims of land removal, culture erasure, physical and verbal attacks, and often are treated as non-human. Even though indigenous populations make up about 5% of the world’s population, they account for 15% of the poorest and have life expectancies 20 years lower than the average. The passing of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 was monumental in establishing basic rights for indigenous populations, but there is still much to be done to ensure that these populations actually have access to their rights and are being treated equitably.
C. Right of peoples to self-determination (71)
Self-determination is the right of peoples to determine their own destiny politically, culturally, economically, and socially. It is a guaranteed right in Article I of the UN Charter and is seen as an integral part of human rights law. However, the exact definition of this right is debated heavily. While it is not necessarily the scope of the Human Rights Committee to debate legal definitions, it will be vital to understand how different groups interpret “self-determination” and how this impacts its application. A specific area of debate to consider is the use of mercenaries in impeding people’s’ ability to exercise their right to self-determination. This is one of the most pressing issues impacting self-determination today as these mercenaries are typically hired to overthrow and influence governments in developing countries or fight against national liberation organizations. Delegates will need to debate ways of reaching universal realization of peoples right to self-determination while finding ways to reduce the impact of mercenaries on developing populations.