UK and Saudi Arabia- on the same ground?

Today’s morning session started with the delegate of Congo who was the first to read the working paper presenting solutions they found together with their allies. They addressed problems such as the violence against women and expressed their willingness to find solutions. After some guidance coming from the chairpersons, the delegates started a series of un-moderated caucuses in order to improve their working papers.

In the moderated caucus that followed, Congo congratulated the delegations of USA and UK for the efforts they made in elaborating the working paper. While Congo appreciated their work, the delegation of Poland brought up the change in the “allies” of the delegations mentioned before which was seconded by the delegation of Italy who pointed out the unlikely fact that USA and UK will work with Saudi Arabia for the Human Rights policies. The delegation of UK explained that the committee is not a race and its purpose is to find solutions “together”, a statement that was saluted by the USA who added that the mission of the committee is to “find solutions that can be implemented by all countries”.  And then, the discussions became really heated as the delegation of Italy questioned the alliance between Congo and UK and asked for explanations.  The delegation of UK explains: “If we want to make a change we need to cooperate and help each other”.  After USA introduces a motion for the introduction of the working paper and Congo’s delivery, the delegation of USA supports the paper and explains that it has “visible solutions” and “addresses all the problems of discrimination”, but they are contradicted by the delegate of Poland who states that some points on the working papers are not completed. Italy seconds its ally the delegate of Poland and states that the abortion and reproductive rights issues are not included. The delegations of Italy and Poland suggests that their working paper covers more issues and suggest the other states to vote for the possibility to present their working paper.

After the voting procedures the delegation of Italy gains the right to read the working paper, a paper they start modifying and correcting with the help of the chairperson. After the working papers were sent to the board, the delegates started to discuss them and some of the countries started explaining and persuading the others regarding whose paper is more suitable for the topic of the Council. After the break, the delegates came back to the table with a will to negotiate and the spirits calmed down. The delegate of UK states: “We are here in order to protect women from rape, not to discuss the consequences of it. We are here to try and eradicate rape”. The delegation of Italy explains that it is impossible to predict and eradicate rapes and the best thing to do would be concentrating in fighting the consequences and try to protect women as much as possible.

During the second part of the second committee, we were informed by the Secretariat that the working paper submitted by Poland and Italy was accepted and that the delegates should start the procedures. The delegates voted and in consequence with a two thirds majority, the motion passes and the delegates start working on their resolution paper. Working together, they raised a motion in order to create amendments to the paper approved by the Secretariat.

Teodora Ioana Fediuc & Valentina Codruta Guzischi, HRC Press Officers

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