Sunday, November 14, 2010


Day 2
The first moderated caucus was raised by the delegate of Thailand in the topic “Right to privacy while countering terrorism”. Thailand felt that privacy was the basis of all other rights. The delegate proposed interference with privacy should be authorized by law and “proportionality” should be present.
USA felt that the international laws of interrogation of detained should be extended to privacy laws as well and that INGOs should be involved in the collection of such intercepted data. USA also suggested that biometric data should also be shared if that shall help the combat against terrorism. Senegal replied by saying that semi-governmental organizations are already looking after the rights of privacy and they should be supported even further.
Russian Federation made a strong point about the hierarchy of fundamental rights of people and felt that there are more important things than intercepting communication. Russia also felt that there is a need having proof for intercepting private information. This point was taken forward by delegate of Jordon and Cameroon and both felt that the HRC should establish data protection guidelines and transparency needs to be present and that the reason for infringement of privacy should be made public. Delegate of Burkina Faso felt that infringement of privacy should be used only when a strong threat of possible attack is present and that it should occur for a specified period of time. Burkina Faso also suggested that violation of privacy without relevant reason should allow compensation and other forms of redressal. Delegate of Norway felt that there was a need of having a legal basis for data sharing and of defining the powers and mandate of the committee that intercept the private information of the people.
The second moderated caucus for the day was on the topic “creation of global declaration for the protection of data”, proposed by delegate of Saudi Arabia.
1. Saudi Arabia emphasized that the finance and technology required for collecting private information may not be feasible for Sub-Saharan countries and other developing nations and hence another committee/panel should overlook the CTITF functioning. Saudi Arabia also mentioned that information sharing does pose questions of infringement of the sovereignty of a country. Republic of Moldova however disagreed and felt that data must be shared universally and protection of data from an unauthorized body should be emphasized. USA also felt that all countries cannot intercept data due to technological barriers. UK also felt that terrorism can be controlled if regular checks on public communication are made.
2. Senegal emphasized on diplomatic talks and checks on balances of information exchanges between committee.
3. Thailand on the other hand felt that there should be no interference from an external body and only bilateral exchanges of information should take place. Delegates of Qatar, Kyrgyzstan also agreed with this point.
4. Burkina Faso made a very strong point by saying that the panel so proposed under the global declaration can seek the membership of ex-judiciary member which are competent tp work independently of any government guidance to ensure equality. He also mentioned that the right to withhold information can be exercised if needed.
5. Brazil felt that no misuse of the intercepted data should take place. China added that information should be shared only when imminent theat.
6. Gabon proposed having the branches of the proposed international body in all nations.
7. Poland felt that if privacy has been violated for invalid reasons, there should a redressal mechanism present.
The next moderated caucus discussed the result of the unmediated caucus of session 2. After taking into consideration, the suggestions of the director and chair on the issue of a global deceleration, it was noted by the EB that the suggestion of a new committee/panel was redundant; the following reforms were noted by delegates:
1. Thailand recommended to the GA 3 that there shall be no interference by an external body on the domestic affairs of a country and that if a country has disputed information regarding to terrorist activities, data exchanges may be facilitated through the Interpol.
2. Uganda encouraged bilateral talks over the creation of a new entity with a similar mandate
3. USA supported the global declaration as a necessary code of conduct required while intercepting private information and felt that “there is no need for any third party” and that “the information so shared should be of the form: to, from and nature”. This point drew the criticism of a lot of delegates and was pointed out to be logically unfeasible by the director. Cuba supported the point on bilateral share of information as well.
4. Ukraine supported a similar code of conduct and felt that no country should be forced to provide data (it should be noted that the UN cannot force any country to do so anyhow) and proposed that data collection should take place about the interrogations in the detention centres as well.
5. Norway felt that there should be limitation to data sharing when the sovereignty of a country might be affected. It was also proposed that training should be provided to protect the data from leaking out.
The next moderated caucus was a discussion on the working papers submitted to the executive board. Corrections and suggestions were made by the EB there and then.
The next MC was proposed by Poland on the topic of “rights and freedoms of detainees and arbitrary detentions”
1. Poland noted that judicial rights are not given to the detained and that a free trail is utmost necessary and it should be ensured that justice is provided in time, without delays. Also it was suggested that compensation may e provided to the family of detained if the detainee is later found to be innocent. Saudi Arabia supported this point and added that the right to rehabilitation and redressal was necessary,
2. Spain focused on the incommunicado detentions and felt that detained should be given a lawyer, a fair trial should be conducted, and family of the detainee must be informed of the imprisonment.
3. Thailand felt that such detentions should only be made under the existing legislature of the country and not contradictory to it.
4. Ukraine wanted detained to have right to life, food, and clothing. It was suggested that no forced confessions should be prompted as the same can be misleading and that all interrogations should be under record. Bangladesh supported this point. (EB felt that the same can be manipulated)
5. Russia accused USA of HR violation by continuing with Guntamno bay detention center. USA reassured the delegates that the Guntamno Bay detention center shall be closed down as soon as possible.
6. Brazil also noted that often hygienic conditions are also denied to the detained which have a long term effect.
7. France felt that the role of the special rappoteur with respect to detention of suspected terrorist personnel should be strengthened.
8. Gabon made a important point by saying that the detention must be authorized by a warrant and that there should be a time limit on the duration of the interrogation.
9. Libya made an extremely important point by saying that after the detainee is found innocent and released, his/her life can be under threat by the terrorist organization with which the detainee was presumed to be affiliated. It was suggested that such detained may be provided with greater security and ensured that there is no discrimination toward them and that their reintegration in the community be ensured.
10. Mexico felt that such centers should be open to UN review.
11. Pakistan condemned torture as it has a profound psychological impact.
12. Norway felt that international standard of prison and detention centers should be complied with.
Delegates kindly note that the following are the proceedings of the committee which were brought up the most. Please note that if i particular country has not been mentioned below; it does not in any way reflect the performance of the delegate. Only those points have been mentioned which the EB wishes to be discussed in greater detail. The blog does not represent the preference(s) of the EB.

The first moderated caucus of the day was raised by the delegate of USA who sought to define terrorism. The caucus saw the participation of a number of delegates all whom emphasized on certain similar points and had their corresponding diverging views as well. While the delegate of USA defined terrorism as an act of aggression, hijack and a politically charged movement against the government charged by a socio political movement, it also mentioned that member nations should “…not focus on the tag of terrorism but instead on all related activities”.
Delegate of UK, while defining terrorism as a disruption peace also emphasized on the fact that terrorist activities may be politically as well as ideologically motivated and that religion may not always be the reason for terrorism.
Delegates of Senegal, Qatar, Mauritius, Libya, Nigeria, Guatemala , Gabon, Djibouti, Uganda all emphasized that terrorism is majorly characterized by the large scale and intentional destruction of life, property and the attack on the fundamental rights of the people.
Republic of Korea defined terrorism as the attack on the core values of HR as enshrined in the UN principles. Norway made a strong point about the need of differentiating criminals from terrorists and emphasized on the political motives of a terrorist group.
However, Brazil disagreed and felt that instead of a country specific approach, member nations should follow a common definition as decided by the United Nations. This too was supported by a number of delegates.
Angola spoke about the clandestine nature of terrorist organizations and Angola, along with Pakistan and Senegal also emphasized terrorism as an act that induces fear in people. Mexico and Brazil also pointed out the ubiquitous use of arms and other weapons in terrorist activities and considered it to be a characteristic feature of terrorism.

The second moderated caucus was on the topic “Threats to violation of Human Rights by govt while countering terrorism”, proposed by Ukraine.
Delegates of Ukraine, USA, Ghana, UK, Slovakia, and Cameroon discussed the violation of privacy in the anti-terrorist strategies adopted by various nations .Burkina Faso felt that technological methods that violate the privacy of individuals should be used only as a last resort and that the information so collected should be kept confidential. While delegates of Argentina and Pakistan emphasized on the rise of Islamophobia, related intolerances and the ethnic and minority groups being particularly affected in the after math of a terrorist activity, delegate of Kyrgyzstan talked about the violation of the freedom of expression and the same is not granted to citizens by their respective governments.
The moderated caucus also saw various allegations being leveled against various countries. Thailand felt that UK and France were unjust In their decision of banning the “hijab” and the “burkah” as felt that such restrictions should not be present.
Arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances, with emphasis on the applicability of refugee laws on terrorist was under discussion as well. Saudi Arabia accused china of malpractices of torture and arbitrary detention by groups such as the MSS. China on the other hand felt that in cases where sufficient proof is available, detention of persons may be imperative. Delegates of Bangladesh and Bahrain supported this point, but also emphasized on the need of transparency and standard norms which are required for the same. Cuba, Guatemala, and Russia strongly disagreed with this point and Russia in particular vehemently disapproved of the Guntamno Bay detention centers. Brazil focused on the fact that reports are made misleading when detainees are shifted from one detention centre to another. Libya focused on the lack of adequate and appropriate facilities provided to detainees in jail and prisons. Poland also mentioned on the barriers on the entry and movement placed on people. Republic of Moldova talked about the deporting of diplomatic assurances.

The third moderated caucus was on the topic: “impact of ethnic profiling on different communities” proposed by delegate of Norway. Norway considers racial profiling as a harmful, frightening and humiliating experience for the races and minority groups concerned. Delegate of Pakistan added by saying that racial profiling towards the dress code of Muslims should be condemned. Delegates of Cameroon and France emphasized on the wrong interpretation of Islam and focused on the need of spreading correct awareness. Delegates of Ukraine and Angola felt that profiling and “random checks” should be conducted when there is conclusive proof of the need of the same. Delegates felt that profiling should be a transparent process and should not violate international law. Delegate of Burkina Faso felt that behavioral characteristic and traits should also be the basis of profiling rather than just race and religion. Delegate of Russian Federation on the other hand felt that unless alternative solutions can be thought of, profiling cannot be done away with and felt that behavioral profiling as suggested by Burkina Faso would require extensive training of human personnel which shall not be practical in the short run. USA felt that the 9/11 attacks were not based on religious considerations and defended its stand as a state against Islamic fundamentalism. This statement was commented upon as being “vague, hurtful and ambiguous” by Brazil and Djibouti.

DAY 2 shall be updated soon. Stay Tuned....