UNHCR: Committee Debates Necessity and Relevance of Amendments


As the closing of debate approaches, delegates on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees committee began debating the necessity and relevance of amendments to current draft resolutions. Over the topic of Draft Resolution 1.2, many of the altered and additional clauses were seen as friendly, however regarding Amendment 1.2.3, many felt uncomfortable regarding the extreme security that it provides to possible offenders.

The amendment of concern attempted to introduce the idea of non-refoulement to the current draft resolution. The principal is meant to protect refugees from being forcibly placed or expelled to an area in which their safety could be put in danger, however some delegates see possible abuse of this principal.

“The delegate of Kenya raises some concern over the policy issues of Amendment 1.2.3.,” she said. “Kenya’s Minister of Refugee Affairs may order the expulsion from Kenya to any refugee or member of their family if Kenya finds it to be necessary on the grounds of national security or public order.”

The possibility of this clause getting misused pushed some delegates from voting in favor of it. However, many of the other amendments introduced to Draft Resolution 1.2. were seen as extremely beneficial. Amendment 1.2.4 provided shelter and accommodation to refugees.

“It’s not only something that tackles refugee living situations, it also tackles education and communication,” said the delegate of Germany. “We are living in a really complicated time, and we believe [this] amendment actually tackles it.”

The committee will go into voting procedure on these, and a number of other amendments, by the end of session today.


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