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The United Nations Human Rights Council was established in 2006 by General Assembly Resolution A/RES/60/251. Prior to the UNHRC the most prominent mechanism for human rights issues in the United Nations was the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, a subsidiary body of the General Assembly. The UNHRC took on the roles and responsibilities of the Commission on Human Rights, and seeks to build upon that foundation to create a more effective body for international human rights policy.

The resolution creating the Council gave it responsibilities such as to promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner, address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations, promote effective coordinating and mainstreaming of human rights within the United Nations system, to promote human rights education and learning, advisory services, technical assistance, and capacity building and contribute, through dialogue and cooperation, toward the prevention of human rights violations and respond promptly to human rights emergencies. The council is composed of 47 countries that are designated by vote in the General Assembly, who are required to undergo the Universal Periodic Review to verify that they comply and cooperate with the Council agreement applying in the country.



Suggestions before you start researching-


A few aspects that delegates should keep in mind while preparing:


Procedure: The purpose of putting in procedural rules in any committee is to ensure a more organized and efficient debate. The Executive Board shall be mildly strict with the Rules of Procedure, although the discussion of the agenda will be the main priority. So, delegates are advised not to restrict their statements due to hesitation regarding the procedure.


Foreign Policy: Following the foreign policy of one’s country is the most important aspect of a Model UN Conference. This is what essentially differentiates a Model UN from other debating formats.


Role of the Executive Board: The Executive Board is appointed to facilitate debate. The committee shall decide the direction and flow of debate. The delegates are the ones who constitute the committee and hence must be uninhibited while presenting their opinions/stance on any issue. However, the Executive Board may put forward questions and/or ask for clarifications at all points of time to further debate and test participants.


NATURE OF SOURCES/EVIDENCE This Background Guide is meant solely for research purposes and must not be cited as evidence to substantiate statements made during the conference. Evidence or proof for substantiating statements made during the formal debate is acceptable from the following sources:


  1. United Nations: Documents and findings by the United Nations or any related UN body are held as credible proof to support a claim or argument.
    Multilateral Organizations: Documents from international organizations like OIC, NAFTA, SAARC, BRICS, EU, ASEAN, the International Criminal Court, etc. may also be presented as a credible source of information.

  2. Government Reports: These reports can be used in a similar way as the State Operated News Agencies reports and can, in all circumstances, be denied by another country. However, a nuance is that a report that is being denied by a certain country can still be accepted by the Executive Board as a credible piece of information.

  3. News Sources:

    1. Reuters: Any Reuters article that clearly makes mention of the factor is in contradiction to the fact being stated by a delegate in council.

    2. State-operated News Agencies: These reports can be used in the support of or against the State that owns the News Agency. These reports, if credible or substantial enough, can be used in support of or against any country as such but in that situation, may be denied by any other country in the council. Some examples are –RIA Novosti8 (Russian Federation), Xinhua News Agency11 (People’s Republic of China), etc.


 Please Note-

  • Reports from NGOs working with UNESCO, UNICEF and other UN bodies will be accepted.
    Under no circumstances will sources like Wikipedia, or newspapers like the Guardian, Times of India etc. be accepted. However, notwithstanding the aforementioned criteria for acceptance of sources and evidence, delegates are still free to quote/cite from any source as they deem fit as a part of their statements.


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