Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: Naman Jain
Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee
Right to Peaceful Protest
United States of America
Forest Hills Eastern
As a first amendment right, peaceful protest is incredibly important to the United States. Allowing citizens to protest is essential to enable citizens to express their views and voice any grievances for political change. However, if these peaceful protests turn violent with protesters creating clear and present danger, governments should be able to step in. Protesters that engage in criminal behaviors such as violence or property destruction should be held legally responsible. With this in mind, the United States supports a universal and internationally recognized right to peaceful protest.
The United States has signed and ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which covers the right to peaceful assembly and protest. The United States also supports Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which contains freedom of opinion and expression. In 2020, protests in the United States over racial injustice and police brutality grew after the death of George Floyd. Estimated reports suggest 93% of these protests were peaceful while 7% were violent with looting and destruction of property. The United States plans to reform the police involved during these protests—police involvement can unintentionally escalate violence so limits to intervention can allow for safer and more peaceful protests.
The United States urges that the right to peacefully protest be internationally recognized with clear protections for peaceful demonstrations. Additionally, The United States advocates for police training to safely de-escalate protests and also supervise protests for safety concerns. Protesters should retain all freedoms and governments should not be able to control protesters’ actions. Permits for peaceful protests could be a potential solution as long as citizens are able to easily protest anytime and a government system of permits does not prevent people from being able to express their complaints or criticisms. Overall, the United States hopes that the UN and the world community increase support of protests and demonstrations and enforce peaceful protest and assembly rights.