September 16, 2019
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Use of the Death Penalty

Economic and Social Council: Human Rights Council

Topic: Use of the Death Penalty

The use of capital punishment has long been a contentious debate between nations as well as domestically within individual nations. Today, about one-third of nations across the globe still actively use the death penalty while the other two-thirds have either abolished the death penalty in law, or simply in practice. Observing trends over the past decade, the world is trending towards abolition with more and more states outlawing or placing restrictions on the use of the death penalty in their countries each year. Nations that do allow for capital punishment have ranging requirements/restrictions on how an individual can qualify for the death penalty, ranging from only acts such as murder to acts including adultery. While there is no international law that strictly prohibits the use of the death penalty as punishment for an offense, agencies, such as the Office of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Chief, outwardly express their abolitionist perspective and have continued to call on states to abolish and/or place additional restrictions on the use of the death penalty. Additionally, many states that have the death penalty in practice do not adhere to the explicit international standards for how the punishment can be used, which is causing additional rifts and problems among nations.

There are a few international standards that have been set forth that the HRC should reference while coming to a decision: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (specifically the Second Optional Protocol), Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Guidance Note of the Secretary-General on the UN Approach to Rule of Law Assistance. These documents aid in the global trend toward abolition, and specifically the United Nation’s preference for abolition. That being said, up to this point, there has been no universal, international standard banning the death penalty because of arguments from those who still implement it, such as that the UN needs to respect cultural practices/religious beliefs, and that each individual state should have the right to determine their own legislation and methods of punishment. The HRC needs to take all this information into account in their discussions and decide to what degree the UN should abolish or limit the death penalty.

While the UN has made it clear that the system as a whole opposes the use of the death penalty in any circumstance, member nations of the UN may share opposing beliefs. For this reason, the HRC should not assume that just because the UN as an entity shares one belief that individual nations feel the same. Some questions for the HRC to focus on are as follows: To what extent should the HRC place limitations on the death penalty? How does the death penalty interact with the human rights values of the committee and how should the issue thus be addressed? Is complete abolition the answer, and if not, what restrictions (if any) should be placed on the use of capital punishment?

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Submitted Position Papers

EastGrandRapidsDelegates 11/22/2023 23:39:43 76.139.137.22

Topic:
Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Miro Alan Alagoz

Background:
The current largest country by land in the world, Russia as an entity has existed within Northern Asia and Eastern Europe since 879. The Russian Federation was established in 1991, adopted its current constitution in 1993, and became a union state alongside Belarus in 1999. Russia is home to over 147 Million people, ~70% Russians in addition to many different ethnic groups like the Tatars and Ukrainians, who have been forced under a Russian identity. Religion though gets a more lenient approach in Russia (Except for Jews, though tolerance has recently risen). And though the majority (~60%) and state hold Eastern Orthodox beliefs, ~25% are non-religious and ~10% are Muslim. Governmentally Russia is a semi-presidential republic that holds elections on a 6-year basis (The next one being in 2024) and consists of Republics, Oblast, Krais, Okrugs, and federal cities (83 recognized, 6 unrecognized in Ukraine), which although differ in how they operate within themselves are seen as equals by the central government. Within that federal government, there are 3 branches (executive, legislative, and judicial), and all are under the control of Vladimir Putin, the authoritarian dictator who through various forms has been in power since 1999 alongside his party “United Russia”. This mass one-sided control has corrupted the said Russian democracy, through election fraud and the silencing of political rivals/journalists. Unofficially though since the mid-1990s, Putin has been advised by a series of “Oligarchs”, billionaires who gained ownership of mass Russian wealth after purchasing large shares of governmental organizations that became private after the fall of the USSR. Their existence though is not primarily bad, due to their help in Russian stability to maintain their international businesses. Yet as Putin became more radical and powerful many oligarchs opposed him, leading to backslashes that towarthed their power through property seizures under fabricated charges and killings. Such repression led to a new type of oligarchs called silovarchs, Putin puppets put in charge of the seized business, or loyalists who obey his rule.
Internationally, Russia has been recognized by the UN since 1991 as the precedent of the USSR, a permanent founding member, and their delegate since 2017 has been Vasily Nebenzya. Throughout its current existence, Russia has been involved in many international conflicts like the Post-Soviet Wars, even acting as UN peacekeepers to this day between Armenia and Azerbaijan; The Russo-Georgian War (2008), where Russia gained control of Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia (aka. Alans); The Russian War Against Terror, primarily in the Middle East, Syria, and Mali (Especially since 2015); And the Russo-Ukrainian War (2014 – now), where Russia gained control of the 77% Russian yet historically complicated Autonomous Crimea in 2014 in which it helped establish puppet republics within the diverse yet Russian majority Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, who were annexed alongside bordering lands in 2022. When it comes to wider world relations, Russia has increased its sphere of influence by helping developing and unstable countries in exchange for alliance, as seen with its new endeavor to help build up African countries. Overall though the biggest allies of Russia, especially economically are the “BRICS” countries of Brazil, India, China, and S. Africa. And even though Russia did have feasible relations with multiple powerful nations, most have soured due to “Western” support for Ukraine in the current war, leading to mass financial sanctions being placed on Russia, and their GDP going from 2.3 down to 1.2 Trillion (USD), although its back to 1.8 now.

Topic: Use of the Death Penalty:
In recorded history, the use of the death penalty dates back to the code of the Babylon King Hammurabi in the 18th century B.C.E.. Currently, 109 of the 195 UN-recognized/eligible countries have abolished capital punishment on a de jure basis, 22 have abolished it in practice (no executions in the last 10 years or moratorium), and 54 still have it, while 10 other nations only allow it during times of war. As the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) reports the use has significantly decreased since 1976 with 85 countries having abolished it. Still as Amnesty International reports ~60% of the world population lives under laws that allow for capital punishment in some form, and 2,016 people faced it in 52 countries last year alone.
Though the death penalty in Russia before Tzarian was very rare, as power changed and the monarchy formed through medieval times, it became a common occurrence with ~1.5 Million people getting executed only between 1900 and 1917, as reported by the University of Hawaii. In early Soviet times (mostly Stalin era) ~1.2 Million people were killed by legal executions and ~60 Million more through unlawful methods. In the Russian Federation though, the use of the death penalty has been very scarce, and the Consitution states it to only be a last option for males between the ages of 18 and 60 who have been convicted of murder, or attempted murder of high government officials by a 12-person jury under habeas corpus, and that executions should only take place through a private [and humane] gunshot. But this hasn’t occurred since 1999 due to a strict moratorium placed in 1996 for all circumstances except during wartime.
So far to prevent the use of capital punishment, especially without a just trial by jurors of peers and habeas corpus, the UNHCR has pushed member nations to abolish or establish a moratorium on the death penalty. Furthermore, the 1949 Geneva Convention, which was signed by all UN members has helped act as an excellent global standard for how prisoners and civilians should be treated. The Russian delegation supports this approach and believes in keeping this document which bans torture, the execution of prisoners of war, and genocide strong and intact.
When it comes to global provisions on the use of the death penalty, the Russian delegation strongly opposes a universal ban. Believing in the sole right of individual nations to autonomously decide on what to do within their borders, we rather push for global outlines and restrictions such as an agreement to not impose it on: Children (under 16 years old); Elderly (over 65 years old); Anyone on the sole reason of race/ethnicity/identity; Anyone for non-violent/malicious libel; Anyone without just trial by jurors of peers and habeas corpus; Anyone protected under the Geneva Convention. We as the Russian Federation also vow to keep our current moratorium in place for the time being and to never deter from capital punishment only being an option for murder, or violent treason. Finally, we stay opposed to but not closed to discussions about whether these new restrictions or the Geneva Convention should be reviewed by the UN’s International Court of Justice, but stay closed to discussions on whether the UNICJ should have the jurisdiction to impose restrictions on countries found guilty.

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EastGrandRapidsDelegates 11/22/2023 22:16:05 73.161.204.246

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Spain
Delegate Name: Mikey Beusse

Human Rights Council
Use of the Death Penalty
Spain
Mikey Beusse

The use of Capital Punishment has been debated for many years. ⅔ of countries in the world still use the death penalty while ⅓ of countries have completely outlawed it or under extremely special circumstances, so there is much debate on whether or not it should be used. Even though many countries differ in their stance concerning capital punishment, no international law has been set regarding strict restrictions or when it can be practiced. However, there have been statements from the Office of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Chief stating that there should be an abolishment of capital punishment, and have called out countries that allow the death penalty. Countries that do use this punishment have not been very compliant with the standards that have been set regarding this issue. The reason why the death penalty has not been banned universally is partially due to respecting the practicing countries’ cultural and religious beliefs.
Spain is among the ⅓ of the world that has stricken down capital punishment unless used in times of war when they first became a country. This was changed however in 1997 when the Spanish Parliament banned the use of capital punishment in all circumstances. Spain’s last encounter with using the death penalty was in 1975 when 2 members of a separatist group and 3 members of the Revolutionary Antifascist Patriotic Front were executed by the use of a firing squad. This was the last instance of capital punishment in Spain.
Spain believes that the death penalty is not something that should be practiced or used in the world. The use of such an act is a violation of basic human rights established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This established, in Article III, that “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Since this Declaration was adopted and created by the United Nations, all nations should follow these standards. The death penalty goes directly against what we as the United Nations have established as human rights and should not be practiced.

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MattawanDelegates 11/22/2023 21:43:18 68.60.126.223

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: South Africa
Delegate Name: Hannah Weber

Hannah Weber
South Africa for the HRC
The Death Penalty
South Africa
Mattawan High School
South Africa’s Position on the Death Penalty
The death penalty is a highly controversial issue across the globe because of the morality involved. A big part of that is the question is it okay to say someone deserves to die for their actions? Recently, more and more countries, including South Africa, have banned and/or stopped practicing the death penalty. The countries that use the death penalty have restrictions that vary from murder, rape, etc, while some are for cases of adultery. The United Nations as a whole has expressed a dislike for the death penalty; however, the HRC questions if it should be abolished and if not, what limitations should be placed on it.
There are a few international standards that have been put forth such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Guidance Note of the Secretary-General on the UN Approach to Rule of Law Assistance. The ICCPR is used as a global bill of rights, one of them being the right to life and human dignity, without considering the criminals who commit unspeakable crimes and don’t deserve the right to life; especially if they stripped another person of that right. This document gives all people a right to life, which South Africa believes is a very good thing in most circumstances; however, there are some circumstances when a person shouldn’t have the right to life.
Capitol punishment was abolished in South Africa in 1995; however, there has been a push for reinstatement by the public ever since. In the Acta Criminologica: African Journal of Criminology and Victimology, it is shown in a poll that over 50% of voters think that capital punishment is appropriate for murder, rape, and treason, and almost 30% of voters think that child stealing, kidnapping, and robbery with aggravated circumstances are worth crimes of capital punishment. Though capital punishment does not include genocide accusations that have been aimed toward South Africa, capital punishment is not genocide, and if the public and government deem it appropriate, it should be reinstated.
South Africa believes that the death penalty should be allowed because some crimes are severe enough that the person who committed those crimes should suffer the consequences. In articles such as the IPPR, inherent human dignity is one of the few factors that supports capital offenders receiving a punishment other than the death penalty. The IPPR states “To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity.”

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Trevor Riley 11/22/2023 16:50:29 174.162.60.153

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Saudi Arabia
Delegate Name: Elizabeth MacKenzie

The death penalty is the punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of capital crime. The death penalty is most commonly given out to those who have been convicted of murder, genocide, and treason. Only fifty four countries use the death penalty as of today. Even though other countries are against it, many of their citizens approve of the death penalty.

Saudi Arabia’s judicial system is based on Islamic law (Shari’ah) for both criminal and civil cases. Sharia is the ideal form of divine guidance that Muslims follow to live a righteous life. Sharia has a category for sentencing called Qisas. Qisas permits capital punishment for intentional and unintentional murder. So forth in the case of death the nearest relative has the right to, if the court approves, take the life of the killer. As stated under the Sharia law, capital punishment is prescribed for premeditated murder so as to implement the justice demanded in the Sharia.

In later years our government has declared that anyone convicted of a crime under the age of eighteen will now face a maximum punishment of ten years in juvenile detention and not the death penalty. We have issued a royal decree in 2020, abolishing the death penalty for children.
In November of 2022 our authorities resumed executions for drug-related offenses.

Our country has a significantly lower crime rate and only has an estimated one thousand crimes per year. Saudi Arabia has fewer felonies than petty crimes. 36,947,025 people live in Saudi Arabia and only 129.5 convicted criminals are sentenced to the death penalty.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/22/2023 15:51:51 64.147.198.201

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Isabella Frederick

The use of capital punishment has proven to be a touchy topic for many people, through its ongoing debate for thousands of years. In recent years, many countries have been seen abusing their use of capital punishment. They have often used the death penalty in discriminatory ways or on offenses that are insignificant. About 2/3 of the the world has already abolished the use of the death penalty do to its cruel nature, however, there are still too many nations that allow this form of punishment. Germany firmly believes in the international abolition of the death penalty. Capital punishment is a cruel and often misused form of punishment that is not welcome in Germany and should not be welcome in other nations as well.

In 1949 West Germany abolished the use of capital punishment and in 1987 East Germany abolished it as well. The death penalty is not a practice that has existed in Germany for many years and we firmly believe that it should not be a practice used at all. The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment that has proven to be misused by many nations when in the wrong hands. The UN is also believes in the abolition of capital punishment due to their knowledge of the misuse of this form of punishment. Many nations will argue that it is the only way to deal with certain crimes, however, life in prison would be just as effective and would not be taking the life of another person.

Germany suggests that the best course of action would be to collaborate with like minded nations to create an abolition plan for the death penalty. Although many nations will not appreciate the effort to abolish capital punishment, it is something that is necessary to move forward in society. As previously stated, capital punishment is cruel and inhumane and only gets into he way of humanity. The endless debated on the morality of the death penalty could come to a close and nations could resort to using life sentences instead. Germany looks forward to collaborating with other nations to create the best plan possible to abolish the use of the death penalty.

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Trevor Riley 11/22/2023 16:20:23 174.162.60.153

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Canada
Delegate Name: Dia Sriram

In the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, a fundamental work of our national government, it is clearly said that every individual is guaranteed a right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. Still, just like many other constitutional documents, this could be up to interpretation, but our general consensus and various supreme court decisions definitively suggest that the death penaly is included in the category of ‘cruel punishment’. Our country has a firm stance on the death penalty, and though there is a population of Canadian citizens who disagree, since 1998 Canada has abolished the death penalty and been a vocal opposition to this practice.

Globally, the trend is skewed towards the abolition of the death penalty. As of 2021, there have been 108 countries to abolish the death penalty for all crimes, and 144 countries have abolished it in law or practice. Historically, abolition of the death penalty has been sucessful even in countries like Kazakhstan and the Central African Republic who have only removed their practice of this punishment last year. In these countries as well as Canada, it is shown that there is no evidence that the death penalty deters crime in a more effective manner than other punishment, and the risk of wrongful conviction with the death penalty is one that is completely against Canadian values. We believe that the growth of the perspectives of many countries relating to this punishment is very beneficial to the progress of international policy and we will continue to refuse extradition requests to countries that still practice the death penalty unless there are assurances that a death penalty will not be sought.

Canada understands that the UN opposes the death penalty and has called on states that maintain the death penalty to establish a moratorium on its use with potential abolition in mind. We fully supported the 2022 resolution for a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty that 125 nations adopted. In light of these results, we would like to continue and broaden the effort towards the universal abolition of the death penalty. Our first proposition is to promote a global moritorium that all countries are encouraged to establish. The next would be to develop international programs dedicated to education about the risks and ethical issues associated with the death penalty. Our final proposition is to push for transparency in the use of the death penalty among all countries to further protect citizens of all nations as well as citizens of abolitionist countries, like Canadians, who may be at risk of the death penalty in foreign countries.

We believe that by promoting this solution for the death penalty, the world can continue to grow into a juster, kinder, and more democratic place where all citizens can feel protected and face justice in a way that is deserved yet humanitarian. The integral values of Canada, democracy, people, and integrity, are all ones that can and should be essential in global policy, and working towards including these in the international handling of the death penalty can be a major step towards this. Thank you.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 16:02:25 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Kazakhstan
Delegate Name: Shriya Reddy

The death penalty has been a topic of discussion for several decades. In the past almost all of the countries practiced the death penalty; however, in 1846 Michigan was the first to abolish the death penalty. Ever since then, several other countries have seen this penalty as immoral and inhumane. This topic is important for the committee to discuss because the majority of countries have opposing viewpoints on the death penalty and if the committee discusses this topic it will allow most countries to gauge where other countries stand regarding the penalty. This topic is important to the Republic of Kazakhstan because we believe the death penalty is immoral, inhumane, and unnecessary. Additionally, on December 18, 2007, the United Nations voted 104 to 54 on the prohibition of the death penalty globally.

The death penalty is not a topic of discussion in the Republic of Kazakhstan anymore because it has been abolished, but before there was heavy debate around the topic. Until 2021 the death penalty was abolished for ordinary crimes but it was permitted for crimes in special circumstances; however, in 2021, the Republic of Kazakhstan has abolished the use of the death penalty for all crimes. Kazakhstan has signed the Second Option Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which causes signatory countries to abolish the death penalty. On December 29, 2021, the president of Kazakstan publicly ratified the law which removed the death penalty.

Furthermore, the Republic of Kazakhstan hopes all nations not on board with abolishing the death penalty consider the facts as to why keeping the penalty is immoral and inhumane. We hope the international community puts all their research, time, and knowledge into convincing all nations to abolish the death penalty. We believe the solution to replace the death penalty would be life in prison. Kazakstan hopes every country realizes the dire need for every nation to be on the same page because if one nation imposes the death penalty then convicts and citizens from that country can go against the governing authority calling them corrupt.

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GRCityDelegates 11/22/2023 15:32:29 107.5.241.73

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Mexico
Delegate Name: Oscar Gomez – Gutierrez

Oscar Gomez – Gutierrez
City High Middle School
Mexico
Human Rights Council
Use of the Death Penalty

In 2005, Mexico abolished the use of the death penalty. The death penalty was mostly used when someone committed adultery or fornication, and when someone was an alcoholic or had same-sex intercourse. The death penalty is now abolished because the Mexican government thinks that it’s a violation of human rights, it’s unconstitutional, and it undermines the dignity of people.

The Code of Military Justice was the only criminal system that kept the death penalty in force, but it was only really provided in very serious cases, almost in no cases which made it harder to wrongfully prosecute somebody. Instead the penalty would be imprisonment for twenty years. Today the Code of Military Justice outlawed the death penalty making it illegal and is replaced by the prison sentence of 30 to 60 years. According to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is highly against the use of the death penalty. It says that absolutely nobody should be executed, unless it’s for a war related reason. The exception being if someone did a very serious crime during war time. The Convention of the Rights of a Child allows people to respect children’s opinions, have the right to live, and to not be discriminated against. That being said, if a parent or guardian is malnourishing a child, they will not get the death penalty, but they will get prison time. Most of the media agrees that the death penalty is a bad punishment, but they believe that it was never going to bring a stop to crime rates. They also made a point that said “No one has the ability to take another’s life. There are those who kill a human being, but this action doesn’t have to be official.”

The media and the Mexican government seem to find a middle ground where both sides believe that the death penalty overall is a wrong and unjust action. Making it very difficult to receive the death penalty makes it easier for wrongfully prosecuted criminals to not have to face the death penalty, which was a problem in the past. It’s appropriate that one of the only ways you could receive the death penalty is by committing a war crime.

Sources:
https://www.eluniversal.com.mx/english/story-death-penalty-mexico/
http://www.gaceta.udg.mx/la-pena-de-muerte-es-inconstitucional/
https://dp.spring96.org/en/cancel/82186
https://www.gob.mx/sre/prensa/mexico-condena-la-ejecucion-en-texas-del-connacional-roberto-ramos-moreno?state=published
https://www.ohchr.org/es/instruments-mechanisms/instruments/second-optional-protocol-international-covenant-civil-and
https://www.gob.mx/sipinna/articulos/a-29-anos-de-la-convencion-sobre-los-derechos-del-ninos-cdn-garanticemos-los-derechos-de-ninas-ninos-y-adolescentes-nna

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 15:02:21 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Sudan
Delegate Name: Harpreet Kaur

Capital Punishment’s role in countries plays a huge part in how they handle offenders and repeat offenders. The issue of crime is a major concern, with an estimated 2,000,000 people having been victims of various crimes ranging from assault to murder. The absence of sufficient laws to address these issues has resulted in criminals becoming more careless and bolder in their actions. The Republic of Sudan recognizes the ongoing global debate concerning the utilization of capital punishment. As an autonomous nation, Sudan retains the authority to maintain its lawful and judicial systems, which currently incorporate the practice of the death penalty. The Sudanese Criminal Act of 1991 authorizes capital punishment under Article 27. This legislation is grounded in the principles of Sharia law, which involves the imposition of severe sanctions ranging from corporal punishment, such as amputation, to the death penalty. The death penalty is reserved for offenses that are considered detrimental to the state, such as espionage, incitement of war against the state, and actions that are viewed as subverting the constitutional order. Other crimes include murder, the instigation of a minor to commit suicide, and crimes of honor, public morality, and reputation.

The Republic of Sudan recognizes and upholds its obligations to comply with international human rights standards. However, it is important to note that the application of the death penalty in Sudan is still legal and does not contravene its domestic law. The Sudanese Constitutional Declaration of 2019 still sanctions the death penalty, including for a hudud crime such as adultery. While Sudan acknowledges the concerns expressed by the international community regarding the use of the death penalty, it maintains that any modifications to its legal system must abide by its cultural, religious, and societal norms. It is worth noting that Sudanese law provides for due process and a fair trial for all individuals accused of a crime, including those punished by the death penalty. In addition, it is the policy of the Sudanese government to ensure that the death penalty is only used in the most serious cases and with the utmost respect for human dignity. Sudan remains open to dialogue and cooperation with the international community to ensure that its legal practices align with its international human rights obligations while respecting its sovereignty, cultural and religious traditions, and legal system.

Sudan urges the United Nations to respect the sovereignty of nations and their right to determine their legal systems. It also encourages constructive dialogue and cooperation to address human rights concerns. Sudan is committed to working with the international community to promote and protect human rights within its borders.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 14:21:58 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Italy
Delegate Name: Alessandra Alkema

Throughout history, the existence of the death penalty has been a continuous debate between nations as it brings controversial discussion. Today, one-third of nations across the world still actively utilize the death penalty with the other percentage abolishing the practice altogether. In recent trends the abolition of the death penalty has increased, initiating requirements and restrictions of how an individual can qualify for the death penalty in nations that still allow capital punishment. Although there is no national law for the prohibition, agencies such as the Office of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Chief express their perspective of abolition and have called on states to place restrictions on the law or remove it altogether; however, many of these states do not attach to the global standards of how the punishment can be placed, which is currently creating immense issues and debates. There has been no universal standard that bans the death penalty due to the argument of respecting cultural practices and the indepence of each state to choose their own legislation.

As a delegate from the country of Italy, we recognize the importance of discussing the controversial topic of the death penalty as the practice has been completely abolished in the nation’s justice system. In history, the death penalty was still enforced as a military penal code until it was fully prohibited by law in 1994. From there, Italy replaced the practice with the maximum sentence of the Civil Penal Law. In 2007, a constitutional amendment was adopted. Article 27 of the Italian Constitution was amended to ban the death penalty altogether. The nation then established the Italian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (ICADP) in order to form a network between both Italian and foreign groups, associations, movements, and individuals that oppose capital punishment, and to coordinate their work. The ICADP discusses the death penalty around the globe, especially interested in the situation of the United States as the ICADP works to abolish the death penalty all over the world in its efforts. The ICADP is in direct and constant contact with other abolitionist groups and associations worldwide. Most of its members have direct relations with death row prisoners, both men and women, in the USA and other countries to ensure that the opposition of the practice is expressed beyond Italy’s borders.

Italy has not experienced the heated debate revolving around the death penalty within the nation since before the 1990s. With the complete abolition of the practice and the establishment of the ICADP, Italy wishes to take further action in ensuring that the idea of prohibition of the death penalty is observed globally. As the ICADP currently continues its discussion across borders with other abolitionist groups, Italy hopes to collaborate with other nations with similar views and perspectives to bring justice to such a cause. The nation of Italy will offer possible resources to nations with lesser incomes to promote the abolition of the death penalty across the world. With the ideal of global collaboration, Italy wishes to connect with additional nations and abolitionist groups to further the discussion to the wavering minds of some nations.

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FHEDelegates 11/22/2023 14:16:03 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: India
Delegate Name: Raksha Karunanithy

The discussion of the use of the death penalty holds a high significance to the Human Rights Council due to its direct fundamental implications for human rights. The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) believes that the death penalty is not consistent with the right to live and to be free from torture or cruel, inhumane, or degrading punishments. There is a growing consensus for the universal abolition of the death penalty. While international law doesn’t prohibit capital punishment, the majority of the world’s countries view the death penalty as a violation of human rights and not a reasonable punishment. In 2022, there were 833 executions in 20 different countries which is a 53% increase from 2021 which had 579 executions. 55 countries have retained and still use capital punishment to this day. While the Human Rights Council aims to abolish the death penalty internationally, they still haven’t been able to come to a consensus that satisfies every country’s needs.

The death penalty is a complex, and debated issue in the Republic of India as some officials advocate for it in circumstances such as terrorism and murder. Other officials may express concerns as the nature of this punishment is irreparable and if mistakes were made, innocent lives may be lost. As of right now, India has permitted the use of the death penalty only in very extreme circumstances such as acts of terrorism, and some cases of murder. As of January 2022, there has been a significant amount of public debate and advocacy referencing the use of the death penalty in India. Multiple human rights organizations, legal experts, and activists have increased concerns about the potential miscarriage of justice and the need for legal reforms of capital punishment. The Law Commission of India has reviewed the death penalty laws and aims to evaluate the fairness of capital punishment and to inspect potential reforms. India ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1979 but still hasn’t ratified its Second Action Protocol which aims to abolish the death penalty (ICCPR-OP2). At UN discussions about the death penalty, India agreed with certain parts of the resolutions proposed such as only using capital punishment for the most heinous of crimes and making an exception for people with mental disorders. India believes completely abolishing capital punishment isn’t fair as certain crimes deserve that extent of punishment like acts of terrorism and some cases of murder. India has participated in multiple discussions regarding the death penalty and has emphasized the importance of respecting international law and human rights principles, but also considering an individual country’s cultural and legal values as well. While India is one of 54 countries that has retained the punishment of the death penalty, it has been dubbed as the “rarest of rare” as the death penalty is only used in the most exceptional circumstances of heinous crimes such as acts of terrorism, some cases of murder and aggravated sexual assault. According to Section 194 in the Indian Penal Code, fabricating evidence is punishable by the death penalty if it is done to obtain a capital conviction for a crime. Section 304 of the IPC imposes the death penalty for a person who commits murder. The death penalty in India is quite controversial due to individual beliefs and human rights and continues to have many debates on this issue.

The Republic of India emphasizes the sovereign right of nations to determine their decisions regarding the death penalty. The government argues that every nation should have the autonomy to establish its legal framework based on its individual cultural, social, and legal considerations. India proposes to leave the responsibility of deciding whether to keep capital punishment legal to each country instead of coming to one international consensus. If countries choose to retain it, then courts should not consider a criminal’s sentence based on their race, gender, or religion. If they abolish it, they should hold captives in correctional facilities or prisons where they live out their sentence based on the severity of the crime.

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Celia Kaechele 11/22/2023 14:14:53 76.192.146.195

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Rwanda
Delegate Name: Abby Klein

In 2022, 883 individuals were executed because of the death penalty across 20 countries, the highest yearly total since 2017 . The magnitude of this figure is unacceptable, prompting measures to be taken to decrease the amount of executions in the future. Nations worldwide are actively taking measures to abolish the death penalty and decrease its use. The UN has increased its condemnation of capital punishments through critical statements of the death penalty with both the Office of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Chief expressing strong opposition. Other UN entities such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (specifically the Second Optional Protocol), Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Secretary-General on the UN Approach to Rule of Law Assistance all advocate for a more humane and ethical approach to this issue.

In 2007, Rwanda made a significant stride towards justice by abolishing the death penalty, a move that came 45 years after gaining independence. Prior to this Rwanda only used the dealth penalty once, against 22 criminals who aided in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. After the termination of the death penalty, cases to do with the genocide go to International Criminal Tribunal or the national courts, where these criminals get punished or jailed, but not executed. Rwanda’s prison system has thrived since, contributing to the lowest crime rates in its history, effectively challenging the perceived necessity of the death penalty within the country. This progress not only underscores the success of alternatives to capital punishment in Rwanda but also serves as a compelling example to the world, demonstrating that the death penalty is not a needed component of a just legal system.

Looking ahead, Rwanda asserts that countries should have autonomy to establish their own laws regarding the death penalty, but the HRC should create recommendations if it would be moral to use the death penalty based on the severity of the crime committed. The severity of crime levels should be based on counsel from the International Classification Of Crime For Statistical Purposes (ICCS). The ICCPR, CRC, and future Guidance from the Secretary-General should determine which levels of crime would be appropriate to inflict the death penalty upon, if the country chooses not to abolish it. Rwanda acknowledges the importance that justice has, to those hurt and affected by criminals, and to individual countries themselves, but Rwanda believes that justice can be achieved without sacrificing morals and justifying killing. One way to accomplish this is to make use of federal prisons for life sentences for heinous crimes. Rwanda sees the value in allowing the death penalty, in order to have justice and peace, but also the reality that these are human beings being killed. The constitution of Rwanda states “A human being is sacred and inviolable” and that “Everyone has the right to life.” These principles of humanity and justice must be held by the HRC when discussing the Death Penalty in the future to ensure a moral and impactful solution for the International community.

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Celia Kaechele 11/22/2023 14:07:52 76.192.146.195

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Jordan
Delegate Name: Hadley Abrutyn

The country of Jordan remains one of the few states who still has the death penalty in place. It was reinstated in 2014 to combat the recent rise in crime. Jordan had a moratorium put in place from 2006-2014, which ended with the hanging of 11 men. All were convicted with murder charges between 2005-2006. Jordan officials faced a difficult decision when deciding the fate of a rape case, in which they had to bend to the will of the public, as the public opinion is the most powerful factor with regards to the death penalty. No death penalties are carried out without the endorsement of the King, King Abdullah II.

The country of Jordan is interested in working internally with the public, the Amman Center for Human Rights Studies (ACHRS) and The Jordanian Coalition Against the Death Penalty (JCADP) to find a common resolution while still upholding our governmental values. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, many countries in the MENA region, including Jordan, changed their stance with regards to human rights by reinstating the practice of the death penalty. In spite of a decrease in the total number of executions in Jordan, there has been a significant increase in the total number of countries practicing capital punishment in the MENA region, according to a report by ACHRS produced in 2014.

The country of Jordan believes that capital punishment is a necessary implementation in order to maintain the safety and security. The country of Jordan is not fully opposed to the idea of abolition of the death penalty, provided there be exceptions in place for convictions of violations of human rights and terrorism. Jordan believes that a moratorium on the death penalty would not be appropriate in an instance where war is happening, and war crimes are committed. Jordan has the death penalty in place as a safeguard to deter crimes, and as a form of punishment for the most severe crimes. We are willing to work with other members of the human rights committee to find a suitable solution that complies with our needs.

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Celia Kaechele 11/22/2023 14:03:37 76.192.146.195

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Turkey
Delegate Name: Vivi Westenberg

The death penalty, otherwise known as capital punishment, is a form of punishment in which a crime is declared horrific enough to warrant execution and has historically been used as a form of punishment in almost all countries around the world. Since the 1970s, various countries have begun to abolish the death penalty, deeming it unethical and a violation of human rights. Today, roughly 1/3 of all nations still practice this type of punishment whilst the other 2/3 have either illegalized the use of execution as a form of punishment or stopped practicing it. The United Nations Office of Human Rights has called multiple times for international adherence to an anti-death penalty approach. That being said, the UN also tries to take different cultural and religious practices into account, and it has therefore not been severely internationally outlawed nor restricted.

The Republic of Türkiye has not used capital punishment since 1984 and abolished the death penalty in 2004 as part of their process towards potential accession to the European Union (EU). As of 2019, discussions of adding Türkiye to the EU have been suspended but the EU and Türkiye still remain close partners. In recent years there has been talk of reinstating the death penalty in Türkiye with the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stating in 2022 that he would approve reinstatement of capital punishment if it was passed by parliament.

The country has not reinstated the death penalty but is not opposed to it being reintroduced to the nation. Türkiye believes that it is important to hold criminals accountable for their actions. Although brutal, The Republic of Türkiye believes that this punishment may serve to be the most effective in reducing terrorist attacks. The Republic of Türkiye believes the decision about the use of capital punishment should be left up to the nation and shouldn’t constitute cause for international intervention.

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Celia Kaechele 11/22/2023 13:56:46 76.192.146.195

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Kennedy Anderson

Since Japan’s introduction as a member of the U.N. on December 18, 1956, Japan has wanted to save future generations from the horrors of war. And since then Japan has contributed to world peace and prosperity. Since 2016 Japan has been serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Having a key role in the maintenance of peace and security in the international community. Japan’s Prime Minister Abe announced at the 71st UN General Assembly that will provide about 2.8 billion US dollars over the three years, from 2016 to 2018, in humanitarian and self-reliance assistance to refugees and migrants, as well as support to host countries and communities. Although Japan has been urged to get rid of the death penalty, Japan sees no purpose in getting rid of it as most of the country does not want it to be banned.

Japan has noted a total of 49 recommendations aimed at the death penalty at the 53rd regular session. Japan plans to continue the death penalty as of now. It has been used since 1156 and has been supported by the public since. If Japan abolished the death penalty or switched to other methods of jailing Japan would be going against the opinions of the majority (more than 80%) of Japan which the government is unfavored of. There would need to be the majority of the population for Japan to consider abolishing the death penalty and switch to life sentences without the possibility of parole as an alternative.

The UN should let each country decide what they want to do with their prisoners and have the death penalty be optional. Japan also does the most humane of the death penalty, hanging, and countries who do decide to carry on continuing the death penalty should do lethal injection and hanging. If a country cannot obtain material for lethal injection or cannot afford lethal injection, there should be funds for them to be able to do it. Forcing countries to put down the death penalty is not the way to go especially if the citizens of those countries would rather not see it be taken away which could cause civilian uproars and riots. It is every country’s duty to listen to the majority of its population.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/22/2023 13:28:19 173.225.193.247

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: LucyClaire White

Use of the Death Penalty
The death penalty has been a highly controversial issue throughout the globe for many years with some countries arguing that it is completely a violation of human rights, others encouraging the death penalty, and still others believing it is the duty of the states to decide whether the death penalty should be allowed. The United States of America believes that in order to maintain peace in our nation our citizens must have the right to choose as a state whether or not they would like to keep or abolish the death penalty. The United States believes that the issue of the HCR placing limitations on the death penalty is a very important issue to discuss. The death penalty interacts with human rights in both positive and negative ways and the United States would also like to discuss whether the full abolishment of the death penalty should be considered and if not what restrictions (if any) should be placed on the capital punishments.
The United States believes that placing restrictions on the death penalty could be beneficial to the world as a whole. As the eighth amendment in the constitution states cruel and unusual punishment is strictly prohibited and is considered to be unconstitutional. However throughout the United States history there has been a great deal of debate over whether or not the death penalty falls under the category of cruel and unusual punishment. As a country roughly half of our citizens have voted against the death penalty however that does mean that half of our citizens are for the death penalty. As about half of our citizens believe that the death penalty should be continued the U.S. believes that if restrictions are to be put on the death penalty they must be approached with a great deal of caution and precision.
The death penalty as everyone knows does affect human rights in negative ways and in positive ways. The United States being such a large country has used the death penalty many times and because of this has seen benefits that are both positive and negative. The United states believes that the death penalty can be discriminatory and the trials are on occasion pushed through the system to quickly this a fault we admit in our legal system. However while there are faults in the death penalty there can also be the benefit of removing dangerous people from the world who are not only a threat on the outside but also a threat in prisons and because of which the U.S. can not fully argue that the death penalty is fully a violation of human rights.
The U.S. recognizes that a full abolishment of the death penalty is unrealistic. However the U.S. does believe that restrictions can be placed on the death penalty. For example the United States has seen a great deal of racial prejudice in our court systems resulting in the death of many individuals who were not given a fair trial. On top of the fact that many are given redetermined fates in the court system there has been a great deal of gender discrimination within the court system with females receiving lesser punishments than males making it so all in all the legal system is biased and giving unfair trials to all. Because of this the United States believes that the biggest problem lying within the death penalty is the prejudice held by our citizens and believes that in order to further improve the death penalty the problem of legal system prejudice must be rectified.
The United States is prepared to negotiate on the course of action that is to be taken and is eager to work on a solution to the problem that is the death penalty. The U.S. understands the reserves that some countries may have about the death penalty and is willing to continue negotiations with those countries. While we are willing to negotiate we are not willing to completely eliminate the death penalty. Working together is crucial to an issue like this and the U.S. is anxious to get to work on better improving the world as a whole.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2023 13:14:48 98.97.2.135

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Ghana
Delegate Name: Melanie Milam

Committee: ECOSOC
Topic: Use of The Death Penalty
Country: Ghana
Delegate: Melanie Milam
School: Williamston High School

The death penalty is the government executing people for capital offenses, such as murder, genocide, and treason. The use of the death penalty was at its peak in the 1980s and has made a significant decrease compared to today, in some countries it is completely abolished. The use of the death penalty in most lower-middle-class countries with high crime rates is solely kept in use because they can’t afford to house all the imprisoned people. The death penalty is extremely controversial, while some believe that it makes our world safer, others say that it strongly goes against their religion and that no living person is to be killed in any unnatural way. As of today, 109 countries have completely abolished the death penalty and 55 continue to use it.
Recently Ghana voted to remove the death penalty for crimes including murder and won the vote. With capital punishment still being allowed for high treason, Ghana took another vote on August 11, 2023, to completely abolish the death penalty and went on to win the vote. Now everyone who was sentenced to the death penalty was sentenced to life in prison. Even though capital punishment was allowed before this took place Ghana had not executed since 1993.
Since Ghana no longer uses capital punishment, they now have to find an effective way to humanely house all the imprisoned people. Prisons in Ghana tend to be overpopulated, unsanitary, lack proper medical care, and lack space. Ghana has yet to make the effort to improve the infrastructure or do much to help these conditions whatsoever. Ghana would like to propose putting forth the effort in creating more programs/organizations to help fund making the living conditions in the prisons safer and healthier.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/22/2023 13:12:16 98.97.2.135

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: China
Delegate Name: Olivia Bryan

Olivia Bryan
Williamston High School
China
Human Rights Council
Use of the Death Penalty

The use of the death penalty has been officially employed in laws since the early eighteenth century, but has been around since the beginning of time. The controversy surrounding it has been a topic of debate for nearly as long. The UN, specifically human rights delegates, have condemned the penalty. However, China feels there is more to be taken into consideration. The Human Rights Council should debate on it but take into consideration views beyond that of condemnation.

China acknowledges that it has the highest death penalty rate known to the world. However, China also has one of the lowest crime rates in the world as well. Specifically in violent crime. As of 2021 only around 3.47 out of 10,000 people were convicted of a violent crime. Furthermore, China is selective over who receives the penalty. Articles 48-50 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China state that unless immediate execution is necessary then said person may receive a two-year suspension during which if they commit no crimes their sentence is reduced to a life sentence. Only the worst crimes receive the death penalty and caveats include those under 18 years of age and pregnant women. China is constantly criminalized and protested against for the belief in capital punishment. China would like to see more open debate on the topic of the penalty, as well as more than just the negatives and absolute termination of it.

China would like to see debate on the topic of the death penalty. While there is no strong opposition to the penalty in itself, China would like to discuss and work with other countries that are invested in human rights in an effort to better the country and its policies. China would propose strong and open debate with focus on the benefits and well as detriments. China would also like to converse with countries such as Egypt, Iran, and the U.S. who share China’s more open outlook on capital punishment.

Sources:

Abolition of the Death Penalty: China in World Perspective, dpic-cdn.org/production/legacy/RHoodOnChina.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov. 2023.
“China Justice Observer.” English, www.chinajusticeobserver.com/a/crime-rate-in-china-2021#:~:text=Based%20on%20this%20data%2C%20the,offenses%20to%20more%20severe%20felonies. Accessed 15 Nov. 2023.
“Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China.” Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China | Congressional-Executive Commission on China, www.cecc.gov/resources/legal-provisions/criminal-law-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china. Accessed 15 Nov. 2023.
“Early History of the Death Penalty.” Death Penalty Information Center, deathpenaltyinfo.org/facts-and-research/history-of-the-death-penalty/early-history-of-the-death-penalty. Accessed 15 Nov. 2023.
“Executions around the World.” Death Penalty Information Center, deathpenaltyinfo.org/policy-issues/international/executions-around-the-world. Accessed 15 Nov. 2023.
“U.N. Experts: ‘almost Impossible’ for Countries to Administer Death Penalty without Violating Defendants’ Human Rights.” Death Penalty Information Center, deathpenaltyinfo.org/news/u-n-experts-almost-impossible-for-countries-to-administer-death-penalty-without-violating-defendants-human-rights. Accessed 15 Nov. 2023.

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Kaycee Duffey 11/22/2023 12:02:43 174.224.71.52

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Ukraine
Delegate Name: Christian Boyce

Committee: Human Rights Council
Topic: Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Ukraine
Delegate: Christian Boyce
School: Forest Hills Northern High School

The death penalty or capital punishment, denoting state-sanctioned killing for a crime, has been used to punish those who have committed grave crimes such as murder, treason, terrorism, war crimes, and other offenses of a similar nature and stature. Currently, close to three quarters of all states have abolished the death penalty, with many others not having used it for a significant amount of time or placing a moratorium on the practice.
Ukraine abolished the death penalty in 2000, and ceased its use in 1997. Ukraine was in favour of the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) resolutions 62/149, 63/168, 65/206 and 67/176 regarding a moratorium on capital punishment. Additionally, Ukraine as a signatory of the European Convention of Human Rights and a member of the Council of Europe, is against the use of the death penalty. Furthermore, Ukraine is a member state of the European Court of Human Rights and has ratified Protocol No. 6 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which abolished the use of the death penalty during times of peace, which has been in effect since 1985.
The United Nations has passed many resolutions supporting the establishment of a moratorium on the death penalty in all member states. These include resolutions 62/149, 63/168, 65/206 and 67/176 and are all non-binding. Ukraine has voted in favour of all of these resolutions and hopes to see wider adoption of moratoriums on the death penalty or abolitions worldwide.
Ukraine is in support of moratoriums on and abolition of the death penalty worldwide. Ukraine reaffirms all actions the United Nations has previously taken to reduce the use of the death penalty and recognizes the human rights concerns associated with capital punishment. Ukraine looks forward to resolving the issue of the death penalty and finding suitable alternatives with the help and cooperations of other nations.

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Kaycee Duffey 11/22/2023 00:06:56 174.162.98.130

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Cuba
Delegate Name: Lidija Habekovic

The death penalty is a punishment that has been used since the 18th century BCE. It is typically only used in the most serious cases of murder or genocide. Abolitionists argue that the death penalty is a violation of human rights, in that it ignores every person’s right to life, and perpetuates a cycle of violence and vengeance. Supporters of the death penalty argue that the use of the death penalty deters crime, offers closure to victims’ families, and preserves order. Many countries across the world are working towards or already have abolished the death penalty. Some notable exceptions include the United States of America and Japan.
Cuba’s penal code states that the death penalty can be issued as a punishment for committing any of the 23 crimes specified. However, alternative punishments are available if one does commit any of the previously mentioned crimes. Cuba has maintained a de facto moratorium on the death penalty since the last executions in 2003, and its penal code specifies that the death penalty will only be used in the most serious cases. Cuba is amenable to abolishing the death penalty once conditions for doing so are in place; however, that has not happened yet. Additionally, Cuba’s penal code stipulates that the death penalty will not be issued on anyone under the age of 20.
While Cuba does support the death penalty, it is amenable to abolishing it if the conditions for doing so are in place. Cuba states that conditions would move towards being favorable to abolishing the death penalty whenever the United States ceases its policy of hostility towards Cuba. Cuba wishes for the policy to be ended so that Cuba can develop its economic, social, and political sectors, with assurances of respect for its sovereignty. Cuba has signed the Convention against Torture and has maintained a de facto moratorium against the death penalty. However, it has voted against the UN Moratorium Resolution four separate times, and likely will not abolish the death penalty anytime soon. Cuba believes that through the threat of the death penalty, crimes such as genocide can be prevented. Cuba is adamant about protecting state security, and many offenses against the state, such as terrorism and espionage, are punishable by death.
Cuba recognizes that many innocent people have the potential to be executed through investigational errors, lack of evidence and whatever else. Cuba proposes to offer legal counsel to convicted individuals, conduct more thorough investigations of convicted individuals, to reduce the probability that an innocent person is imprisoned or executed, and to implement specific laws regarding victims’ rights. While Cuba does not support the abolition of the death penalty, it is amenable to changing its policies. Cuba looks forward to working with other nations to address this ambiguous and pressing issue.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/21/2023 22:54:13 104.187.246.60

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Belgium
Delegate Name: Evie Stornant

Evie Stornant
Williamston High School
The Kingdom of Belgium
Human Rights Council
Use of the Death Penalty

The use of capital punishment has led to many disputes between nations for a very long time. Capital punishment is the procedure of sentencing offenders of the most serious crimes to death. Now, about three-quarters of the world has completely gotten rid of the death penalty, but there is still that quarter of the world that practices the use of the death penalty or has retained the death penalty but has not used it in recent years. In most countries where the death penalty still exists, it is used only in the most pressing cases because it is thought that the use of capital punishment will dissuade crime.
As of August 1, 1996, the use of capital punishment in Belgium during times of war and peace, has been completely abolished, based solely on the view in Belgium that the use of the death penalty violates the rights of humans, but the last execution ever held in Belgium was in July of 1863 when a farmer was executed for murder. Belgium has been focused on getting rid of the death penalty due to many reasons such as the fact that, although some countries see it differently, the death penalty does not directly effect crime. The Belgium human rights policy has prioritized the abolishment of the death penalty because of many other reasons too such as a fear that someone who is truly innocent will be killed and the death penalty bring upon damaging consequences for Belgium’s international relations.
The Kingdom of Belgium is currently a part of a numerous amount of international coalitions to support the abolishment of the death penalty. To take a step into action, Belgium has aligned itself with the same priorities as the EU, which is another rival of the death penalty. To continue this battle against the death penalty, Belgium and other countries with the same mindset towards the death penalty continue to regularly bring forward a resolution concerning the death penalty in the UN Human Rights Council. Every three years hundreds of people opposed to the death penalty gather together to share their thoughts and opinions on the subject, and in 2019 Belgium was the host of this 7th World Congress against the death penalty. This is another example of the actions Belgium is taking to help dispose of the death penalty all over the world.

Resources:

“Capital Punishment” Bureau of Justice Statistics https://bjs.ojp.gov/topics/corrections/capital-punishment

“Map: Which countries still have the death penalty?” Infographic News https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/5/16/map-which-countries-still-have-the-death-penalty-2023#:~:text=Nine%20countries%20have%20abolished%20the,and%20implement%20the%20death%20penalty.

“Belgium wants a world without the death penalty” FPS Foreign Affairs, 20 Oct. 2022, https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en/policy/policy-areas/highlighted/belgium-wants-world-without-death-penalty

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Kaycee Duffey 11/21/2023 19:38:16 76.139.243.203

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Argentina
Delegate Name: Quinn Suvedi

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a state-sanctioned practice, where an offender can be sentenced to death. The first ever death penalty dates back to the Eighteenth Century in Babylon. Since Portugal abolished the death penalty in 1976, more than 85 nations have abolished capital punishment for all crimes. Nations against the death penalty argue that it is inhumane, it isn’t great enough of a deterrent from crime, and that it has racial and economic biases. Execution is an ultimate, irrevocable punishment, and sometimes prisoners sentenced to their death turn out to be completely innocent. Proponents of the death penalty say that execution is a just retribution for certain heinous crimes, that it deters crime, and that it preserves order within nations and the world. Currently, 137 countries out of 195 in the world have abolished capital punishment.

Between 1922 and 1984, Argentina reinstated and abolished the death penalty many times. Finally, in 1984, Argentina abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes. In 2008, Argentina abolished capital punishment for all crimes. Since then, the Argentine Republic has voted in favor of the United Nations moratorium on the death penalty, authored by Italy, eight separate times. Argentina abolished the death penalty for all crimes, including those committed in times of armed conflict. Argentina supports the call made by the Organization of American State to put an end to the death penalty in the Americas. In the Americas, currently only the United States of America, Guatemala, and a few Caribbean countries still use the death penalty.

Currently, the United Nations has passed a resolution to establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, and they are seeking to abolish it in the future. This resolution is not binding on any nation. 109 nations voted for, 41 voted against, and 35 nations abstained on this resolution. The Argentine Republic was in favor of this proposal, and is looking forward to possibly abolishing the use of the death penalty worldwide.

The Argentine Republic believes that every other nation on the globe should ban the use of capital punishment, as it has done. Argentina also believes that the HRC should place as many limitations as possible on the death penalty. Argentina believes that complete abolition is the answer to the issue of capital punishment, but could be convinced that other nations be allowed to keep it if they have good reasons. Acknowledging that some countries, such as China, may be against the abolition of the death penalty, Argentina looks forward to collaborating with other nations in the Human Rights Council to come up with one or more solutions to this tremendous issue.

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FHEDelegates 11/21/2023 18:53:39 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Brazil
Delegate Name: Andrew Dylenski

The death penalty is a practice that has been used for centuries across the world. Starting in the 18th century B.C., King Hammurabi introduced the death penalty in Babylon where he proposed its use for 25 different crimes. Countries across the world back its use saying that it will stop criminals from doing crimes in the future, and others say that the death penalty is a fair punishment for the level of the crime. As of 2023, 54 countries in the United Nations still use it in law and practice. In 2022, China and Iran had the highest numbers of executions. Opponents of the use of the death penalty believe it is unjust and goes against human rights.. Similarly, various regions internationally do not support capital punishment as it goes against the surrounding religion, such as Buddhism. On the other hand, various Christians believe it should be allowed as it is God’s justice for those who have done wrong to others. There have been countless cases of the death penalty that have gone wrong such as Allen Lee Davis suffered various burns across the body after the electric chair burst into flames before killing him. Various organizations such as Amnesty International have been working, protesting, and collecting funds for the abolition of the death penalty. Those who support the death penalty believe it is expensive to build these prisons and correctional facilities that will hold these criminals for life. The HRC must find a way to uphold human rights by either abolishing the death penalty or expanding restrictions and measures that uphold the natural rights of those being executed.

Declared in 1876, the death penalty has been banned in Brazil for 147 years for ordinary crimes. The practice can still be put to use only for military offenses such as genocide, war crimes, and treason. Also, in Brazil, life sentences have also been abolished with the maximum time being 40 years one can spend in jail. Along with the absence of life sentences, Brazilian prisons offer the prisoners medical care, social services, and legal aid. Brazilians believe the execution of humans is morally unjustified and not right. For the nearly 170,000 prisoners in the Brazilian prison system, they are spread around to the country’s penitentiaries, jails, and precinct lockups. However, for nearly all the demographics in the country, the exception of the death penalty is not something highly supported. With around 66% of the country supporting the use of the death penalty, it seems the country’s people are not on the same wavelength as the government. The country’s people believe that the death penalty can exercise deterrence, stopping any of the criminals from potentially doing the crime again. The Brazilian government and citizens must find a way, nationally and internationally, to encompass the people’s view on the death penalty while not violating human rights and morals.

The Federal Republic of Brazil requests that the United Nations and HRC work to eliminate the death penalty for all crimes other than war crimes. With the high prices of capital punishment, it is wise that HRC works with the United Nations Office for Project Services(UNOPS) to help build facilities and buildings to hold these criminals in these countries who will be just abolishing the practice. It is imperative that these countries use the funds that would be going to the penalty and redirect them to the creation of rehabilitation centers and correctional facilities that would hold these criminals for an extended period of time. For countries that are not gonna agree to the abolition of the death penalty for normal crimes, it is up to HRC to place restrictions on the practice that will only include very rare situations such as war crimes. It has to be a priority that human rights are being upheld to the utmost degree.

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FHEDelegates 11/21/2023 18:47:58 24.127.84.79

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Ananya Arulmurugan

Last year, Amnesty International recorded almost 883 Capital executions, and this doesn’t include the countries that refused to give execution data. The death penalty is a serious issue that has been debated internationally many times. The Office of Human Rights openly condemns the death penalty as inhumane and cruel but there is no international law that prohibits it. Article 5 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights also considers the death penalty a violation of the right not to be cruelly or unusually punished. 160 of the 193 UN member countries have abolished the death penalty. but there are still 33 countries that continue to preserve the legality of capital punishment after all of this opposition. Even if the death penalty completely is not abolished. many UN states and non-government organizations have been calling for the number of capital offenses to be reduced. For example, in Uganda, there is a law suggesting the death penalty for people part of the LGBTQ+ community. In Iran, a man was executed for offending religion; these acts have caused global outrage throughout social media platforms and human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
The United Kingdom stopped using the death penalty in 1965, and it was completely abolished in 1998. Before this, the death penalty was used a lot. At the height of this period, there were more than 220 capital offenses. The UK is part of various International Organizations such as the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe. Both of these outlaw the death penalty, as sentencing someone to death is a violation of the right to life. Furthermore, the UK is a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, which legally prevents signatories from using the death penalty. It is also believed to be ineffective as it does not act as a deterrent to crimes, and is costly and inefficient.
The four goals of the UK are to increase the number of abolitionist countries, Increase the restrictions on the use of the death penalty, reduce the number of executions, and ensure that minimum standards are met in countries with the death penalty. The UK would also like to reduce the number of capital offenses. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that the death penalty should only be used for serious crimes such as murder. While it is subjective what serious crimes are, it is commonly agreed that protesting and adultery are not offenses in which the death penalty should be implemented. It also should be acknowledged the racial and gender bias of the death penalty; certain races are more likely to be given the death penalty than others and that shows that justice is not being properly given. Another thing that should be limited is improper forms of the death penalty; some execution methods, like stoning or a firing squad, are simply cruel and unreasonable. Governments implement these to humiliate the inmate and just further their torment.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/21/2023 08:38:46 216.11.121.174

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Venezuela
Delegate Name: Jack Novak

Country: Venezuela
Committee: ECOSOC
Topic: Repatriation of Refugees

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is very passionate about repatriation efforts and wants to help refugees be able to return home safely and to a better place than they left. Currently, the biggest numbers of refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine. South America as a whole also sees a substantial number of refugees, mainly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The commonality between these cases is one thing. These countries have all been found to violate the basic human rights of refugees. War, poverty, and food insecurity all are major contributors to the increasing numbers of refugees we see. Though many refugees find homes in new countries, many do wish and want to return but are simply unable due to the crises their home countries are facing. We already have policies in place for helping refugees escape, but working towards stabilizing their home countries should be this committee’s number one priority. As of October 2023, 6.2 million Ukrainian refugees have been reported to be scattered across Europe. As of October 28th, 6 million Palestinians have been displaced due to the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We as the UNHRC predict that in total, around 117.2 million people will be displaced globally. This is not ok and as a committee we must work together to change this for everyone’s benefit and the human rights of the people.
Venezuela has always accepted refugees and welcomed them with open arms. As a nation, we aren’t suitable hosts at the moment due to our own political crisis we’ve been experiencing since 2014. This conflict has resulted in many of our own citizens migrating out of the country. Around 7.7 million citizens have fled the country and are staying in mostly other neighboring countries. Crime is at an all time high and starvation is common. Hyperinflation is also a huge issue for Venezuela as well.
While we as a country would love for those wishing to return back to Venezuela to do so, our country is in no stable condition to do so. Until the opposition forces are eliminated, it is not safe and refugees who return would only be putting themselves at risk. This is why we’re advocating for the UN to aid and not solve conflicts within countries, but make sure humanitarian aid is being delivered and that countries experiencing crises can move to a more stable condition, allowing for repatriation to happen. This can be done through UN backed safe camps for those in need to seek safety and peace, food and water deliveries if there’s minimal or zero access to such things and most importantly, medical aid. Venezuela firmly encourages other nations to consider the refugees and the suffering people all across the world are experiencing and we hope you’ll work with us to put a stop to it. We will come to a resolution together.

Bibliography:
https://www.unrefugees.org/emergencies/venezuela/#:~:text=Venezuela%2C%20a%20country%20that%20has,facing%20its%20own%20displacement%20crisis.
https://immigrationforum.org/article/the-reasons-behind-the-increased-migration-from-venezuela-cuba-and-nicaragua/
https://www.unhcr.org/us/what-we-do/build-better-futures/long-term-solutions/voluntary-repatriation
https://www.rescue.org/article/facts-about-refugees-key-facts-faqs-and-statistics#:~:text=3.,%3A%20Syria%2C%20Afghanistan%20and%20Ukraine.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/21/2023 07:59:07 216.11.121.174

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Algeria
Delegate Name: Adrian Vasicek

Death Penalty
The country of Algeria currently has a moratorium put in place for the death penalty, while Algeria still gives out the death penalty; no one has been killed since 1993. Algeria has also been a co-sponsor of the UN moratorium on the death penalty since 2012. Algeria is “Abolitionist in practice,” for the death penalty and many people given the death penalty have been pardoned. However, Algeria does still believe that there are unforgivable offenses, such as terrorism.
Algeria believes that all countries should have a moratorium for carrying out the death penalty, though there shouldn’t be an outright ban to account for instances where a violation of human rights is present. A moratorium would not be appropriate in an instance where war is happening and war crimes are committed. Complete abolition is never the answer as there will always be a case when it is the right option.
In this committee, Algeria poses the questions: is the humility of the death penalty enough to put an outright ban on it? What are the exceptions to the death penalty that would be appropriate? And, to what extent is the death penalty inhumane and unnecessarily violent?
While Algeria is a country with a high Sunni Muslim population, punishments are not given as the Qur’an suggests. The constitution declares “All citizens are equal before the law,” the religious beliefs of an individual are not taken into account when sentencing an individual. As mentioned before, terrorism is an unforgivable offense in Algeria and the religion of a person does not affect this. It is important to the Algerian government to separate religion and law, as without the separation all citizens would have to follow the Qur’an.
In all, Algeria currently believes that carrying out the death penalty is unacceptable. Alternatively, Algeria suggests life in imprisonment as a more humane but equally punishing course of action. Algeria urges all countries to have a moratorium on the death penalty. Algeria also calls upon countries to pardon current individuals under the death sentence to the extent that they can. Algeria hopes to work with other countries in order to create a UN-wide moratorium on the death penalty.

Work Cited
“Algeria: Mass Death Sentences Marred by Unfair Trials, Torture Claims.” Amnesty International, 9 Jan. 2023, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2023/01/algeria-mass-death-sentences-marred-by-unfair-trials-torture-claims/. Accessed 16 Nov. 2023.
“Algeria.” The World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/algeria/. Accessed 15 Nov. 2023.
“Capital Punishment in Algeria.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 Nov. 2023, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Algeria#:~:text=The%20death%20penalty%20is%20a,military%20equipment%20resulting%20in%20death%3B. Accessed 14 Nov. 2023.
“United Nations Moratorium on the Death Penalty.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 Apr. 2023, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_moratorium_on_the_death_penalty. Accessed 14 Nov. 2023.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/21/2023 07:51:28 136.228.39.189

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Belgium
Delegate Name: Allison Bennett

Allison Bennett
Williamston High School
The Kingdom of Belgium
Human Rights Council
Use of the Death Penalty

Capital Punishment refers to the process of sentencing convicted offenders to death for capital crimes and carrying out that sentence. The use of capital punishment has been a very long debate between nations as well as within individual nations. While two-thirds of nations have either abolished the death penalty in practice, or in law, about one-third of nations across the globe actively use the death penalty. The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, or OHCHR, states that the use of the death penalty “is not consistent with the right to life and the right to live free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The death penalty is still used in a small number of countries due to the belief that it deters crime. Multiple states still also permit the use of the death penalty for crimes other than those of extreme gravity involving intentional killing, including for drug-related crimes or terrorism charges.
The Kingdom of Belgium ultimately aims to achieve a world where there is no death penalty, both in times of war and peace, because the Belgian government believes the death penalty is a serious violation of human rights and dignity. The fight against the death penalty is a priority of the Belgian human rights policy for multiple reasons. These reasons include the chance that a court sentences an innocent person to death can not be excluded, and it has been demonstrated that the death penalty does not have a deterrent effect on crime. The last execution in the time of peace in The Kingdom of Belgium was in 1863. The abolition of the death penalty has been embedded in the law since 1996, which is reflected in the constitution, and applies to all crimes committed in all situations, including in times of war.
The Kingdom of Belgium supports the European Union, which firmly positions itself as an enemy of the death penalty, although the Belgian government goes one step further in the fight. The Kingdom of Belgium is a member of a number of international coalitions that defend the abolition of the death penalty, one being the International Commission against the Death Penalty. The Kingdom of Belgium regularly puts forward resolutions relating to the death penalty in the United Nations Human Rights Council, or HRC. In 2013 The Kingdom of Belgium put forth a resolution that focuses on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to death or executed. Most recently in 2021, Belgium put forward a resolution focused on the theme of transparency. The Kingdom of Belgium also supports General Assembly Resolutions that regard a moratorium on the death penalty. In 2019, the Kingdom of Belgium organized the 7th World Congress against the Death Penalty.

Sources:
Death Penalty | OHCHR – UN Human Rights Office, www.ohchr.org/en/topic/death-penalty.
“Capital Punishment.” Bureau of Justice Statistics, bjs.ojp.gov/topics/corrections/capital-punishment.
“Belgium Wants a World without the Death Penalty.” FPS Foreign Affairs – Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, 20 Oct. 2022, diplomatie.belgium.be/en/policy/policy-areas/highlighted/belgium-wants-world-without-death-penalty.
Poole, Gregory. “Home.” GLICA.Org, GLICA.org, 11 Sept. 2023, glica.org/glica-conferences/glimun-2023-conference/glimun-2023-committees/use-of-the-death-penalty/.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/20/2023 20:40:08 73.144.146.79

Topic: 2023-Use of the Death Penalty
Country: Ethiopia
Delegate Name: Casey Nelson

Submitted to: Human Rights Council
From: Ethiopia
Topic: Use of the Death Penalty

The nation of Ethiopia is one of the remaining countries that still enforces the death penalty, also known as Capitol Punishment. Capitol Punishment is not used frequently in Ethiopia but is a protected part of the country that has been defended for years. While few executions have occurred in Ethiopia people are still sentenced. There are an estimated 120 prisoners currently on death row. In Ethiopia’s oldest known laws the death penalty is listed as punishment for several crimes, the death penalty has been around in Ethiopia for ages with little to no resistance or pushback from citizens. No form of public or private organization in Ethiopia has pushed against the use of capital punishment. This is likely due to the large presence of Islam in Ethiopia, Sharia law condones the death penalty therefore the public doesn’t have much of a problem with it.

While some countries in the world support a global abolishment of the death penalty, Ethiopia does not. The death penalty in Ethiopia is an important part of its justice system and it would be a great and unwanted change in Ethiopian courts. If abolishment is out of the question it might be possible for the committee to instead put regulations on how the death penalty is used. Regulations like this could look different for every country and Ethiopia wants this committee to consider that abolishment of the death penalty isn’t the right course of action.

Ethiopia will support policies that would keep the death penalty so that countries that wish to use it can do so. However, Ethiopia has been making cutbacks on the sentencing guidelines regarding the death penalty this along with an increase in pardons for death row inmates means that Ethiopia would be interested in policies that would instead put regulations on the use of the death penalty, the nation of Ethiopia would be open to negotiation and debate on policies and regulations that apply to the usage of the death penalty. Things such as limitations and regulations on sentencing and how those who have been sentenced are treated; this could extend to a deeper topic, that being execution. What rules might be placed on things such as the method of execution and how humane it is, as well as topics such as: how much time should be spent on death row?

While Ethiopia has not executed anyone since 2007 in the time since then there have been four attempts by the UN General Assembly to pass a resolution that would create a global moratorium on executions, on all four of these occasions Ethiopia has voted no. If a similar motion occurs in this committee the Nation of Ethiopia would likely vote no.

The Nation of Ethiopia is prepared to stand in defense of the death penalty but is sure to keep an open mind when debating they way forward with this issue. Ethiopia looks at this committee eagerly and firmly believes that this committee can reach a verdict.

Sources Used

Lourtau, Delphine, and Delphine Lourtau. “Capital Punishment in Ethiopia.” Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, 2 Mar. 2020, deathpenaltyworldwide.org/capital-punishment-in-ethiopia/. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.

Mattimalla, Suryaraju. “Compatibility of Death Penalty with the Purpose of Criminal Punishment in Ethiopia .” Pdf, 2018, file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/4527-Article%20Text-15535-1-10-20181218.pdf.

www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/Res/Ethiopia%20ICCPR%20Report%20Death%20Penalty%20v1.pdf. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.

“Capital Punishment in Ethiopia.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 June 2023, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Ethiopia#:~:text=They%20accept%20it%20as%20requital,President%2C%20but%20executions%20are%20rare. Accessed 20 Nov. 2023.

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