September 16, 2019
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Right to Peaceful Protest

General Assembly: Social Humanitarian & Cultural Committee

Topic: Right to Peaceful Protest

Though many member states have established the right to peaceful protest through law or constitution, there is, at present, not an internationally recognized right to peaceful protest. Several agreements and charters establish related rights – the right to peaceful assembly and association through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, for example. Even still, a distinction exists between “assembly”, or a gathering, and “protest”, a petition of political grievances. Many of these international conventions clearly establish the relative priority of national security and rule of law over the individual right to protest. This distinction between assembly and protest, in many cases, results in forceful and occasionally violent crackdowns by governments upon what they consider to be illegal or harmful gatherings.

In recent decades, a number of political protests have risen to international attention, often in response to violent government action. In 2013, in reaction to a delay by the Ukrainian government in signing an agreement with the European Union, public protests were held in a number of Ukrainian cities. Following nine days of protests, violent dispersal of crowds by police forces led to an escalation, with protestors toppling statues and exchanging gunfire with police after the passage of several anti-protest laws by the Ukrainian parliament. These protests, dubbed the Euromaidan protests, led directly to the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution that overthrew the government of President Yanukovych. International response varied – NATO and then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations urged the government to acknowledge the right to peaceful assembly, while President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation described it as a violent riot.

During the 2020 protests in the United States surrounding the death of George Floyd and, more generally, police brutality in the US. Though many protests were peaceful – later estimates suggested 93% were nonviolent or involved no property damage – several involved widespread looting and vandalism or escalated into violence between police and protestors. Elements of the US Army and National Guard were deployed in several cities, and more than 14,000 protestors were arrested. International response was mixed – several US allies expressed solidarity with the government or denounced the protests as violent riots, while others denounced the response as heavy-handed or hypocritical, especially in light of the US response to the earlier protests in Hong Kong and subsequent police crackdown.

How does peaceful assembly differ from political protest? How could, or how should, a right to peaceful protest be balanced against member states’ national security and rule-of-law interests?

Useful Links:

European Convention on Human Rights:
https://www.echr.coe.int/documents/convention_eng.pdf

Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx

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Submitted Position Papers

FHCDelegates 11/24/2021 23:59:51 68.56.182.0

Country: Niger
Delegate Name: Amant Grewal

Amant Grewal
Forest Hills Central High School
Republic of Niger
SOCHUM
Right to Peaceful Protest

Many a country have committed to allowing their citizens to assemble peacefully, yet they are reluctant to guarantee the right to peaceful protest. Peaceful protest poses a threat of opposition to those who have been cemented in power by destabilizing their political reign and occasionally, causing a risk to national security. As a result of this, protection for peaceful protest is not universal. Some nations guarantee the right to peacefully protest in their constitutions, national laws, local laws, and sentiment. Others simply imply the right to peaceful protest or express verbal confirmation of it rather than actual legislation. This lack of legislation leads to suppression of opposing voices and violent crackdowns on dissenters.
The Nigerien constitution provides the residents of the country with the freedom of assembly, but there have been many reported incidents where this right has been ignored. Protesters have been beaten, tortured, imprisoned, and killed. Suspicious disappearances of activists have also happened. But, this is only because Niger prioritizes its national security above the right to peacefully protest. In recent elections, peaceful protests have dissolved into violence and instability, so it is important to keep the peace at all costs, even if that means preventing or breaking up peaceful protests that have the potential to cause unrest.
Although many nations would like to see the universal acceptance of the right to peaceful protest, this is simply unrealistic as many unstable and underdeveloped countries do not have to option to allow for civil unrest due to the effects it may have, such as further instability and harm to its people. So, the Republic of Niger agrees that there should be some level of promise to the right to peaceful protest, but national and regional security interests must be seen as more important than this right as national stability contributes to the assurance of many other internationally recognized human rights.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 23:53:40 72.80.143.35

Country: Colombia
Delegate Name: Ishaan Muchumarri

Social Humanitarian & Cultural Committee
Right to Peaceful Protest
Republic of Colombia
Ishaan Muchumarri
Forest Hills Eastern

The issue of peaceful protest has risen to prominence in recent years. While many countries have the right to peaceful protest established in their constitutions, the world is lacking an internationally established right. The question of what qualifies as protest is still debated today. Iraq had protests rise up in response to accusations of sectarianism of the at the time Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, with protesters demanding his resignation. The response to this was violent, and the protests only ended after the resignation of several politicians. 2020 saw the United States experience a mass of protests over the death of George Floyd, with as much as 7% of them being violent raids. These, along with many more events in the past few years, have put into debate the proper response to protest, and where the line between the right to peaceful protest and violent riots lies. The Republic of Colombia seeks a weak policy on right to protest.

In late 2019, the Republic of Colombia saw thousands of people take to protest, unhappy with their standard of living. While some were peaceful, other occasions saw protesters escalate the situation to violence. These resulted in the death of many people, with one day experiencing 17 reported deaths. These riots continued into early 2020 and ended with a final protest on February 21st. In early 2021, the Republic of Colombia experienced another wave of protests across the country as a response to a tax initiative put into place by President Iván Duque Márquez in an attempt to heal the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Protesters gathered in the thousands on April 28th across the country. In some instances, protesters turned violent, resulting in several hundred cases of police brutality, 200 missing people, 27 reported cases of sexual assault, and at least 26 deaths. Despite changes to the policy and eventual withdrawal of it completely, riots continued, shifting their cause to social reform. President Duque has called for the end of this loss of life, but the people have no intention of ending their protests until their demands are met. With this, the Republic of Colombia seeks an end to these nation-harming protests.

The Republic of Colombia proposes a controlled international right to peaceful protest. The government which faces protest should have the power to nullify this right in order to protect the nation in emergency situations, with the government determining if an emergency situation has arrived. Should an instance arrive where said protest would risk injuring the nation or its people, there should be a measure in place to prevent said protest. It is the responsibility and task of the government to improve the state of the country, not the people. The government is capable of determining what the nation needs, and the interference of the people only leads to further harm and an unneeded loss of life.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 23:15:33 73.18.56.43

Country: United States of America
Delegate Name: Naman Jain

Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee
Right to Peaceful Protest
United States of America
Naman Jain
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.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/24/2021 23:07:35 68.51.223.24

Country: Russian Federation
Delegate Name: Allyson Gilliland

A peaceful protest is an act of expressing a disapproving nature through action or statement with no use of violence. This can also be referred to as a non-violent resistance or nonviolent action of the people. A peaceful protest can be used to show the disapproval of many things, ranging from racial inequality, for example, the George Floyd protests in the United States, to the repaving of a sidewalk near a veterans memorial. While there is no UN law giving countries the right to let their citizens do this, many countries have allowed it anyway. Other countries have no wish for their citizens to have the right to peaceful protesting.

The Russian Federation wishes to remain impartial on the topic of peaceful protest. While the Russian Federation wrote in article 31 of the Constitution adopted in 1993: Citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to assemble peacefully, without weapons, hold rallies, meetings, and demonstrations, marches, and pickets. Any violence committed by our police force during the showing of a peaceful protest was not commanded by a higher power and was the act of that officer alone. We do not condone the violence against peaceful protestors and wish that they continue to protest peacefully and speak their mind.

The Russian Federation would like nothing more than what is currently in place to pass as a resolution. Anything more than what is current would be forcing countries against peaceful protest into an unwanted situation or could potentially back them into a corner. No resolution should be passed that is imposing on the rights of other countries. Each nation should have the right to decide whether or not they want these laws. And if a resolution does pass, we hope it is for the freedom of choice on the matter and does not require anything from unwilling countries.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 23:04:05 68.61.221.131

Country: Germany
Delegate Name: Tessa Stanley

Peaceful protest can be a powerful force for political change. However, in recent years speculation on what classifies as ‘peaceful protest’, as well as how and when police should respond to protests, has captured considerable interest around the world. The 2020 protests following George Floyd’s murder attracted international attention and outrage regarding the United States’ use of police force. Currently, there is no internationally recognized right to peaceful protest, and in many countries, national security and rule of law establishes priority over this right to peacefully protest. Germany aims to establish an internationally recognized understanding of what constitutes peaceful protest, and to instate protections towards such demonstrations.

As a country whose history of peaceful protest has shaped its union, Germany recognizes and respects the importance of protest and peaceful demonstrations. In 1989, the East German peaceful protest against the Communist regime and its subsequent publicization was a major turning point that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall, which united East Germany and West Germany. This experience with peaceful protest shaped Germany’s stance on the topic as it became focused on protecting the rights of protesters. The United Nations Human Rights Commission created Article 19, which emphasizes that the right to peaceful protest extends to online protest, and such a right cannot be violated by blocking websites or Internet access. It also protects the rights of journalists reporting on such protests. Germany has signed Article 19, and wishes to instate further protections for protesters and to define in clear terms what constitutes a peaceful protest.

Germany strongly suggests that the Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee works together to establish an internationally recognized right to peaceful protest. Germany will provide protection for protesters and support legislation which limits police involvement. Police involvement can unintentionally escalate violence; a limited police involvement will allow for any aggressors to be countered while allowing the continuation of peaceful protest. Additionally, Germany recommends requiring permits for peaceful protests so that authorities can be notified beforehand of any demonstrations. This will better allow for protection of protesters.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 17:18:13 76.122.169.111

Country: Nigeria
Delegate Name: Nathan Parish

The right to peaceful assembly and protest is upheld to an extent in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Article 11 of the 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, states that, “every individual shall have the right to assemble freely with others. The exercise of this right shall be subject only to necessary restrictions provided for by law, in particular those enacted in the interest of national security, the safety, health, ethics and rights and freedoms of others.” Nigeria is a party to this article but has not allowed the right of petition to the Court by individuals and non-governmental organizations. It is Nigeria’s goal to support the right to peacefully protest, as long as the safety of national security and citizens are not threatened.

Sadly, there have been multiple deaths during protests throughout Nigeria’s history. Recently, at least 11 protesters died after curfew on October 20, 2021 at a tollgate in Lekki. A representative of the Nigerian Army, Brig. Gen. A.I. Taiwo, stated that the troops at the tollgate “strictly followed” the correct rules of engagement for national security. For example, they used nonviolent tactics, such as firing blank rounds. While some people call this unfortunate incident a “massacre,” Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Lai Mohammed, ensures that “the only massacre recorded was in the social media.” Another protest in 2014, which focused on requesting government action to save over 200 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, in April, is a more accurate example of most protests in Nigeria. This peaceful protest was allowed to occur without police interference, and their message was heard, since the simple, and vital, rules regarding protesting were followed. The Nigerian government has rescued many of the girls, and apologized for a slow response. Government officials stated that the military was overstretched and they were worried that a failed rescue attempt could endanger the girls’ lives. It is Nigeria’s government’s goal to maintain Nigerian citizens rights to peacefully protest and voice their opinions, as long as it doesn’t endanger the lives of others or national security.

Allowing peaceful protests requires a strong communication between the government and citizens. If citizens understand and follow the necessary limits regarding protesting, which prevents rioting, anarchy, and bloodshed, then the Nigerian government can allow and support peaceful protests. It is also important for the government to respond to the opinions voiced during protests. In certain cases, aid from developed countries may be necessary for supporting protesters’ wishes, such as rescuing the kidnapped schoolgirls in 2014. Nigeria will support resolutions that allow peaceful protests, only if certain rules regarding public safety and national security are engaged.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 22:20:00 68.55.153.21

Country: Mexico
Delegate Name: Shiva Rajan

Each human being has the right to peaceful protest as a universal right. Public protests have received immense attention recently, and they’re usually in response to government actions. During the 2020 protests against George Floyd, 93 percent of the protests were peaceful, while 7 percent were violent, involving vandalism, property destruction, and looting of local establishments. Despite the fact that most countries recognize the right to peaceful protest, the right has yet to be established at the national level.

Mexico considers the right to peaceful protest to be a vital right that should be addressed on a global scale. Mexico has been a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which covers the right to peaceful assembly and protest, since 1966. The Mexican people can petition against the Human Rights Committee under the ICCPR if they consider their rights have been infringed. Mexico believes the right to peaceful protest and assembly is a human right as should be brought upon the international community.

Mexico appeals to the UN and the world community to increase awareness of protests and uprisings. The UN should enforce peaceful protest and assembly rights, but not take control of the protesters’ actions, according to Mexico. Mexico wishes to discuss and implement new resolutions that will allow for universal rights and allow for opportunities to supervise the protests that take place for security and safety concerns. Mexico seeks to raise awareness on the management of the right to peaceful protest and if it should be regulated on a global scale.

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KalamazooCentralDelegates 11/24/2021 21:41:53 172.58.191.116

Country: Pakistan
Delegate Name: Farahnoz Firdavsi

Pakistan has time through time allowed its citizens to protest peacefully, “Every citizen shall have the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order.” (Article16, Constitution of Pakistan, 1973). And we will continue to grant this freedom to our citizens. However, we also believe that at times it is important for us, as a government, to intervene when a protest is beginning to develop into a violent one with potential danger to bystanders, government workers, or public/private property.

For that reason, Pakistan has been willing to abide by the 1990 United Nations Basic Principles for so long. Even so, we also understand the countries that believe they know and understand their citizen’s needs, and believe in restricting the right to peaceful protest, as in most occasions those tend to be dangerous and violent riots, harming everyone and everything at the scene. Perfect examples of this are the Tottenham protests in London on August 6, 2011, Greensboro 1976 KKK Protest in 1979, protests in Ukrain in 2013, and recent protests in the U.S.A. tied to the BLM movement.

Pakistan believes that although allowing our citizens the freedom to peacefully assemble is important, it is impossible for us to not intercept and disperse the said crowd when it is bothering bystanders and breaking public laws.

Pakistan also believes that it is best to let nations choose what is best for their citizens. Currently, the right to peaceful protest is not an urgent issue in our country, however, we are willing to compromise and help the other nations find a resolution to this issue, a resolution that will respect a countries right to govern its citizens as they deem fit.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 22:11:31 99.39.104.99

Country: Tunisia
Delegate Name: Rishika Kokkula

The right to peaceful protest is more important than ever, considering the political tensions all over the world. Although many individual nations have established the right to peacefully protest, there still remains an international law on this matter. Tunisia in particular recognizes the growing need to address this issue as the Tunisian government have used violent methods to cease peaceful protests in the past. Some agreements have been created such as the right to peacefully assemble through the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but a distinction still exists between protesting and assembling as national security is prioritized over the individual right to protest. This results in government violence, and in response the need for international attention.

Tunisia undoubtedly faces serious security threats in regards to protests, and their government has suspended citizens’ rights in a state of emergency in order to preserve safety. Following this, the government proposed a nationwide ban on all public demonstrations. The implementation of this law would be a grave setback of rights in Tunisia, and is not favored by citizens. Furthermore, Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli has declared that “any peaceful protest would be contrary to the emergency law”, confirming the ban. On many occasions Tunisian police have attacked and even hospitalized citizens who were protesting. The Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental international association, has been closely monitoring Tunisian authorities and their violation of human rights. Tunisia has even ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states that no restrictions may be opposed on the right to peacefully protest. The main priorities of the Tunisian government at this point in time is to apply this law and maintain national security while also giving citizens their right to protest. This issue unequivocally requires international cooperation from the United Nations in order to protect the safety of citizens worldwide.

Though Tunisia has a long way to go on the subject of ending political violence and maintaining human rights, they urge that SOCHUM focuses its efforts on establishing international rights to peacefully protest. A balance between keeping citizens in line with their protesting, but also allowing them to exercise their right to do so is necessary. Tunisia will endorse any resolution that will institute the creation of laws that support this balance. The occurrence of violence should not stop people from expressing their political rights, and therefore international laws should be implemented to protect the safety of citizens.

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SASADelegates 11/24/2021 21:35:23 98.97.3.237

Country: Brazil
Delegate Name: Gabriel Howald

Peaceful protests carry the immense power of allowing the people to have a voice in government and make results happen. Notable examples range from Martin Luther’s “95 Theses” to Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington. When citizens dislike an aspect of their country, they tend to protest in a democratic and peaceful fashion. The right to peaceful assembly is already an internationally protected right. While the right to assembly and protest differ, the sentiments remain similar. The current international legislation is already the perfect mix of establishing a human right and respecting national sovereignty.

Citizens of Brazil do not only have the right to peacefully assemble, but also the freedom of expression. While most countries might criticize Brazil for its lack of an explicit right to peaceful protest, those rights would be superfluous due to the nature of current rights to peacefully assemble. Under Brazil’s right to peacefully assemble, citizens are able to demonstrate and protest without restriction. Moreover, Brazil maintains strict rules against police violence, by only authorizing violence in cases of resistance or self-defense.

The Federative Republic of Brazil recognizes that each country has a unique situation. Although we might not reach an all-encompassing resolution, as long as we further progress on this topic, Brazil will consider it a successful committee.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/24/2021 19:20:30 107.5.176.163

Country: China
Delegate Name: Elliot Rothstein

Delegation from China
Position Paper for Peaceful Protest

China believes that a citizen’s right to peaceful protest is not a topic of much relevance. Each individual country’s government should have the freedom to deal with protestors in whatever manner they deem fitting and fair.

A more meaningful issue to discuss is the slowing of China’s economic growth, caused by investor concerns brought on by pandemic limitations, and issues lying in the property sector, such as the 1917.8 billion yuan debt that the China Evergrande group has accumulated.

This issue is important when considering China’s worldwide role as a source of imports and exports, as well as China’s massive impact on the foreign exchange market. China represents the world’s second largest economy and holds over 9.3 percent of the annual global GDP (gross domestic product). This implies that declining growth within China’s domestic economy has significant negative effects on the economies of other countries, especially so regarding China’s export hold on technological productivity assets, such as broadcasting equipment ($208 billion), computers ($141 billion), and telephones ($55 billion).

China recommends that other countries subsidize a boost in China’s economy.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/24/2021 18:46:07 68.61.193.152

Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Harrison Powell

Country: United Kingdom
Committee: SOCHUM
Topic: Right to Peaceful Protest
Delegate: Harrison Powell
School: Williamston High School

Throughout most of the western world, the right to peaceful assembly and protest is generally accepted. Most democracies accept the right to peacefully protest with the ability to use the police when the government feels it is absolutely necessary. Almost every European country values this right. The United States, Canada and Mexico respect this right as well. In many eastern countries who have large populations, this right to peaceful protest is ignored and often sees retaliations by the government. China, Russia, India and Pakistan tend to ignore this right completely. Protests in these countries have often been met with violence by the government.
The United Nations declares the right to peaceful assembly a basic human rightAnd should be respected by all governments. The right to peacefully protest is a defining characteristic of democratic governments. People are entitled to voice their opinions on their own governments and it is imperative for us as a planet to be a cohesive, worldwide community where all people have basic human rights.
The United Kingdom has signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. All these international treaties outline the right to peaceful assembly and protest. The United Kingdom has also defined the right to peaceful assembly in their foundational documents. The United Kingdom is in full support of peoples’ right to peacefully protest, granted there are limitations to preserve public safety and general welfare. The United Kingdom agrees with all efforts to advance this right worldwide.
The United Kingdom plans on preserving the right to peaceful protest and fully supports its advancement worldwide. The UK supports all decisions to combat any and all deterring of this right. The UK wants to work with all countries who believe in this right and want to advance it to countries where it is not available to people. The UK wants to find compromise with countries where this right is ignored. The United Kingdom is willing to advance this right for people through economic opportunities and resource deals as well as recognition internationally to countries who do not value the right to peaceful protest. The United Kingdom does not wish to get involved in violent conflicts and wants to work with other democratic countries who feel the same. The United Kingdom does believe in the right to intervene on individual countries to enforce the right to peaceful protest.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/24/2021 16:46:50 69.247.4.158

Country: Afghanistan
Delegate Name: Tristan Gerville-Reache

Country: Afghanistan
Delegate Name: Tristan Gerville-Reache

Lately, Afghanistan has experienced many problems with peaceful protesting. There have been many protests after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan improved Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan. The issue that we are facing constantly is that Afghanistan’s government lacks the funding and control of the people of Afghanistan. Many of the protests have gotten out of hand, but we

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would like to possess control over the peaceful protesting that goes on in our nation. Afghanistan understands that outside organizations do not abide by peaceful protesting. Many of these protests are in alternative countries, and are not in our control. According to ‘Gall, Carlotta, et al. “Taliban Quash Protests and Seize Enemies, Tightening Grip on Afghanistan.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 19 Aug. 2021’: “The people of Afghanistan have taken to the streets in protest of the taliban.” There is no reason for our people to protest. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has given the people plenty of opportunities, effective education, and public access to the internet.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan encourages the right to peaceful protest. Peaceful protests that promote the ideologies of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will be accepted in our nation. Outside of Afghanistan, the protests that are against us are not Afghanistan’s problem as they don’t comprehend the great resources that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan provides for its people.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 14:16:11 76.112.89.185

Country: Ukraine
Delegate Name: Alessandra Alkema

The right to peaceful protest has not been acknowledged on an international level which has caused a distinction between the difference in protests and assemblies. This results in decisions from governments on what they deem legal or illegal which impacts what citizens think of their authority and results in revolts. When residents in a nation oppose an authority’s decision, they desire to respectfully protest and argue against it which promotes democracy; but in most countries, the high authority silences or discourages these voices which leads to violence with the citizens and the government. Protesting has been common in the country of Ukraine, especially over the possible peace deal with the violence in Eastern Ukraine. This topic has not been the Ukrainian Government’s biggest concern due to the necessity of finding military security to deal with the intensity and disorder on the Eastern border.

Throughout the year 2021, Ukraine has been dealing with multiple protests ranging from violent to peaceful. Back in August this year, the Ukrainian police clashed with violent protestors from a nationalist party near the Ukrainian President’s office, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Policemen were injured when the protestors approached the president’s office. The Ukrainian Constitution guarantees citizens’ right to peacefully protest as the president claimed; the protestors on that day were allowed in the office if they did not resist to be checked. The country of Ukraine has also proposed the idea of peace agreements for eastern Ukraine due to Russia’s hostility today, and this has caused Ukrainian nationalists to march across the capital. Ukraine’s biggest concern is the relations of the border country, Russia, and seeking aid with security from other countries such as U.S security support from President Biden. The government of Ukraine has also met up with other leaders to discuss the violent issue within the Eastern border. When protesting occurs due to this matter, Ukraine respects the peaceful argument against its government’s decisions but has not done anything to promote it any further. The country of Ukraine recognizes the right through the Ukraine Constitution, but dealing with this issue is not the government’s major concern; the country’s resources are being used for the major security and military trouble of eastern Ukraine.

The country of Ukraine has established the respect of peaceful protesting within the Ukrainian Constitution. The government has not taken any action towards the issue as it deals with the military security in Eastern Ukraine due to Russian hostility. Ukraine encourages other nations to respect peaceful protesting but the role of Ukraine will remain neutral. The Ukraine government will address the right to peaceful protest by simply stating that it is protected under the Ukrainian Constitution. Ukraine’s role will consist of advising other nations to respect the right but to focus on large problems such as Ukraine’s own.

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RoyalOakDelegate 11/24/2021 12:33:52 68.42.190.229

Country: Central African Republic
Delegate Name: Hayden Natinsky

A peaceful protest is a way for citizens to express their opinions to an organization or government when nothing else works. It is an integral part of many governments worldwide, but the line between riots and protests has become thin in recent years. Though there have been successful riots in history, including the Boston tea party, stonewall riots, and more, they often pose a bigger threat to citizens in modern times. Which often causes countries to favor peaceful protests over riots.
The Central African Republic believes in the importance of peaceful protests. Still, there will be restrictions if the protests threaten national security, safety, health, and ethnic and the rights and freedoms of others as stated in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights. A charter that was created in 1983 and The Central African Republic follows.
We also believe that if protests turn violent, government or military intervention should keep the public safe. We also understand that intervention can turn violent, and we believe that firearms should only be used if officers’ or citizens’ lives are endangered. One of the elements that The Central African Republic would like to see discussed is how countries prevent protests from turning violent. When the protests against George Floyd’s death were happening in the United States, it was found that many protests turned violent because of police involvement. One way to prevent violent protests could be training government and military in how to handle protests or deescalate. Though not every country may have the resources to stop these violent protests, is there a way to deploy support for those countries, and are they well-versed in de-escalating violence or protecting citizens properly? The United Nations peacekeepers have been helping The Central African Republic for years to try and help deescalate violence, but we believe we should reevaluate how effective these keepers are. There has been a history of failing to keep citizens safe. We think we should make sure these keepers know how to keep citizens safe properly.
A resolution that would allow for proper government intervention would allow this important government to continue without fear of citizens being killed or injured. The Central African Republic looks forward to working with other countries to create a helpful resolution.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 11:27:54 68.43.37.117

Country: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: Olivia Benedict

At present, there is no international right to peaceful protest. Since 2017, “over 230 significant antigovernment protests have erupted worldwide,” states the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Within that scope, more than “110 countries have experienced significant protests.” For a while, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (10 December 1948) created a move forward in the right to protest. Still, that covenant caused issues. There was, and still is, debate on the correct definition of “assembly,” “protest,” and other related terms. It is the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee’s assignment to create a resolution that both defines these terms and gives all countries involved the right to peaceful protest.

The citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea do not need to peacefully protest. Everything they could ever want is given to them. Our Government has given our citizens top-notch education, an opportunity for fulfilling and respectable careers, and other happiness-causing possibilities. Respected Supreme Leader Comrade Kim Jong-un is a very gracious and kind leader. The citizens have unanimously agreed to give him the reigns to lead the country. There is no poverty, inequality, or religious oppression in our country. There is nothing that the citizens could be angry about. Since 2017 (and before then), there have been no peaceful protests in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This is not because we restrain them, but because they have nothing to protest about. If they were in the position to need peaceful protest, then obviously our leader would listen to their pleas and immediately fix whatever has become an issue.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea asks the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee to pass no resolutions in the duration of this session. Our Esteemed Leader has no issue with the current state of the right to peaceful protest globally. We believe that it should be up to each country to decide what is best for their citizens. We will not support anything that attempts to take away our right to choose what is best for our citizens. All Hail Respected Supreme Leader Comrade Kim Jong-un.

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FHEDelegates 11/24/2021 10:35:34 107.5.181.159

Country: Haiti
Delegate Name: Mallory Pearson

The right to a peaceful protest has been protected by laws or constitutions in most states, but there is not an international law stating that right. There are laws that also give the right to a peaceful assembly in most countries, but some countries do not give their citizens the right to peacefully protest or assemble. Although there are laws stating that people can protest, there have been a number of what started out as peaceful protests turned violent. This was an issue in Ukraine in 2013 when a protest against the delay of their government signing an agreement with the European Union. The nine days of protests escalated when police officers and protestors exchanged gunfire. In 2020, protests have increased rapidly, especially in the United States. The police and military actions taken on the protests caused backlash and controversy from both sides.

The Republic of Haiti has experienced an uprising of violence and protests over the past four years. The protests started out peacefully in July of 2018, but became increasingly violent by attacking hospitals and blocking access to hea​​lth centers and ambulances. These riots disrupted the daily lives of Haitians and put them in dangerous situations. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) called on Haitian authorities to end the violence and prevent them from happening again by taking immediate action. The OHCHR also encouraged Haiti’s government to guarantee accountability for past offenses and to address the causes of the violence. They recommended that the government also assist the victims and ensure Haiti as a safe country.

The Republic of Haiti recommends strong laws to ensure protests stay peaceful and to not resort to violence. Haiti also encourages violent protesters to be punished for the disruption and destruction they have caused. Haiti supports the use of strong law enforcement to keep protests peaceful and to stop protesters when they get out of control and Haiti recommends that other countries with similar protesting issues do the same.

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ForestHillsNorthernDelegates 11/23/2021 22:43:03 68.61.6.57

Country: Belarus
Delegate Name: Celina Du

The Republic of Belarus condemns the violent protests conducted by political dissidents led by Maria Kolesnikova. Civil unrest has resulted from the demonstrations. It is the duty of the government to ensure the safety of all citizens. When citizens threaten the country’s concord, the government will take necessary measures to protect the large majority of citizens who are politically satisfied with the current leader. In fact, the election results of 2020 indicate that 80% of the citizens of Belarus approve of our leader. We also verify the outcome as fair and square.

Belarus was formed upon freedom to protest in its revolution 27 years ago. We believe it is a human right to be able to stand up to unfairness. We have witnessed many instances of peaceful protest, and we as the government have taken these complaints seriously and into account. However, there is a high risk of violence when hundreds of angry individuals march together. Action is to be taken by the police to ensure that nothing dangerous and harmful to the citizens will happen. This must be done before the violence onstarts. Any action taken after the violence escalates will be too late and can potentially be destructive.

The republic of Belarus has already passed legislation prohibiting “extremism,” as a way to preserve tranquility in our nation. Offenders will be placed into prison up to seven years. In addition, publication of false information will be condemned and removed from the internet. Assault on the police will be considered a heavy offense. Our police serve the people, and the people should not sabotage the police.

Unfortunately, many individuals still choose to conduct barbarous crimes against the police, often ending up with severely harmed victims. We the government arrest these criminals hoping to ensure only non-violent protesting.

The UN has regrettably sympathized with our protesters. The repercussions have been calamitous. The rioters have become emboldened and are increasingly attacking our police; the safety of our citizens is now at high risk. The UN has hindered our nation’s security.

Belarus kindly suggests a mutual understanding between the UN and itself, that it has not inhibited the human right to peaceful protest, but only tries to refrain the conflicts from intensifying. Countries who highly value the safety of their citizens like Russia, China, could probably agree. We as the government would never risk the freedom of our citizens.

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EastGrandRapidsDelegates 11/23/2021 21:36:15 70.238.169.114

Country: Kenya
Delegate Name: Harrison Cornell

Committee: SOCHUM
Topic: Right to Peaceful Protest
Country: Kenya
Delegate: Harrison Cornell
The Right to Peaceful is fundamental for a society to allow for the participation of its citizens in the political process. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” (Universal…). Throughout human history, peaceful protest has been a means of furthering society. Through peaceful protest, societies have rebelled and have gained civil rights through peaceful protest.
Kenya has had a long history with the right to peaceful protest. During the presidential term of Daniel arap Moi, protesters were killed in peaceful protest. As the 1997 elections came and Moi was facing opposition in the lead up to the election, “over 70 people had been killed in demonstrations, including seven protesters killed by police in July in massive Nairobi demonstration that saw police beating religious leaders inside the All Saints Cathedral at midday” (Sachs). Even though there have been problems with the right to peaceful protest in Kenya’s history since the new constitution Kenya has been all for peaceful protest. According to the Kenyan constitution, chapter four, section two, subsection 37, “Every person has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public authorities.” Kenya seeks to protect its citizens’ right to peaceful protest through protections built into our law and constitution as it is a fundamental right to its society. And we hope to move forward from our past and to look ahead to helping build a better future for all Kenyans.
Kenya supports trying to protect the right to peaceful protest as long as citizens remain peaceful and do not commit any acts of violence and appear to be unarmed. Kenya believes that while peaceful protest is a fundamental right that shouldn’t be infringed upon, if it threatens the security of the state, or incites violence then it should not be protected in order to preserve the wellbeing of the state and it’s citizens. Kenya supports defining a boundary for when protest is considered peaceful and when it threatens the security of the state and its wellbeing.

Works Cited

“Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” United Nations, www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights.
Sachs, Moshe Y. “Kenya.” Worldmark Encyclopedia of Nations, edited by Moshe Y. Sachs, 4th ed., Worldmark Press, 1971, pp. 393-412.
“Chapter 4 – The Bill of Rights.” Kenyan Constitution, Manje Media, kenyanconstitution.manjemedia.com/the-bill-of-rights/#37.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2021 20:58:23 104.62.134.26

Country: Viet Nam
Delegate Name: Lanell Gardiner

Country: Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Committee: SOCHUM
Topic: Right to Peaceful Protest
Delegate: Lanell Gardiner
School: Williamston High School

The right to peacefully assemble and protest is a human right being implemented and acknowledged to varying degrees in countries across the world. With the lack of international recognition comes an array of enforcements; while it may be written into the Constitution in some countries, the actual protection of that right comes down to how the government weighs the risks and dangers such protests might inspire. The history of protests and citizens’ right to it remains a gray area for many governments, as the right may not be recognized at all, or the police response could vary with degrees of violent pushback. A person’s right to protest against injustices in their country or to stand up for a common cause is a right every individual, from every country should possess. Determining international standards and negotiating these liberties for everyone is crucial to establishing citizen-supported, just governments everywhere.

Although the freedom to assemble is written in the Vietnamese Constitution, it has not yet been legalized in the form of laws; the government has put this off because of concerns for the safety of citizens and the stability of the government in a situation where protests lead to violence. Vietnam does not support hatred and destructiveness against its government; peace and prosperity within the country is it’s number one goal, and protests that contradict the workings of the government (no matter how peaceful) will be seen as severe disruptions to natural society and the unity of the country. For these reasons, Vietnam has not signed any UN treaties on the topic. Public order should be maintained consistently, and the standards desired by the UN and western nations clash with the values of Vietnam.

Vietnam supports the right to peaceful assembly, however if it contradicts or puts the stability of the government at risk, action will be taken to disperse, condemn, and prosecute those responsible. Vietnam will not work with any country undermining the values and safety of a governing body; infringement on a government’s ability to protect and keep its people within the boundaries of its Constitution should never be violated. Governments should deal with the protests and unrest of their own citizens as they see fit; undermining this right will not be tolerated. Vietnam would gladly work with any country that agrees and upholds national sovereignty, that does not wish to be pushed by outside sources to meet standards contrary to the values and foundations of its government and country.

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WilliamstonDelegates 11/23/2021 17:24:10

Country: Greece
Delegate Name: Julia Kruger

Country: Greece
Committee: SOCHUM
Topic: Right to Peaceful Protest
Delegate: Julia Kruger
School: Williamston High School

Freedom of speech is a human right. The ability to have a peaceful protest is a part of freedom of speech. However, safety and property damage need to be taken into account because protests labeled as “peaceful” can turn ugly quickly. When done wrong, protests can do the opposite of what they are intended to accomplish. The right for people to peaceably assemble is important, but there is the question of what extent should be lawful? Many people have opinions on what sort of protest is peaceful or not, but there is no established “line” to be crossed. According to the BBC, over 150 nations give citizens the right to peaceful protest. Also, “Nonviolent protests are twice as likely to succeed as armed conflicts – and those engaging a threshold of 3.5% of the population have never failed to bring about change” (BBC). There is also the question of how successful protests are. According to a survey, 45 percent of Americans said it is somewhat effective when they participate in public protests for political reasons. Peaceful protesting is important and can be an effective tool for gaining attention, for expressing grievances as well as other social issues. However, it can be hard for people to agree on when a peaceful protest is no longer amicable and needs government intervention.

In Greece, the right to peaceful assembly is generally respected. Citizens of Greece have a constitutional right to assembly and peaceful protest. However, there are instances (especially recently) of “authorities abusing power to trample on right to protest” according to Amnesty International. Furthermore, specifically during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Greek authorities have used arbitrary arrests, blanket bans, unjustified fines, and unlawful use of force to curb peaceful protests, new research by Amnesty International has revealed. Even prior to the pandemic, Greece has had accounts of peaceful protest turned dangerous. One example was a protest against new laws on July 9th, 2020. A group of over 10,000 peaceful protesters had gathered in central Athens. Violence broke out when some of the younger protesters hurled petrol bombs at riot police outside parliament, causing police to respond with tear gas and flash grenades. Greece has been trying to find the line between what can and cannot be allowed in a peaceful protest, but is facing a lot of unrest as they are doing so.

Greece recognizes that many other fellow countries are trying to reevaluate protest laws. Greece would propose a specialized team dedicated to finding solutions for not only Greece, but other countries as well, with a focus on finding laws that protect the safety of citizens without restricting human rights. Greece feels that since the right to peaceful protesting is a universal issue but also impacts individual countries that the UN should only intervene on helping find solutions but not enforcing. Greece believes that it will find allies with the USA, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, and the UK.

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9216

Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Griffin Ransom

Country: Japan
Committee: SOCHUM
Topic: Right to Peaceful Protest
Delegate: Griffin Ransom
School: Williamston High School

All around the world there are different restrictions and rights regarding citizens and their right to peacefully protest. The defining factor when considering a gathering a peaceful protest or not is whether or not violence is involved in any way. The past decade has seen a marked rise in protest movements, with 37 countries experiencing massive anti-government movements in late 2019 alone. Despite COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings, these trends have largely continued in 2020. The vast majority of these protests have been peaceful, and many have inspired important policy changes. Many of these international accords state unequivocally that national security and the rule of law take precedence over individual rights to protest. In many cases, the distinction between assembly and protest leads to governments imposing harsh and sometimes violent restrictions on what they view to be illegal or detrimental gatherings.
In Japan freedom of expression is widely guaranteed to the maximum extent, and there are no grounds for such concerns. Additionally, Japan has taken action towards violent protests by using the police force and authorities to handle such protests. The Japan Coast Guard has implemented minimum measures necessary to restrain dangerous or illegal acts in order to protect the lives of and prevent injury to the protesters and the construction staff; The police take appropriate security measures in regard to all protests in light of preventing any problematic incidents and from the perspectives of neutrality and equality, regardless of protesters’ claims. Furthermore, to ensure the democratic administration and the political neutrality of the police, a Prefectural Public Safety Commission, consisting of three or five external experts, is established in each prefecture. They supervise the Prefectural Police from the perspective of a third-party. To go along with the third-party organizations, The Japan Coast Guard has a mechanism to review its measures, and has established a careful review process.
The UN Human Rights Committee’s General Comment No. 37 interpreting Article 21 of the ICCPR which defines the right of peaceful assembly in broad terms and specifies that states may limit the right but only if codified in law and as necessary to protect the public and the rights and freedoms of others. Additionally, Japan will continue to use its strict protest rules to keep protesters under control, safe, and supervised.

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8944

Country: France
Delegate Name: Natalie Swartz

Across the world, peaceful protest is a contested topic. With rising tensions between citizens and their governments, it is in the best interest of all nations to find solutions. The right to peaceful protest is outlined in two articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 19 — “ Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”, and Article 20 Subsection 1 — “ Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.” As a nation facing protesters on a host of political topics, France will work to ensure the rights of protesters internationally while upholding governmental rights to protect order and law.

The Republic of France has a complicated history with protesters, but throughout the decades has continued to improve on those relations. In 2017, Macron vowed to protect the rights of peaceful protesters when he took office as the current president. The Declaration of Rights of Man and of Citizen states in Article 11 that “The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man,” and further goes on to state that any citizen may write, speak, or print with freedom, but will be responsible under the law in the case of any abuses. The French government has only made efforts to shut down acts of political violence, as the right to dissident speech is protected by both the UDHR and France’s own Declaration of the Rights of Man.

Internationally, France supports collaborating with all nations in order to protect the rights of citizens to peaceful protest and for other states to protect themselves from political violence. Recognizing the Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/44/L.11, about the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests, France seeks to expand upon the thoughts gathered within this publication. Under the freedom of speech, states have a responsibility to allow their citizens space for dissidence in opinion through protest. France believes this to be true, though any and all abuse of these freedoms are allowed to be punished under the law if they are abused.

Works Cited

Declaration of the Rights of Man. Avalon Project – Declaration of the Rights of Man – 1789. (n.d.). Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/rightsof.asp.
The promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests. A/HRC/44/L.11 – e – A/HRC/44/L.11 -desktop. (2020, July 13). Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://undocs.org/en/A/HRC/44/L.11.
Human Rights Council adopts four resolutions, appoints four special procedure mandate holders, and concludes its forty-fourth session. OHCHR. (2020, July 17). Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26113&LangID=E.
BBC. (2019, April 25). France’s Macron responds to yellow vests with promise of reforms. BBC News. Retrieved November 21, 2021, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48059063.

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