September 16, 2019
 In 2023-Definition of Genocide

Country: Republic of Korea
Delegate Name: Clara DeWaele

The definition of genocide originated in the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, following the tragedies of the Holocaust. The convention described it as “a crime committed with the intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group, in whole or in part”. As this original, vague statement lacks specifics, the Republic of Korea believes change is necessary. The 1948 Genocide Convention was meant to prevent future occurrences of genocide, yet many events, which fit into the gray, vague areas of this definition, continue to be added to history books. This original terminology is ineffective in identifying, preventing, and punishing the actions of genocide. Though, it may serve as a basis for a more detailed framework to be built upon. Throughout this conference, the Republic of Korea hopes to unpack the various perspectives and histories of countries surrounding this topic as we work to articulate a more modern, specific definition for genocide.
Since its adoption at the 2005 United Nations World Summit, the Republic of Korea has been a strong supporter of the Responsibility to Protect, an international norm set in place to further prevent genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansings, and crimes against humanity. As described in the baseline assessment of R2P (responsibility to protect) implementation, the Republic of Korea has succeeded in carrying out the concepts expressed in R2P, domestically, and throughout the Asia Pacific. First, the Republic of Korea has ensured that domestic policy reflects international standards, with laws in place, working against discrimination, protecting human rights, and ensuring a safe environment for all citizens. Furthermore, the Republic of Korea has worked to carry out R2P at an international level, through increased participation within the United Nations, and continuous efforts directed towards the DPRK. First, the Republic of Korea has worked within the framework of the United Nations, to further expand the agenda of R2P, and to better protect human rights internationally. This is evident in the work of the Republic of Korea as a cosponsor of the resolution on Threats to International Peace and Security – Prevention of Genocide. Additionally, The Republic of Korea has worked to better the situation of the DPRK- where a continuous devolution of human rights exists, along with the increased usage of political camps to detain residents. To respond to this situation, the Republic of Korea has formed the North Korean Human Rights Promotion Committee, a group that acts as an advisory council, made up of human rights experts who support the promotion of the North Korean Human Rights Act.
While steps have been made to improve the international response to genocide, and other atrocities across the world, the Republic of Korea believes that a further effort in remaking the definition of genocide is still necessary. A suggestion of improvement involves the aspect of political groups under the list of groups within the definition, as this would allow more effort focused toward the thousands of people located in the political camps of the DPRK. The Republic of Korea looks forward to working with all who share similar beliefs in improving this definition, in order to better respond to acts of genocide throughout the world, and improve international peace.