September 16, 2019
 In 2023-The Principle of Universal Jurisdiction

Country: Argentina
Delegate Name: Emilio Hernandez

One of the primary tasks of the United Nations is to uphold human rights, to maintain peace and prosperity independently of state borders, and reflecting the opinion of many fellow constituents, Argentina strongly believes in the need for universal jurisdiction in order to carry out this mission. Once again, we begin with the unfortunate, yet undeniable truth that too many people around the world continue to suffer from cases of war crimes, torture, genocide, terrorism, and other crimes against humanity; the theory of universal jurisdiction, then, seeks to establish legal framework that deals with such crimes on a global scale. This concept, of course, allows for prosecution of individuals for certain crimes, regardless of where the crimes were committed or the nationality of the perpetrator. There are various treaties that require participating states to use universal jurisdiction, most famously the Geneva Conventions. Though the UN does not directly handle universal jurisdiction cases, it must (and does) play a role in promoting and facilitating international cooperation in addressing these cases.

The Argentine Republic was among the many countries to sign the Geneva Conventions in the aftermath of World War II, and has continued to show support for various other accords related to universal jurisdiction. In regards to internal law, Article 118 of Argentina’s current constitution of 1994 fully recognizes the practice and has since established a positive and open relationship with the UN. Furthermore, there was recently a legal case where the Argentine government (representing civilian victims of the case) invoked universal jurisdiction to present a claim against notorious members of the Spanish military regime under Francisco Franco, for the alleged acts of genocide and crimes against humanity in Spain during the mid-twentieth century.

In the decades following the creation of the United Nations and the introduction of universal jurisdiction itself, the need for its implementation in all regions of the world has regrettably persisted. As the threat of nuclear or otherwise armed conflict increased, so too did the Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols rise to meet the challenge; in that same vein, the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of Apartheid was enacted in response to the institutionalized oppression of certain racial groups in South Africa; and likewise, the Convention against Torture was adopted by the assembly to combat the perpetuation of the transgression. These efforts have certainly not been in vain, helping to deliver justice to victims, prevent further crimes and guarantee fairness of trials.

Thus, in the eyes of the Argentine Republic, it is clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that universal jurisdiction remains as virtuous and necessary as when it was first set into practice. Though its impact may not be immediately obvious, it is self-evident that the principle for which this council has been assembled has positively impacted international relations, encouraging cooperative ventures in the common goal of mankind: enduring peace and justice. In desire to consider the perspective of others, Argentina is open to possible amendments to the definition and limitations under which this policy shall function, but is nevertheless steadfast in its support of its core features. In accordance with this conviction, Argentina calls on the members of this committee to recognize universal jurisdiction and participate in building a better future for all.

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