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

Country: Belarus
Delegate Name: Phoebe Navin

Submitted To: Legal Committee
From: Belarus
Subject: Principle of Universal Jurisdiction

Universal jurisdiction is the legal practice of prosecuting a crime, no matter the location, due to its severity. The nation of Belarus believes that universal jurisdiction is essential in the most severe instances of crimes. Still, all lesser crimes should be left to the jurisdiction of each individual state. Crimes such as genocide, ecocide, and specific human rights crises require a higher power to control and eliminate the problems. Less pressing crimes don’t require the same amount of universal force. Although the UN holds resolutions on universal jurisdiction, Belarus believes there is a need for more straightforward requirements and policies to use universal jurisdiction.
Belarus’s main concern on universal jurisdiction is regarding the guidelines and restrictions of such a practice. Belarus acknowledges the need for universal jurisdiction in severe crimes with no justifiable reason. Unfortunately, the “seriousness” and reasoning of a crime are objective to each country and person. Some states are encouraging practicing universal jurisdiction on any human rights issue. Although this can seem helpful, the practice of universal jurisdiction so clearly strips each state of its rights, and should only be used in the most extreme of crimes. Some crimes, such as genocide, must be stopped for the better of the world. Most crimes are state-specific and don’t generally affect any other parties. These lesser crimes do not require universal jurisdiction and instead would only weaken individual states’ powers and rights. Belarus believes that for the better of the world, universal jurisdiction should only be used in extreme crisis situations, and the regulations on such a practice need to be very strict and controlled.
Belarus hopes to work in collaboration with other states to clarify and create resolutions on procedures for universal jurisdiction and its application in the future. Such a resolution would include the specific crimes covered under universal jurisdiction and what power the UN would have to enforce the crimes. With a newfound clarity on the proceedings and purpose of universal jurisdiction, the UN would be able to more effectively prevent and eradicate the worst crimes in our world. This will happen due to a definition of what few crimes merit universal jurisdiction and action and what actions the UN can take to punish these offenses. With such a change, there is a calm to the chaos of universal jurisdiction, and the world improves.
Belarus’s Criminal Code currently addresses the crimes that Belarus sees as worthy of universal jurisdiction. Any citizen or non-citizen in Belarus will be tried within universal jurisdiction if they have committed genocide, crimes against the safety of humankind, use of prohibited weapons of war or mass destruction, ecocide, war crimes, human trafficking, and any other crimes committed outside are included in any international treaty signed by Belarus. These are the crimes that Belarus hopes to implement as crimes within universal jurisdiction in the UN. This short yet vast list are the crimes serious enough for universal jurisdiction, and the crimes that require action no matter the location of the crime. To this extent, Belarus believes in universal jurisdiction, but Belarus has additionally actively stood against treaties and groups on universal jurisdiction. Belarus does not support the International Criminal Court or the Rome Statue due to these two things blatantly violating rights. Belarus believes and supports limited universal jurisdiction applying only to the most heinous crimes. If the universal jurisdiction has too much power, individual states lose their rights and power. Belarus believes universal jurisdiction should be used rarely and only when necessary for the sake of our world.
Belarus hopes to strengthen and clarify the UN’s laws on universal jurisdiction to further prevent and eradicate severe crimes. Although Belarus does not believe in added control, they do hope to update what falls within universal jurisdiction. Belarus hopes to resolve this clarity flaw optimistically, provided other countries share the same beliefs. With more clarity and specifications on universal jurisdiction, a better world will be built.


United Nations Treaty Collection: Statue of Treaties: Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

Belarus Criminal Code
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

Belarus — The Scope and Application of the Principle of Universal Jurisdiction
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023

International Criminal Courts: How the Court Works,the%20ICC%20granting%20it%20jurisdiction.
Accessed 19 Nov. 2023