The Legal Committee

Topic Area Summary:

The Question of Security and Criminal Accountability of International Diplomats and UN personnel- The Legal Committee

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, held in 1961, set several guidelines for the proper treatment of diplomatic envoys to foreign states. While these clauses were framed in the interest of safety and are generally adhered to with utmost respect world over, diplomats have often misused this privilege for personal advantage. The same predicament has arisen in the case of UN officials sent for authorized missions to foreign countries.

The immunity granted to diplomats lays the foundation for abuse if not controlled by rigid measures. These exclusive passports hold them above the law, allowing them to fully exploit their freedom to the extent that they can even commit felony without fearing prosecution. Crimes ranging from millions of dollars worth of unpaid parking tickets, to smuggling of drugs, murder, and even human trafficking go unpunished using the go-free card that is diplomatic immunity.

At the same time, it is vital that consular delegates as well as those sent on behalf of the United Nations are given the highest level of protection to perform duties of the state or organ without hindrance. This committee will primarily deliberate over the contradiction at hand, and work to strike a balance between security and accountability. As the 6th Committee of the General Assembly, delegates will look towards coming to a comprehensive resolution for the same, taking into account all aspects under consideration and passing laws that will hold international relevance in the area of diplomatic relations.

 

Letter from the Director:

Dear Delegates,

I am a year 12 student of the IB diploma and am thrilled to be your director for the Legal Committee this year!

Model UN has formed an integral part of my school life ever since the 8th grade. I hope to instill in you the same passion and excitement that I have felt in being part of any new committee. Diplomatic by nature, for me, MUN is the perfect platform for combining the dominant ethical facet of my personality with the compromising one.

Every conference I have attended and chaired has added a new dimension to my views on the world. More than just winning awards, MUN is arguably the best opportunity to meet and connect with diverse but likeminded people on a liberated platform. I truly believe that if we, the leaders of tomorrow, want change, it has to begin with us right now.
Aside from MUN and debate, much of my free time is spent reading, binge watching TV shows and (obviously) procrastinating. I have a specific interest in history and international relations, and have always been intrigued by international law, which is just what the 6th Committee of the General Assembly serves to deal with.
The power of diplomacy comes with great responsibility, as well as great threat. The agenda we will be tackling has large scope for animated discussion, owing significantly to conflicting perspectives on the issue.

It is your duty to represent your country's best interests, whilst at the same time bring forth a considerable degree of compromise as any promising delegate would. Keep in mind the radical consequences of any decision you may choose to make, converting viable ideas into realistic, practical solutions.

That said, I look forward to seeing you all in three days of stimulating debate come August. Until then, don’t hesitate to email me at legal.cmun2017@gmail.com with any questions whatsoever.

Yours,

Unnati Patel,
Director, The Legal Committee,
Cathedral Model United Nations 2017.