Protecting the Human Rights of Stateless People - The SpC

The Special Conference is a committee slightly different than the other committees, because they do not face the same general topic every year but rather deal with a new and current topic each year. The topic for the conference 2021 was “Ensuring a Life Worth Living Through Protecting the Human Rights of Stateless People.” The Chairs of the SpC were Herdem Yaz Bölükbasi and Johannes Tromm. Joining them in the Special Conference were 35 delegates from different countries. Some of the participating delegates represented big industrial nations, some small islands and some represented the emerging countries so that a variety of opinions was guaranteed.

First of all, the question “What are stateless people?” emerges.

Stateless people are people without a nationality or a citizenship. A reason for that could be that they belong to a discriminated group or that their country does not exist anymore. Statelessness is often passed down from generation to generation and experts assume that there are about one million stateless people in the world.

The biggest problem which comes with being a stateless person is not being able to get a passport or any similar legal document. Because of that stateless people are often not able to live a normal life, because it is difficult to find a house or a job or even to receive education without such documents.

On Wednesday the Special Conference started their committee session with an introduction about the rules of procedure. To make that more fun they played a cahoot one of the chairs had prepared beforehand. In the following opening speeches, the policies of each delegation were shared. After lunch the lobbying started: three groups with different opinions about the topic were formed.

Within those groups the delegates tried to find solutions to different conflicts such as the question whether a nationality is determined by the country a person is born in or by their ethnicity. One general solution concerning the problem of stateless people which was often mentioned in the resolutions was the idea that an organization should provide help and humanitarian aid.

In the committee sessions on the next day the delegates talked about the resolutions drafted by the delegation of France and Australia. Concerning the resolution of France there were many speeches held in favor and against their proposals and with only few amendments the resolution was accepted in the end. In contrast to that many delegations handed in amendments for the resolution of Australia. After intense discussions about the content of the resolution, the second resolution did not pass.

A third resolutions was discussed on Friday, the main-submitter being St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The discussions continued and even more amendments were handed in. In the end, with many points changed, the resolution passed with a majority.

All in all, there were many different suggestions on how to ensure a life worth living through protecting the human rights of stateless people. The two main points of discussion were how a stateless person could be able to receive the citizenship of a country and how the integration of stateless people can be successful. There were some conflicts between the delegations on how some solutions were not helpful and rather unnecessary but in the end most resolutions passed and lots of good points were made.