Chair: Catharine del Carmen
Secretary: Subin Youn
The Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) considers a broad range of issues covering a cluster of five decolonization-related agenda items, the effects of atomic radiation, questions relating to information, a comprehensive review of the question of peacekeeping operations as well as a review of special political missions, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Report of the Special Committee on Israeli Practices and International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. In addition to these annual items, the Committee also considers the items on Assistance in mine action, and University for peace biennially and triennially respectively.
1. The Question of Diplomatic Immunity for UN Peacekeepers Breaking Local Laws
It is common in international relations for individuals operating in foreign countries to be exempt from the laws and courts of those countries for their services on international missions. Examples include state diplomats, officials of international organizations, and military and civilian personnel under international agreements or individual contracts. The focus of this topic, however, is on such immunities in relation to United Nations peacekeeping – particularly on the accountability systems where military or civilian peacekeepers commit crimes (for example: sexual exploitation of children, trafficking in women, rape, murder, negligent killing, or major fraud) in the already-battered localities of their service. While the United Nations Charter does not mention peacekeepers, they are, in today’s time, an immensely essential piece to enforcing resolutions and helping to uphold the ideals and standards of the United Nations. However, one issue that has risen in recent years is not the failure of these missions, but rather the allegations of misconduct from specific peacekeepers during their missions.
2. Effects of Atomic Radiation
As the committee that advises the General Assembly about atomic radiation and fallout, SPECPOL is in need of a consensus on how to deal with the threat of nuclear weapons, nuclear energy production, and other sources of ionizing radiation at the present time, and desires to develop sound policies that will be able to translate into the future.
3. Drug Trafficking in West Africa