Legality and Occupation: Civil Rights in Crimea

The Permanent Mission of Ukraine organized a meeting today on human rights in occupied territory, specifically in the case of Crimea. Crimea is a peninsula on the Northern Coast of the Black Sea that has been facing deterioration in the free practice of human rights since March 18th, 2014, when the Russian Federation illegally occupied the area. This meeting, led by Ms. Holland, was initiated with a statement by Mr. Sergeyev about the present problem. Ms. Bilych introduced the project and its four parts: the history and context of the situation, a description of the human rights at hand, the remedies for people whose rights have been violated, and the recommendations for organizations worldwide. The Russian Federation has attempted to seize the Ukraine Peninsula, and the goal of the Organization as an international community is to ensure the civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights of Crimeans.

There have been various organizations that have aided the country and this meeting provided a method of addressing the situation as well as an understanding of the legal framework in the situation. The Organization suggested specific solutions: the United Nation’s special mechanism to monitor fundamental freedoms, such as that from torture or any other inhuman treatment; ways to enable organizing religious meetings; and methods to save confiscated books and access electronic communication. Ms. Sharven discussed the recommendations to demand action, aid, refrain, and act in specific scenarios by working with the UN and the countries involved, and of the creation of Special International Tribunal, special database, and ad hoc markets. The speakers also provided their personal testimonies and individual cases of the injustice they faced. Today’s comprehensive meeting shed light on this occurring crisis on the persecuted people in Crimea by providing a full review on the problem and detailed, feasible solutions.

Meeting: Crimea: Human Rights, Global Security and International Order

Date/Location: Wednesday, December 9th, 2015; 10:00-12:00; Conference Room 11

Speakers: Ms. Mary Holland, Director of the Graduate Legal Skills Program at New York University School of Law, Yuriy Sergeyev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the United Nations, Ivanna Bilych, Victor Chinedu Okpara, Ajitha Pichaipillai, Olena Sharven, Matheus Sena

Written By: WIT Representative Jin Yoo

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: HBInretrospect

General Elections in the General Assembly


Today, there was a meeting held by the General Assembly. It was divided into three parts: the election of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Appointment of the judges of the UN Dispute Tribunals, and the Appointment of the judges of the UN Appeals Tribunals.

Mr. Mogens Lykketoft led the meeting on the voting and announcements of various positions. Mr. Filippo Grandi of Italy was elected as the High Commissioner for Refugees. The distinguished representatives of the Pacific, European Union, and the Gulf spoke their congratulations and support for Mr. Grandi’s election. His term will begin on January 16th, 2015 and end on December 1st, 2020. His responsibilities are to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve their problems internationally.

This is relevant to the current problem in Syria, which is the largest refugee crisis since World War II. The Office was created in 1950, and since then, it has helped nearly 55 million internally displaced and stateless refugees and returnees.

The Internal Justice Council recommended the judges of the Tribunals, who were appointed today by the Assembly. The statutes of the Tribunals were adopted and amended in resolution. There was a written ballot on the election for the Appeals and Dispute Tribunals, following the rules of procedure. Because the terms of the current judges are expiring, new judges who are eligible for election were voted for consideration. There are currently four vacancies on the Appeals Tribunal and three on the Dispute Tribunal from July 1st, 2016, to be voted for positions, which can be either full-time or half-time. This procedure for identifying suitable candidates enables the Council to place in an informal roster to possibly serve for the next scheduled term of judges.

Meeting: General Assembly 57th Plenary Meeting

Date/Location: Wednesday, November 18th, 2015; 11:00-11:30; General Assembly Hall

Speakers: Mogens Lykketoft, President of the United Nations General Assembly

Written By: WIT Representative Jin Yoo

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick