By YENA SEO, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
Several blocs in the United Nations Human Rights Council had their working papers passed as resolutions on the fourth day of the Harvard National Model United Nations Conference (HNMUN). Resolutions targeted various aspects of healthcare and health as a human right, using the principles stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and emphasizing health rights even in the face of natural, medical and humanitarian agencies.
The United Nations Human Rights Council had been working on resolutions to address health as a human rights for the duration of the conference, engaging in multiple unmoderated caucuses and many moderated caucuses to present ideas and debate on the best solutions to address a global issue.
“We have to remember that it is the responsibility of each country to ensure the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of its entire population,” the delegate representing China said. “We believe that the right to health is a fundamental freedom that people are entitled to as human beings.”
Many resolutions focused on the connections between climate change and health concerns, such as disease migration, polluted water and worsening air quality. As a result, many of the resolutions contained clauses to work in conjunction with other United Nations agencies, such as the United Nations Environmental Programme.
The formation of working groups focused on health as a human rights was a provision found in many resolutions, and multiple papers also featured incentive-based systems and emphasized cooperation between urban and rural hospitals.
One resolution, sponsored by China and France, among many other developed and developing nations, presented solutions that could be collaborated upon by both the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Health Organization.
“The goal is to address the issue with every aspect involved,” the delegate from Spain said. “The best option, therefore, is to work with multiple agencies to ensure maximum efficiency and effectively.”