By KATIE JONES & FRANCESCA TIRAVANTI, THE STRAITS TIMES
The Straits Times held a press conference with the Legal committee, and asked tough questions in regards to resolutions, criminals, and even the definition of amnesty. Some delegates were unsure on how to answer the question, and some even avoided answering entirely.
When asked, “What are the actions that would be prevented under this definition of amnesty,” the United States steered away from the topic entirely, discussing what amnesty actually is. After repeating the question, the USA stated,
“Actions would include genocide, war crimes, torture, and crimes against humanity.”
Other nations such as Zimbabwe shared similar sentiments, leaving The Straits Times to wonder if the draft resolutions are much more alike that previously considered.
Zimbabwe discusses when amnesty should not be granted. Photo courtesy of The Economist.
Another question posed was, “Will victims be included in the amnesty process? If so, how?”
Gabon was enthusiastic to offer a response, describing how after a victim is granted amnesty, educational “resources” will be provided to help the victim resettle. The Straits Times followed up, asking where these resources will come from.
“Where will the funding come from?” Asked Katie Jones, reporter for the Straits Times.
“Funding will be provided by the state in charge of the victim,” replied the delegation of Gabon.
“What if the state does not have the means to provide funding?” asked Jones.
Gabon stumbled and was unable to respond, leaving the question unanswered.
Japan offered a solution stating that they would provide private funding to states in need, as they have already given over four billion dollars. After the press conference, the delegation of France described a process in which amnesty removes the person from prison, therefore allocating those funds to additional resources. Also the delegation of france stated that regarding the budget there have been many implemented proposals, and that if amnesty if provided there would be budget a redirection of it.
Singapore offered a comment on the situation of amnesty, stating that there was a, “need for justice and it must not take long. We must also focus on the protection of state sovereignty and national discretion.”
The United States of America talks state sovereignty. Photo courtesy of The Economist.
Overall, the committee was well informed on which crimes should be prevented when granting amnesty. There was plenty of dissection into multiple actions that will be taken in the draft resolutions, and nations such as Singapore will lead the way in shaping a policy around amnesty.