On 8 April 2019, NSWYL International Law Committee (ILC) held its inaugural annual mock-UN working group.  Members from the ILC, the Human Rights Committee and the Special Committee of Law Student Societies were asked to pick a UN Member State and research its position on the topic of "The rise of national protectionism and its possible impact on international human, civil, socio-economic and political rights". 

The UN Member State representatives were asked to introduce their Member State’s point of view.  From these introductory remarks, the chairs of the Working Group (Brecht Valcke and Katlyn Kraus, Chair and Vice-Chair of the ILC, who both have worked for the United Nations), distilled four major concerns raised:

  1. human rights and humanitarian intervention;
  2. economic and natural resources protectionism;
  3. immigration; and
  4. national security and the right to sovereignty.

After some lively and engaging debate, the Member States were then given the time and opportunity to speak informally to each other in an attempt to seek political alliances and sponsorships to propose resolutions to be voted on by the Working Group.

Participants found it both intellectually stimulating and fun to see conflicting points of view play out in real-time.  Additionally, participants expressed a better understanding of a working group of the United Nations and the interaction between State policy and international law.

On the back of the success of this the inaugural event, the ILC will hold this event again next year and hopes to extend the invitation to promote further cross-collaboration and networking opportunities between the NSWYL Committees.