The Third Committee of the General Assembly (GA), known commonly as the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee, has the broad mandate of helping protect human rights and fundamental freedoms with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as its main reference guide.
First convened in 1948, the Third Committee of the General Assembly, deals mainly with issues in the social and cultural framework and collaborates with various organizations to implement the GA resolutions. Having all UN Member States represented within the Committee, the Third Committee allows space for varying experiences and positions, providing a forum for equitable discussions and negotiation among countries.
The Third Committee has made great strides in the advancement of oppressed peoples, having been the source of such landmark United Nations documents as the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Drafted in 1971, this document is considered as pivotal to the rights of women as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is to human rights. The Committee focuses on other important social, humanitarian and human rights issues such as the protection of children, indigenous issues, the elimination of racism, the treatment of refuges and the promotion of the right of self-determination. The Committee also serves as the key forum for addressing important socio-economic questions such as crime prevention, criminal justice, and drug control.
The Committee is faced with the challenge of dealing with these diverse issues and upholding the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level against a back drop of ongoing social, economic and political change at the local level. There is an increased need to find a balance between the protection of human rights and the legitimate security, economic and social concerns of the States when developing strategies to deal with concerns facing the Committee.
ThessISMUN 2018 – UN General Assembly – 3rd committee
1. The war against drugs: building a comprehensive response to prevent and eliminate illicit trafficking of drugs.
2. The right to a nationality: preventing the phenomenon of statelessness.