Europeian Success At World Assembly Level
Deputy World Assembly Minister Forilian Sees Proposal Passed by the World Assembly
Written by Lime
A major victory was achieved by Deputy Minister for World Assembly Affairs Forilian this weekend when his proposed “Wartime Journalism Protection Act” was passed by the World Assembly 10,942 votes (64.8 percent) to 5,955 votes (35.2 percent). The now passed resolution aimed to “introduce better protections for wartime journalists to facilitate better transmission of information and better protection of lives.” The resolution ensures journalists freedom of movement in war zones so long as it does not harm individuals or results in trespassing on private property, and also protects journalists ability to report on any activities occurring in a war zone provided such information could not lead to the loss or harm of life or property or the jeopardization of military operations. These protections are subject to international law and would not apply to journalists who commit espionage, are carrying weapons, interrupt active combat situations, or break any provision of the resolution.
As is customary, Forilian provided a draft proposal to the NationStates General Assembly forums before submitting his proposal. During the discussion between other nations, the original proposal saw a number of changes before it was finally submitted and voted on. Many of the changes were minor edits to wording and formatting, however one of the largest changes saw journalists banned from carrying weapons with the original proposal allowing journalists to carry in self-defence. The argument made in favour of this change was that journalists may mistakenly shoot at a civilian if they felt threatened by them, or that a soldier may mistake them to be an enemy. During the discussion proponents argued that the proposal would help ensure transparency in war, while opponents argued that the proposal would endanger the lives of journalists, with many stating they supported the banning of all civilians in active warzones.
Speaking to the EBC, Forilian told us that he decided to draft this proposal as there was no protection for wartime journalists at a World Assembly level and he felt that this was a major oversight. He concluded by telling us “I was happy to submit it, and while it was a close(r) vote than I had hoped, it still passed, which gave me a great sense of pride and joy.” Maowi, who was the then Minister for World Assembly Affairs told the EBC “Forilian worked diligently on his proposal and I believe it's a very positive thing that this translated into a passed resolution. The GA unfortunately does little to make the steep learning curve any smoother for newcomers, so this experience was hopefully helpful for him and definitely productive for the Council of World Assembly Affairs to work out how to better guide authors through the process and use WALL for example to help pass it. Personally I'm very encouraged by it; I'm looking forward to more WA successes from Forilian if he's eager, and from Europeian authors in general!”
Despite having only passed at the weekend, a draft proposal to repeal Forilian’s resolution has already been written. The author of the draft repeal argues that the resolution actually increases the risk to journalists, suggesting that it contains “broad loopholes, which nations that wish to conceal their activities may exploit.” As such, the author wishes to repeal the current resolution so that a new stricter resolution may be proposed to replace it. Regarding this proposed repeal Forilian told us “well, if the WA so desperately wants to repeal my resolution, then so be it. But I'll be fighting the repeal all I can, and if it passes I'll be drafting another wartime journalism bill.”