South Africa proposes a SPECPOL clarification

Imogen Forrester for The Daily Telegraph


During SPECPOL, South Africa proposed a clarification to Clause 3. Cambodia was the seconder with Egypt as a signatory.


Clause 3 states that: Urges member states to refrain from acquiring personal data from private companies except in cases of a national-level security threat and/or where there are risks of significant harm to the general population as deemed by the member state.

(proposed amendments in bold)


Above: The delegate of South Africa


The delegate of South Africa believes that Clause 3 doesn’t specify that member states are in charge of making the decision relating to their own country. Other member states are welcome to make minor suggestions but not heavily influence the member state in question. South Africa stated that different cultures react differently, which is another reason this amendment should succeed. The delegate also said that other member states would have a poor influence on decisions that aren’t their own.


The seconder, Cambodia, believes this amendment will be beneficial to member states because countries are most familiar with themselves.


Luxembourg, who was against this proposal, said that corrupt member states could take advantage of this and abuse it by acquiring information from private companies unnecessarily.


South Africa responded by saying that member states should not be questioned about their integrity.


The amendment was passed.


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