Sometimes, when I read about all the crises and conflicts happening around the world, from ISIS brutality in Iraq to Syria’s deadly civil war which has now gone on for 3 years, from the crises in Ukraine to the deaths of many civilians in the Israel-Palestine conflict and the killings and unrest in D.R.C, I wonder, “Where is the United Nations? What are they doing about this and What is their role in these various crises? Why does it look like they’re insignificant or powerless? Why do they watch and allow all these deadly crises develop and spin out of control before responding?”
I know I’m asking a lot of questions but fortunately for me, Navi Pillay, the outgoing United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner provided some answers to them when she criticized the UN General security council during her last speech. She sharply criticized the Council for allowing many conflicts to degenerate because members constantly put National interests ahead of stopping these crimes and preventing mass atrocities. She further added that the UN Security Council lacks the resolve for saving lives and stopping crimes. I strongly support her and I can site a very good example of China using their veto power on the council to block sanctions against their close ally, North Korea after reports of severe human rights violation were investigated in North Korea. That’s just one of many examples of countries preventing the right things from being done just because of their selfish gains, just as sharp divisions between veto holders, U.S and Russia has thwarted actions on Syria and Ukraine. I find it very sad that short term geopolitical gains and national interests are allowed to overshadow important issues like human rights violations, mass atrocities and killings during decision making in the UN. This unfortunate trend has done so much to paralyze the effectiveness of the organizations. So, things keep going wrong which leave us wondering where the UN is.
Navi Pillay also criticized the UN General Council for its ineffectiveness in Syria and cited other examples of crises in Afghanistan, the Central African
Republic, Congo, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Ukraine and Gaza. Obviously, none of these crises erupted without warning but how come none of them where prevented by the UN? The answer is obvious; each country is too busy fighting for its own interests rather than joining to prevent mass atrocities and ensure international peace.
If the United Nations continues like this, then sooner or later, we will all realize that the main objective for the existence of the UN which is to ensure international peace and cooperation among nations has been defeated.