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UN Organizations… The Failure Continues

UN Organizations… The Failure Continues

Tuesday, 2 October, 2018 - 07:15
Salman Al-Dossary
Salman Al-Dossary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The Yemeni crisis is not only a military war between the two sides of the conflict. There is another political battle raging in a place that is thousands of kilometers away from Yemen, in the corridors of the United Nations and its affiliated organizations. Unfortunately, those corridors and platforms cannot be described but as unfair and biased, where the standards of professionalism, impartiality and neutrality have gradually disappeared, and where a blind eye is turned to the serious crimes and violations committed by the Houthis against human rights and international law.

The straw that broke the camel’s back with regards to the humanitarian standards of the UN Human Rights Commission was the latter issued a decision on the extension of the mission of the Panel of Experts in Yemen regardless of the unprecedented and major split among the Commission’s members.

This was the first time that the resolution did not receive the consensus accepted by the Commission and was made away from traditional accord. What is more puzzling, is that the decision was opposed by those who were directly concerned with it, Yemen and the Arab group. Yes, it is the first time that such division occurs in this wide discrepancy within the Commission, which is composed of 47 countries.

Twenty-six countries rejected the decision or abstained to vote to extend the work of the Group of Experts, out of their disbelief in the allegations contained in the report of the international team of experts in Yemen. On the other hand, 21 countries, including Qatar, supported the decision to extend the work of the UN Panel of Experts. The Arab Group was not surprised at Doha’s choice to stand with Iran, Hezbollah and the Houthis.

Undoubtedly, the credibility of the United Nations organizations is slowly diminishing. These organizations suffer unprecedented growing divisions, which in turn reduce their already weak effectiveness. Their reports have become unfair and clearly aligned to one of the parties to the crisis – the same party that has launched the coup against the legitimacy and brought Yemen to this situation. The reports have completely ignored a major party to the crisis, the Iranian regime, whose interventions have confirmed information and investigations issued by the UN itself.

In the case of the UNHRC and its great division, the validity of the United States’ decision to withdraw its membership from the Commission is unfortunately confirmed. If the most powerful country in the world sees the Commission as useless and “protector of human rights abusers and a cesspool of political bias”; and that it is “hypocritical and self-serving” organization, what credibility remains for the Commission among the countries of the world?!

In the wake of the international commission’s non-compliance with the principles of the UN in humanitarian and relief work, and its continued bias towards the Houthi aggressors, who are incessantly violating the international and humanitarian law; and as long as reports issued are not corrected in line with the decisions of the UN Security Council and other UN reports, which are supposed to be the basis for each party’s portrayal, the ball remains in the Security Council's court, which has to take all the appropriate measures and actions to ensure the implementation of all its decisions on Yemen and work more seriously for the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen, away from the transformation of the HRC as part of the problem rather than being part of the solution.

Indeed, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley was very accurate when she described the Human Rights Council as the UN’s “greatest failure.”

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