UN Security Council is failing Syria, admits Ban Ki-moon
UN Secretary Genral Ban Ki-moon states that a solution to end Syria's deepening humanitarian crisis is being blocked. (AFP/file)
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The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon admits that the UN security council is failing Syria because of big power divides that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and resulted in the largest civilian displacement of our generation.
The UN secretary general told the Guardian that Russia and China should ‘look beyond national interest’ and stop blocking Security Council action on the Syria conflict as the influx of refugees hits record levels.
“We need some solidarity, unity of purpose, particularly among the permanent members of the security council,” he said in an interview. “When they are divided, it is extremely difficult for the United Nations to deliver. That’s why I’ve been urging the members of the Security Council to look beyond national interest. We have to look for the global interest.
“When the Security Council members are united we have seen very speedy and tremendous impact in addressing the issues, as we have seen in the case of chemical weapon investigation in Syria.”
Although Ban did not name Russia and China, the two countries have repeatedly blocked resolutions critical of the Syrian government, threatening to impose sanctions or tried steering it towards a negotiated settlement. Last year China and Russia vetoed a move backed by 13 other permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council to refer the Syrian conflict for investigation by the International Criminal Court.
Ban had backed the referral to the ICC, stating the Syrian people “ have a fundamental right to justice.”
The UN high commissioner for refugees has described the mass displacement of civilians fleeing the fighting as the largest refugee crisis in a generation. Since the start of the conflict approximately 4 million people have crossed into neighboring countries.
While the frustration builds over international action to try and end the Syrian humanitarian crisis being blocked by Moscow and Beijing, criticism of other permanent members’ use of the veto for narrow political interest is longstanding. The US has used its veto to protect Israel from criticism more times than all the number of vetoes cast by permanent members combined.
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