Thursday, Nov 27, 2014

UNSC’s failures cause millions to flee: Amnesty

Press Trust of India | London | Posted: June 20, 2014 5:36 pm

The UN Security Council is spectacularly failing to maintain international peace and security and its delayed response in countries like Iraq and Syria has allowed violence to spiral, Amnesty International said on World Refugee Day on Friday.

The organisation asked the Security Council members to act more decisively to protect civilians and prevent millions more people being driven away from their homes.

The Security Council’s, and in some cases the UN Secretariat’s, ineffective or delayed responses to ongoing conflicts in Syria, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Iraq, have allowed violence to spiral and countless communities to be devastated before meaningful action, if any, is taken, it said.

“Apathy, political alliances and point-scoring must cease trumping human rights concerns when it comes to decision-making at the Security Council,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Deputy Director for Global Issues at Amnesty International.

“While diplomats debate points of order, houses are being burned to the ground and families forced on the run. Long delays and vetoed resolutions are plaguing the supposed ‘strong arm’ of the UN.”

The delayed deployment of UN peacekeepers to the Central African Republic means thousands have already been forced to flee before troops arrive.

“UN Security Council is spectacularly failing to maintain international peace and security,” Amnesty said.

The repeated failure of the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court and the resulting lack of accountability has contributed to the world’s largest displacement crisis.

Meanwhile, those countries that have blocked any meaningful action on Syria are contributing the least to the global refugee crisis. Russia and China resettled zero refugees in 2013.

Their donations to the UN appeal for Syria, which secured the largest funds in the organisation’s history, are equally pitiful.

Russia contributed 0.3 per cent of those funds in 2013 and 0.1 per cent in 2014, while China contributed 0.1 per cent in 2013 and 0.    4 per cent in 2014.

Despite their relative economic disadvantage, developing countries are bearing the brunt of the crisis, with Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Pakistan the top five refugee hosting countries.

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