Failing Yemen: UN Refuses to Put Ethics to Work


TEHRAN (FNA)– It’s a dark day for the United Nations, as real people and organizations no longer represent its halls of dialogue, consideration, and participation.

While the Yemen conflict is taking dreadful toll on civilians, the Human Rights Council refuses to open an international investigation into Saudi violations and abuses. Instead, the Council has adopted a silly resolution tabled by Saudi Arabia on behalf of Arab states involved in the conflict.

According to Amnesty International, “This resolution reflects a shocking failure by the Human Rights Council to meet its obligation to ensure justice and accountability, and sends a message that the international community is not serious about ending the suffering of civilians in Yemen.”

What’s more shocking is that the resolution was drafted by Saudi Arabia, which is leading the ongoing airstrikes against civilians and has itself committed serious violations of international law – with huge and well-documented evidence pointing to war crimes.

The UN should ask why the resolution makes no mention of the Saudi-led coalition; why it fails to mention expressly their military aggression; and why it doesn’t request the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to assist an independent commission of inquiry into such atrocities?

No doubt the resolution will never establish an impartial mechanism to investigate their atrocities; the House of Saud will never launch credible investigations into their own atrocities committed in the conflict; they will never hold themselves accountable, or provide adequate reparation to victims and their families, or ensure their forces comply with human rights standards. The only way to ensure the truth is through an effective and independent international investigation. Any doubters should ask the people of Gaza.

Just like what Israel has been doing to the besieged city of Gaza and its people under a similar UN mandate, an atmosphere of impunity will prevail in which Saudi violations and abuses will go unchecked in Yemen. This is while replacing impunity with accountability is crucial to preventing such crimes from becoming more widespread and entrenched.

As it stands, thousands of innocent civilians have been killed in the ongoing war of aggression and deceit; several international groups have documented Saudi abuses that amount to war crimes; and the vast majority of civilian casualties have been caused by Saudi Arabia, which is backed by the United States and its allies.

Moreover, the Saudi-led forces have used banned cluster munitions, which are indiscriminate by nature, and have been found to be produced in the United States. This is while, across Yemen, a desperate humanitarian crisis is also escalating, and 1.5 million people have been displaced from their homes.

Now what the UN needs is to have some teeth to put ethics to work. For war crimes of the kind we have seen in recent years – the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza, and the international crimes being committed in Syria and Yemen – the UN needs only to make the International Criminal Court work.

There is a lot of difference between having powers and utilizing them as a globally representative system. Simply put, the UN has become a puppet under the control of Washington and its allies, refusing to “promote and protect” human rights at the international and regional levels. This is absurd. If the UN is there to benefit only the few, it is not a valid entity. The UN must change quickly to serve the best interests of all.

Failing Yemen: UN Refuses to Put Ethics to Work



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