United Nations U.N.
I Love the U.N., but It Is Failing
By ANTHONY BANBURY
NYT MARCH 18, 2016
U.N. / UN
of-UN-peacekeeping-missions.html - 8:00PM BST 28 Sep 2015
Updated July 16, 2005 8:33 AM ET Published July 16, 200512:00
A world of problems: the United Nations at 70
A History of the United Nations in Pictures
at the United Nations / at the U.N.
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations General Assembly
an address to the U.N. General Assembly
at the United Nations General Assembly
of the United States to the United Nations
UN safe haven / area
Updated July 16, 2005 8:33 AM ET Published July 16, 200512:00
24 September 2003
L: UN secretary general
Kofi Annan (
George W. Bush
as King Kong.
43rd president of the United States > George W. Bush
United Nations Security Council
approve a resolution calling for N
United Nations Security Council > resolution > sanctions
nonmember observer state of the United Nations
United Nations war crimes tribunal
in The Hague, The
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
(be) guilty of genocide,
war crimes and crimes against humanity
UN tribunal indictment against Karadzic and Mladic
U.N.'s Independent Commission of Inquiry on Syria
draft UN resolution
draft UN resolution UK
United Nations General Assembly
Resolution 181 November 29, 1947
The United Nations General Assembly decided in 1947
on the partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states,
with Jerusalem to be an internationalised city.
Jewish representatives in Palestine
accepted the plan tactically
because it implied international recognition
for their aims.
Some Jewish leaders,
such as David Ben Gurion,
the first Israeli prime minister,
opposed the plan
because their ambition was a Jewish state
on the entire
territory of Mandate Palestine.
The Palestinians and Arabs
felt that it was a deep injustice
to ignore the rights of the majority
population of Palestine.
The Arab League and Palestinian institutions
rejected the partition plan,
and formed volunteer armies that infiltrated
into Palestine beginning in
December of 1947.
pass a resolution endorsing...
adopt a resolution
approve a resolution condemning...
blocked by N
very clear conditions that
must be met
Full text: UN security council resolution 1441 on Iraq
comply with a new U.N. Security
defiance of UN resolutions
lay out a plan
permanent cease-fire and political settlement
Society of Nations
Unshackle the United Nations
FEB. 24, 2015
The New York Times
The Opinion Pages
By SALIL SHETTY
LONDON — Glance at any newsstand or catch any rolling news
channel, and you will be confronted by a seemingly unrelenting tide of horror.
Limp bodies pulled from rubble, shells and barrel bombs pounding once leafy
neighborhoods. Refugees huddled for warmth or risking life and limb for
survival. Mass abductions and beheadings.
From Ukraine to Nigeria, from Libya to Syria, the last 12 months have been a
year of harrowing bloodshed. Millions of civilians have been caught up in
conflict, with violence by states and armed groups inflicting untold death,
injury and suffering. For the first time, Amnesty International has tallied the
number of countries where war crimes have been committed: a shocking 18 in 2014.
Among the worst were Syria, the Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan,
Nigeria and Israel and the Palestinian territories.
As a result of the growth of groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram,
abuses by armed groups spilled over national borders, reaching at least 35
Faced with the enormity and the relentlessness of this horror it is easy to feel
hopeless. But we are not powerless. Our governments and institutions may lack
the will but they have the capacity, both individually and collectively, to help
protect civilians in danger. It is a duty that they are abjectly failing to
In our annual report being released Wednesday, we examine the human rights
situation in 160 countries. We find that the global response to conflict and
abuses has been shameful and ineffective.
Weapons have been allowed to flood into countries where they are used for grave
abuses by states and armed groups with huge arms shipments delivered to Iraq,
Israel, Russia, South Sudan and Syria last year alone. As the Islamic State took
control of large parts of Iraq, it found large arsenals, ripe for the picking.
An historic Arms Trade Treaty came into force last year, providing a legal
framework for limiting the international transfer of weapons and ammunition. But
many nations have yet to ratify the treaty. There is also an urgent need for
restrictions to tackle the use of explosive weapons — including aircraft bombs,
mortars, artillery, rockets and ballistic missiles — that have devastated
The United Nations, established 70 years ago to ensure that we would never again
see the horrors witnessed in the Second World War, has repeatedly failed to act,
even where it could prevent terrible crimes from being committed against
civilians. The use of veto powers has enabled the narrow vested interests of the
Security Council’s five permanent members — Britain, China, France, Russia and
the United States — to take precedence over the needs of victims of serious
human rights violations and abuses. This has left the United Nations hamstrung
and increasingly discredited at this critical time.
Last week, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon wrote to the Security Council, calling
for an end to the “business-as-usual” approach to Syria and urgent action to
lift sieges on civilians and to end barrel bomb attacks. This appeal followed
four vetoes by Russia and China that blocked Security Council action on Syria
that could have helped save civilian lives. Likewise, the United Nations’
failure to pass a single resolution during the 50-day conflict in Gaza last year
was largely due to the threat of a veto by the United States. Each such failure
diminishes what little trust is left in the Security Council to take decisive
action to protect civilians.
The failures of our governments and institutions are dismaying, but they should
spur us to action. We call on our governments to take some fundamental steps.
In situations where mass atrocities are being committed — or about to be
committed — the five veto-wielding states should commit to not use their veto.
In doing so, they will unshackle the Security Council, enabling it to protect
the lives of civilians in advance, during or in the wake of grave crimes. Such a
commitment would also send a clear signal to perpetrators of abuse that the
world will not sit idly by while mass atrocities — war crimes, crimes against
humanity, genocide — take place.
Some may argue that it is wildly unrealistic to expect the five permanent
members to place the suffering of civilians in distant lands above their
geopolitical interests. But this thinking is both morally and logically flawed.
The nature of global conflict is changing. The definition of any country’s
national interest should no longer be viewed through a blinkered nationalistic
Conflicts no longer respect national borders. Armed groups and their ideologies
do not confine themselves to their country of origin. Impunity emboldens human
rights abusers and weapons empower them. Meanwhile the human tide of refugees
creeps ever higher. In 2014, more than 3,000 people drowned in the Mediterranean
trying to reach Europe from Africa and the Middle East.
The myopic response of our leaders has been not only ineffective but
counterproductive. Governments around the world have resorted to knee-jerk,
draconian “anti-terror” tactics that have only served to undermine our
fundamental human rights and helped to create conditions of repression in which
extremism thrive. Last year, 131 countries tortured or otherwise ill-treated
people, and prisoners of conscience were jailed in 62 countries. Three quarters
of governments investigated by Amnesty International had arbitrarily restricted
freedom of expression, cracking down on press freedom, arresting journalists or
shutting down newspapers. These figures are a disturbing increase from previous
Government leaders have attempted to justify human rights violations by talking
of the need to keep the world “safe.” But the truth is, there can be no genuine
security without human rights.
The challenges facing us are substantial and tackling them will not be easy.
Abuses by states are difficult to confront and the ruthlessness of armed groups
like the Islamic State and the threat they pose cannot be underestimated.
It will take commitment, vision and global cooperation. People of conscience
must recognize that we are not powerless, and our governments must stop
pretending that the protection of civilians is beyond their power.
Salil Shetty is the secretary general of Amnesty International.
A version of this op-ed appears in print on February 25, 2015, in The
International New York Times.
Unshackle the United Nations, NYT,
FEB. 24, 2015,
Resolution for Palestinian State
Fails in United Nations Security Council
DEC. 30, 2014
The New York Times
By MICHAEL R. GORDON
and SOMINI SENGUPTA
A United Nations Security Council draft resolution that set a
deadline to establish a sovereign Palestinian state was defeated Tuesday night
after it failed to receive the nine votes that are needed for adoption in the
The United States and Australia voted against the measure. France, China and
Russia were among the eight countries that voted for it. Britain and four other
The draft resolution, which was introduced by Jordan on behalf of the
Palestinians, set a one-year deadline for negotiations with Israel; established
targets for Palestinian sovereignty, including a capital in East Jerusalem; and
called for the “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces” from the West Bank
by the end of 2017.
The defeat could potentially lead Palestinian officials to seek recognition in
other ways — including by joining the International Criminal Court.
Samantha Power, the American ambassador to the United Nations, said that the
resolution was “deeply imbalanced,” setting deadlines that did not adequately
take account of Israel’s security needs. “Today’s staged confrontation in the
U.N. Security Council will not bring the parties closer to achieving a two-state
solution,” she said. “This resolution sets the stage for more division, not for
Yet Ms. Power also cautioned Israel against interpreting the vote as “a victory
for an unsustainable status quo” and said continued “settlement activity” would
also undermine the chances for peace.
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said in a statement on Tuesday
night, “We presented a resolution that is fully in line with international law,
and which recalls several previously approved resolutions by the United
“Although the majority of the Security Council voted in favor of the
resolution,” he said, “once again, certain countries continue to ensure impunity
to the Israeli occupation and its severe international law violations by not
voting in favor of the resolution.”
At first, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to defer a vote on the
resolution, which the United States and some of its European allies feared would
inflame tensions before the Israeli elections that are scheduled for March and
strengthen the position of Israeli hard-liners.
But American officials said it has been clear since Mr. Kerry’s mid-December
trip to Europe that the Palestinians would insist on a vote. During that visit,
Mr. Kerry met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Mr. Erekat and
ranking European and Russian diplomats.
So Mr. Kerry worked to line up enough abstentions from American allies like
South Korea and Rwanda so that the United States would not have to wield its
veto. Jeff Rathke, a State Department spokesman, said Tuesday that Mr. Kerry had
called more than a dozen senior foreign officials over the previous few days,
including a call Tuesday afternoon to Goodluck Jonathan, the president of
Nigeria, which abstained.
Calculating that they were making headway, American officials were eager for the
vote to occur this month instead of being deferred until January when the
composition of the Security Council will change.
By avoiding a veto, the United States also avoided a fresh irritant in its
relations with Arab nations, some of which have joined the United States in the
campaign in Iraq and Syria against militants from the Islamic State.
European nations, which have been generally sympathetic to the Palestinian
cause, were split. Britain and Lithuania abstained, but France and Luxembourg
voted in favor of the measure.
François Delattre, France’s ambassador to the United Nations, acknowledged that
his government had reservations about some elements of the resolution but said
France decided to support it because of “an urgent need to act.”
Jordan, which represents Arab countries on the Council, had earlier pushed for
compromise language that could win full support, but Arab diplomats ultimately
backed the Palestinian bid to put it for a vote by the end of the year.
“The fact that this draft resolution was not adopted will not at all prevent us
from proceeding to push the international community, specifically the United
Nations, toward an effective involvement to achieving a resolution to this
conflict,” Dina Kawar, Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations, said after the
The decision by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, to
press for a vote also reflects intense domestic political pressure on him to
regain credibility among an increasingly critical public.
In a December poll, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found
that four out of five Palestinians supported joining more international
organizations, while three-fourths of them backed joining the International
American diplomats have repeatedly warned the Palestinians that joining the
International Criminal Court would lead to congressional sanctions.
Nonetheless, the Palestinian leadership has threatened for months to ratify the
treaty that created the International Criminal Court, which would make Israel
vulnerable to prosecution for crimes against humanity, particularly for its
The Palestinian leadership is to meet Wednesday in Ramallah and announce the
Jodi Rudoren contributed reporting from Jerusalem.
A version of this article appears in print on December 31, 2014, on page A10 of
the New York edition with the headline: Draft Resolution Setting Deadline for
Palestinian State Fails in Security Council.
Resolution for Palestinian State Fails in
United Nations Security Council,
Bosnian Serb Under Arrest
in War Crimes
July 22, 2008
The New York Times
By DAN BILEFSKY
and MARLISE SIMONS
PARIS — Radovan Karadzic, one of the world’s most wanted war
criminals for his part in the massacre of nearly 8,000 Muslim men and boys in
Srebrenica in 1995, was arrested Monday in a raid in Serbia that ended a 13-year
Serge Brammertz, the prosecutor of the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The
Hague, hailed the arrest as an important step in bringing to justice one of the
architects of Europe’s worst massacre since World War II. He said Mr. Karadzic,
63, the Bosnian Serb president during the war there between 1992 and 1995, would
be transferred to The Hague in “due course.”
“This is a very important day for the victims who have waited for this arrest
for over a decade,” Mr. Brammertz said. “It is also an important day for
international justice because it clearly demonstrates that nobody is beyond the
reach of the law and that sooner or later all fugitives will be brought to
Mr. Karadzic’s exact place of arrest was not announced, but Serbian government
officials said he was arrested by the Serbian secret police not far from
Belgrade, the capital. Officials from President Boris Tadic’s office said Mr.
Karadzic had appeared before an investigative judge at Serbia’s war crimes
court, a prerequisite for his extradition to The Hague.
Mr. Karadzic, a nationalist hero among Serbian radicals and one of the
tribunal’s most wanted criminals for more than a decade, is said to have eluded
arrest so long by shaving his swoopy gray hair and disguising himself as a
Serbian Orthodox priest.
He reportedly hid out in caves in the mountains of eastern Bosnia and in
monasteries. Before his political career, he was a medical doctor who worked as
a psychiatrist in Sarajevo, Bosnia’s capital.
Prosecutors in The Hague and officials of the European Union have long suspected
that he was, in fact, hiding in Serbia, and in recent years have pressed
officials in Belgrade to hand him over. The failure to arrest Mr. Karadzic and
Ratko Mladic, the still fugitive Bosnian Serb general also indicted on war
crimes, has stood as a block to greater Serbian ties to the European Union after
the wars in Bosnia and later Kosovo.
“This is a historic event,” said Richard Holbrooke, who brokered the agreements
in Dayton, Ohio, to end the war in Bosnia in 1995. “Of the three most evil men
of the Balkans, Milosevic, Karadzic and Mladic, I thought Karadzic was the
worst. The reason was that Karadzic was a real racist believer. Karadzic really
enjoyed ordering the killing of Muslims, whereas Milosevic was an opportunist.”
Slobodan Milosevic, the former president of Serbia allied with Mr. Karadzic and
Mr. Mladic, was arrested in 2001 and put on trial for war crimes in 2002. He
died there in 2006 before a verdict was reached.
Mr. Holbrooke said that despite Mr. Karadzic’s arrest, Serbia’s responsibility
was not over. “They have to capture Mladic,” he said.
On Monday night after the arrest, armed police officers were deployed near the
war crimes court in Belgrade, where about 50 nationalist supporters of Mr.
Karadzic gathered, waving Serbian flags and chanting, “Save Serbia, and kill
yourself Mr. Tadic.” Several protesters were arrested after attacking
journalists. Mr. Karadzic’s brother, Luka, was also seen arriving at the
Serbian officials said the police were also dispatched to protect the United
States Embassy, which was set ablaze in February by a mob protesting Kosovo’s
declaration of independence.
The arrest, more than a decade after Mr. Karadzic went into hiding, culminated a
long and protracted effort by the West to press Serbia to arrest Mr. Karadzic
for the massacres in the southeastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, in the most
heinous crime committed during the Balkan wars.
The arrest was just weeks after a new pro-Western coalition government in Serbia
was formed whose overriding goal is to bring Serbia into the European Union, the
world’s biggest trading bloc. The European Union has made delivering indicted
war criminals to The Hague a precondition for Serbia’s membership.
The arrest was hailed by Western diplomats as proof of Serbia’s determination to
link its future to the West and put the virulent nationalism of the past behind
it. The capture under the stewardship of the new government has particular
resonance because the government is made up of an unlikely alliance between the
Democrats of Mr. Tadic and the Socialist Party of Mr. Milosevic, which fought a
war against the West in the 1990s, but has now vowed to bring Serbia back into
the Western fold.
In a sign that the move would accelerate Serbia’s path to the European Union,
the bloc’s official in charge of expansion, Olli Rehn, said Monday that Mr.
Karadzic’s arrest was a “milestone” that would help clear the way for the poor
Balkan nation to join.
“It proves the determination of the new government to achieve full cooperation
with the tribunal,” he said. He said he and European Union foreign ministers
would meet with Serbia’s foreign minister, Vuk Jeremic, in Brussels on Tuesday
to discuss accelerated ties with Serbia.
The White House said the arrest was “an important demonstration of the Serbian
government’s determination to honor its commitment to cooperate with the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.” It said, “There is
no better tribute to the victims of the war’s atrocities than bringing their
perpetrators to justice.”
The United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague indicted the former leader
on July 24, 1995, just days after thousands of unarmed Bosnian men were executed
in and around Srebrenica, a United Nations-protected enclave that was overrun by
the Bosnian Serb military and the police. Their forces were assisted closely by
Serbian troops sent by Belgrade.
The prosecution charged him with genocide, persecution, deportation and other
crimes committed against non-Serb civilians in Bosnia during the 1992-95 war.
He was indicted together with his chief military commander, Mr. Mladic, who is
also believed to be in Serbia.
Natasha Kandic, director of the Humanitarian Law Center in Belgrade, a leading
human rights advocate, said by telephone from her home moments after hearing the
news: “I’m still in shock. This is historic news. Nobody believed anymore this
would be possible. I was sure Karadzic was under the protection of the church.”
Ms. Kandic said she had been in touch with friends in Sarajevo, in Bosnia, who
were still incredulous after hearing arrest rumors for so many years. “They are
saying they cannot and dare not believe it,” she said. “Finally the victims can
Mr. Karadzic’s wife, Ljiljana, told The Associated Press by phone from her home
near Sarajevo that she had been alerted about the arrest by her daughter Sonja,
who called her before midnight. “As the phone rang, I knew something was wrong,”
she said. “I’m shocked. Confused. At least now, we know he is alive.”
Even though indicted by the United Nations tribunal, he was often seen for at
least another year in and around Pale, his stronghold in Bosnia; NATO troops
stationed in the area often had the chance to arrest him but claimed that they
had no arrest orders, despite the international warrant issued against him.
Later, when NATO began to look for him in earnest, he moved around the
mountainous regions of Bosnia and in neighboring Montenegro, where he was born.
Although the United States and others offered rewards for information leading to
his capture, Mr. Karadzic seemed protected by his status as a Serbian hero.
He is charged with genocide for the murder of close to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men
and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.
The indictment charges that Mr. Karadzic also committed genocide, persecutions
and other crimes when forces under his command killed non-Serbs during and after
attacks on towns throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, rounded up thousands of
non-Serbs and transferred them to camps set up by the Bosnian Serb authorities.
The charges state that forces under Mr. Karadzic’s command killed, tortured,
mistreated and sexually assaulted non-Serbs in these camps.
Further, he is charged with responsibility for the shelling and sniping of
civilians in Sarajevo, during the 43-month siege of the city, which led to the
killing and wounding of thousands, including many women and children.
Nicholas Kulish contributed reporting from Berlin.
Bosnian Serb Under Arrest in War Crimes,
Related > Anglonautes > Vocapedia
world > countries, foreign policy,
Arab Spring, Middle East, diplomacy,
politics > UK
politics > USA
politics > activism > UK / USA
genocide, war, weapons, espionage, torture, refugees