Cuando el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU discutió los ataques “deliberados” contra hospitales en Siria y Yemen, el secretario general Ban Ki-moon criticó a varios de los países combatientes al señalar que “incluso un matadero es más humano” que las matanzas indiscriminadas de civiles en los dos conflictos en curso.
UNITED NATIONS, Oct 7 2016 (IPS) – When the UN Security Council last week discussed the “deliberate” attacks on medical facilities in war-ravaged Syria and Yemen, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon implicitly criticized some of the warring nations lamenting that “even a slaughterhouse is more humane” than the ongoing indiscriminate killings of civilians in the two devastating conflicts.
The attacks on hospitals, he warned, were “war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law”.
But Joanne Liu, International President of Medicins sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), singled out “four of the five permanent members of the Security Council” for the continued atrocities and lambasted them for their role in the attacks against medical facilities.
“The conduct of war today knows no limits,” she regretted, pointing out that the failure of the Security Council “reflects a lack of political will among member states fighting in coalitions and those who enable them.”
The unidentified four “enablers” – the United States, Britain, France and Russia – are either directly or indirectly involved in the ongoing military conflicts either as participants or as key arms suppliers.
A recently-released 264-page book titled “Perilous Interventions” also takes a highly critical look at the Security Council whose military interventions have led, in some cases, to “chaos, destruction and destabilization” –specifically in the volatile Middle East—and helped create the Islamic State (IS), “arguably the most formidable extremist organization in history.”
Authored by Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, the former Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, the book lists all the mistakes made in the case of Libya and Syria, along with what happened in Yemen and Ukraine.
“This disastrous history,” Puri said in an interview with IPS “will repeat itself unless we learn from past mistakes and make the required corrections.”
Asked whether the Security Council has outlived its usefulness, judging by the unmitigated failures of Western-led military interventions— either directly or indirectly — in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and Yemen, Puri said: “The use of force, in the interventions you have cited, was authorised by the Security Council only in the case of Libya (Resolution 1973).”
In the case of Afghanistan, he said, the “coalition of the willing did not even bother to approach the Council.”
In the case of Iraq, a sceptical Council refused to be persuaded, said Puri, who twice presided over Security Council meetings during 2011-2102.
Ukraine and Yemen, he noted, were “unilateral action with a helpless and ineffective Council being either manipulated or ignored.”
“The problem is, if you didn’t have the Council, you would have unilateral action only. The answer, therefore, is not to disband the Council but seek improvement in its functioning,” said Puri.
Asked if the proposed reform of the Security Council – still grounded after more than 10 years of negotiations – will help change the political landscape, Puri said an expanded Council will not suffice.
After all, the new members in an expanded Council will, in all likelihood, not have a veto.
Those who have the urge to use force should introspect about the consequences of their actions. Also, the veto should not be used in situations that potentially involve mass atrocities, he added.
“Security Council expansion and reform, by the way is not a lost cause. All it requires is for a group of countries to submit a framework resolution. Serious negotiations will follow,” he argued.
At a press briefing last September, Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, was asked about his country’s stance on Council reform.
He told reporters he did not see, in the near future, any historic compromise being reached on the issue of admitting new permanent members.
“The Russian Federation did not support the French proposal on limiting veto use, as it was not a “workable scheme”; mass atrocity situations would be determined by the 15 Council members or the Secretary-General.”
“This is a political world,” and allowing the General Assembly to weigh in would only infringe on the Council’s purview, he warned.
But Puri told IPS that a veto restraint agreement is the need of the hour.
“I am confident that if it is packaged in terms of a voluntary restraint agreement, along the lines of the French proposal, no amendment let alone a Charter amendment would be required.”
Asked about Security Council decisions being dictated to by big power national interests, Puri told IPS the five permanent members ever so often place their own narrow national interest above considerations of peace and security.
“Some of them do so more blatantly than others. The Council is an intensely political institution”.
Asked about Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s recent complaint that decisions by “consensus” lead to one or two member states exercising undue power over UN decision making, Puri said: “This SG’s time is over. Let us hope the incoming SG will assert leadership and prove it to ensure democratic functioning in the UN.”
“If consensus is interpreted in terms of unanimity, that will become the basis for the doctrine of inaction. In that case, we can kiss goodbye to the UN itself,” he declared.
New York – “Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos” (Harper Colins, 2016), a book providing a sharp analysis of the recent history of the UN and non-UN military interventions, by Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, was recently released at an Asia Society event in New York titled “The UN Security Council and Military Interventions.”
An insider’s take on the ineffectiveness of the United Nations Security Council
The United Nations was never intended to be a world government. In a world radically altered by the worst slaughter humanity had yet perpetrated, it was founded mainly as a forum to ensure that the then dominant hatred would not end with the obliteration of most of humanity.
How the crisis in Libya broke the fragile consensus among the permanent members of the UNSC
This slim, highly substantive, handsomely-produced book draws on the experience of Hardeep Singh Puri as India’s representative at the UN Security Council (UNSC) in 2011-2012. It details the unravelling of mutual accommodation among the five permanent members of the Council (P5: France, Russia, China, the UK and the USA), each with veto power, on issues of forcible intervention in the Middle East, in the wake of regime change in Libya in 2011. With a bird’s eye view on this significant geo-strategic train-wreck, and a role in the action, albeit, a frustrating one, as the little-heeded representative of a major emerging power, Puri pulls the reader into the plot from the very outset of this fast-moving drama.
Terror organisations like the Islamic State (IS) and the Al Qaeda could rise only because governments of different countries funded them at one point of time or the other in their early days, HardeepSingh Puri, veteran diplomat and former Indian Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a panel discussion on the launch of his book “Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos” (HarperCollins) by Vice President Hamid Ansari here, Puri said that governments did not foresee how the IS and the Al Qaeda would become “hydra-headed” monsters when funding them while intervening in troubled spots in the world.
New Delhi, Sep 7 : Terror organisations like the Islamic State (IS) and the Al Qaeda could rise only because governments of different countries funded them at one point of time or the other in their early days, Hardeep Singh Puri, veteran diplomat and former Indian Permanent Representative to the UN, said on Wednesday.
The need to reform the United Nations and especially the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), where the veto power of the five permanent members holds the key to crucial global decisions, is imperative. This is an opinion that has been expressed on numerous occasions in recent times and Hardeep Singh Puri’s book is another important voice in this direction.
The book makes a powerful case of why reform of the UNSC is so crucial and to illustrate this argument, Puri uses the examples of Syria, Libya and Yemen, among others. Closer home, the author Continue reading
Humphrey Hawksley lauds a call for reform of the UN Security Council, by a participant who remains unaware of how it reaches its decisions
As a young diplomat in the 1980s, Hardeep Singh Puri cut his teeth on India’s ill-fated intervention in Sri Lanka, and rose to become his country’s ambassador to the United Nations when India was a rotating member of the Security Council.
Book: Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos; Author: Hardeep Singh Puri; Publisher: HarperCollins; Pages: 263; Price: Rs 599
As modern civilisation continues to reel under a battery of murderous attacks from Islamic extremists, many of who now claim to owe allegiance to the contemporary quasi-state terror entity called the Islamic State (IS), the world looks increasingly vulnerable to ordinary citizens, who wonder at the impunity with which militarised attackers are able to operate freely and spread mayhem, Continue reading