As U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon prepares to hand the baton to his successor, Portugal’s Antonio Guterres, on New Year’s Day, he is lamenting “unfinished business” in a key U.N. doctrine meant to stop genocidal acts.
Ban has described Syria as a “gaping hole in the global conscience.” The U.N. fears that South Sudan is on the brink of genocide and that “fires are still burning” in Yemen, Mali and the Central African Republic.
“The reason, clearly — lack of solidarity, global solidarity,” Ban told reporters at his final news conference. “Unfortunately, [U.N.] member states have shown some stepping back from their firm agreement on Responsibility to Protect.”
has been used to begin that engagement; it has not been a useful frame for how we conclude or continue to sustain those kind of engagements.”
Some worry that has led global powers to focus more on the terrorism threats to them in such engagements, rather than protecting civilians from genocide.
At an emotional Security Council session, a Yazidi woman who had been held by ISIS as a sex slave appealed to the world body to stay focused on the plight of religious minorities and start documenting and preserving evidence of war crimes.
“I don’t understand how there is no court that can prosecute the perpetrators of the crimes against Yazidis or an independent body to investigate them,” Nadia Murad told the council. “I don’t understand why the corpses of my murdered mother and brothers still lie in mass graves, unprotected and unexamined.”
President-elect Donald Trump has said little about how his administration will respond to atrocities being carried out in conflicts around the globe. He has, though, made clear that in Syria he would combat ISIS by working with Russia, which has backed the Assad regime — itself accused of committing war crimes.”/private]
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