Impotent Leadership At The United Nations: Latest Brazen Cover-up To The List Of Fraudulent Practices
25 June 2015
By Tariq A. Al-Maeena
The United Nations, an organization of governments created in 1945 following
World War II, was meant to foster international cooperation between members
and prevent cycles of violence and bloodshed. Its leader is the secretary
general of the organization. Currently the post is held by a Korean national,
Ban Ki-moon, who assumed the post in 2007.
Unlike his predecessors, Ban Ki-moon has displayed a propensity to disavow
and brush off charges of savage and brutal attacks, and particularly those
directed at children as was demonstrated in the Israeli assault on Gaza in
the summer of 2014.
In his latest act of cowardice, Ban Ki-moon has removed the Israeli military
from the official list of violators of children's rights, a list the UN puts
out every year and which carries certain sanctions for erring states. Israeli
war crimes were public knowledge to viewers of media coverage of the carnage
that was carried out against Palestinian residents in Gaza last summer. Live
TV reports showed the calculated targeting of Palestinian women and children
during the assault, an act that drew worldwide condemnation from people with
moral conscience. At least 557 children were among the reported victims of
the Israeli intrusion into Palestinian territories.
So why has the UN's chief administrative officer decided to shield these war
crimes? Is he condoning the murder of those 557 souls who were victims of
Israeli brutality? In doing so, he specifically overruled a recommendation by
his own appointed special representative for children and armed conflicts, as
well as recommendations from several leading international human rights
organizations who were aghast at Israel's targeted brutality.
Reacting to such a diabolical move by the UN chief, Brad Parker, attorney and
international advocacy officer at Defense for Children
International-Palestine (DCI-Palestine) was not amused. Speaking to The
Electronic Intifada, an independent online news publication and educational
resource focusing on Palestine, Parker said: "The revelation that Israel's
armed forces were removed from the annex of the annual report by Ban Ki-moon
is deplorable. The annual report and its annex, or children's ‘list of
shame,' has been a strong evidence-based accountability tool proven to help
increase protection for children in armed conflict situations. There is ample
evidence of persistent grave violations committed by Israeli forces since at
least 2006 that should have triggered listing."
Deeply concerned, Parker added: "The secretary-general's decision to place
politics above justice and accountability for Palestinian children has
provided Israeli forces with tacit approval to continue committing grave
violations against children with impunity."
Human Rights Watch an international non-governmental organization that
"conducts research and advocacy on human rights" had earlier called on Ban to
"list all countries and armed groups that have repeatedly committed these
violations, and resist reported pressure from Israel and the United States to
remove Israel from the draft list." The NGO highlighted as part of Israel's
record the "unlawful killing of children" in the occupied West Bank,
including the names of children shot dead by Israeli snipers on 15 May 2014.
In April, a board of inquiry set up by Ban himself concluded after exhaustive
research that Israel had indeed killed and injured hundreds of Palestinians
in seven attacks on United Nations-run schools in the Gaza Strip last summer.
What was so cold-hearted about that was that the targeting appeared to be
But Ban Ki-moon has indeed failed to live up to the expectations of
neutrality. He succumbed to Israeli and US pressure to get Israel off the
hook again and he did so compliantly. The Electronic Intifada reports that at
the height of last summer's Israeli attack on Gaza, 129 organizations and
distinguished individuals wrote to the secretary-general, condemning him for
"your biased statements, your failure to act, and the inappropriate
justification of Israel's violations of international humanitarian law, which
amount to war crimes." They charged that his sustained bias against Israeli
censure made him a "partner" in Israel's crimes.
This latest brazen cover-up will just add to the list of fraudulent practices
by an impotent UN leadership.
Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.