Jul 08,2018 – JORDAN TIMES EDITORIAL
The UN General Assembly (UNGA) ended on Thursday another round of debate on how to extend protection to civilians caught in an armed conflict, whether international or domestic, and how to prevent and combat acts of genocide; however, member states could not reach a consensus on these pressing issues.
The UN has been at it for nearly a decade, trying to arrive at a consensus on these agenda items, but without a success. It is simply unconscionable that the international community cannot even agree on these issues at a time when armed conflicts all over the world are wreaking havoc on innocent lives and noncombatants are left with no real protection from warring parties.
No wonder the number of refugees and displaced persons is on the rise at an alarming rate in many parts of the world. The UNGA was not expected to work in a vacuum, as the existing Geneva humanitarian conventions and their additional protocols have already adopted the necessary legal framework for these very issues, and all that the UN member states are called upon to do is to adopt a follow up machinery for the already existing international norms.
Yet, alas, the UNGA failed once again to make its voice heard on these humanitarian issues, thus leaving innocent civilians at the mercy of state war machines or the militias of non-state parties. What adds insult to injury is the fact that most of the opposition to the articulation of follow-up guidelines to protect people from wars came from developing countries at a time when many of them are reeling from domestic armed conflicts or bloody civil wars that left millions of their people without protection and security.
In our own backyard, we have seen what a mini-war in the south of Syria could do to hundreds of thousands of Syrian people.
Left without binding, specific guidelines, the warring parties in Syria and their supporters are simply wreaking havoc on innocent lives and rendering millions of innocent people either internally displaced or refugees in neighbouring countries.
Yet, the UNGA failed to express itself on issues that should have commanded the support of humanity at large!