MANY have criticised the United Nations for practising double standards.
The withdrawal of a report on the apartheid practices of Israel from the website of a UN body — the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) — fortifies this belief.
The report found, on the basis of scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence, that Israel was imposing apartheid on the Palestinians. It is disappointing that such a well-researched report is buried without verifying the findings.
When the report was published, the United States and Israel caused an uproar. They reportedly “intimidated” UN into removing the report and allegedly attacked the authors, Virginia Tilley and Richard Falk, prominent experts in international law.
This manoeuvre is a strategic attempt by the parties to draw attention away from the report.
UN, regrettably, took administrative action to suppress the report. This led to the resignation of ESCWA executive secretary Rima Khalaf from her position, citing that her duty to the people of the region and UN is to not silence the testimony on a crime that causes so much suffering.
Israel is blatantly violating human rights and international law in imposing an apartheid regime. The action by UN has serious implications on its credibility and the future of global security.
UN needs to approach this matter with renewed multilateral engagement and articulated objectives to hold Israel accountable for its war crimes.
As long as UN does not take serious action, it would mean condoning their crimes and encouraging states to enjoy impunity for their crimes. UN’s inaction is detrimental to peace efforts in West Asia.
UN must staunchly defend the principles of human rights, embodied in its charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and hold culprits accountable for their actions.
Chairman, Citizens International