Amnesty: The UN Security Council is pathetic

Amnesty: The UN Security Council is pathetic
World leaders and the UN Security Council does shamefully little to protect people from abuse, Amnesty International says, and states that last year was a disaster in this respect.

The growth of armed groups like the Islamic state (IS), Boko Haram and Al Shabaab is particularly worrisome, says Amnesty in its latest annual report.

The report, which is over 400 pages and documents human rights violations in 160 countries worldwide, was presented on Wednesday.

Amnesty slams the UN Security Council, which according to Secretary General Salil Shetty, is "pathetic" when it matters the most.

- The UN was established 70 years ago to ensure that we would never again witness atrocities like those we saw during World War II. Instead we now see a sharp increase in the use of violence and a huge refugee crisis caused by this violence. And we have failed to find good solutions to what is today's most urgent needs, he says.

Amnesty cites Syria, Iraq, Gaza and Ukraine as examples where the Security Council has failed in its handling of crises and conflicts and believes that it is high time that the five permanent member states waive their veto in situations of genocide and extensive abuse against the civilian population.

- This may constitute a drastic difference for the international community and its ability to protect civilian lives, says Shetty.

Amnesty also has a clear message to arms exporters like US, China, Canada, India and Russia and asking them follow the UN arms trade treaty that regulates trade with conventional weapons.

- Large quantities of weapons were delivered to Iraq, Sudan and Syria in 2014, despite the very high probability that these weapons would be used against the civilian populations caught in conflicts, states Anna Neistat, head of Amnesty International's investigation work.

A tragic consequence of the international community's helplessness, is one of the worst refugee crises the world has seen, says Amnesty, and points out that four million people have fled from Syria alone.

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