When a country’s citizens are murdered mercilessly by the government of the country, there has got to be a global humanitarian intervention. United Nations is not about non-intervention in the internal affairs of a member nation, irrespective of the situation in the country – there is no need for a “United” Nations in that case. When people are needlessly dying, we all have to worry about that and take action against the government of the particular country immediately, as the cost of waiting would turn out to be very high.
Such is exactly the status in Syria. The Syrian Government has no locus standi against the continuous murder of its citizens by its armed forces. It has not been receptive to international demands and the diplomatic intervention by Mr Kofi Annan. Why ?
The answer is rather simple. When two of the most powerful countries in the world, who are also members of the United Nations Security Council is on the side of the Syrian Government and its ruler, why bother with the rest of the United Nations ? Why bother about the U.S., the U.K., or France (the other three members of the UNSC) ?
So, the system of the United Nations again fails. The resolution that the UNSC seeks to pass is vetoed time and again by Russia and China. I would argue that these two countries do not deserve to be on the wrong side of humanity. By supporting a people murderer, where are these two countries headed ? In the comity of nations, their ranks will eventually fall, as not all countries are in support of Syria anyway and many countries including India have voted for the resolution. India is always a surprise when it comes to Middle East matters, but its focus has been changing in a rapidly moving geo-political setup.
Syria needs to be conditioned and the carnage has to be stopped immediately with no further loss of life. But who will intervene ? Not the United Nations, which now even lacks the mandate for action.
Again it is the coalition of the willing which has to take action. It is not a good thing as it falls outside the international rules and regulations. But do we have a choice when people of Syria are crying for justice ?
If a country wants to be a member of the United Nations, it should conform to certain conditions which are universally accepted. One such condition is that the country cannot choose to kill its citizens irrespective of its form of government. The other condition should be in the determination of the form of government itself – it cannot be a military dictatorship, the government has to be elected by popular vote, there has to be institutional guarantees to ensure civil liberties and equality, etc.,
But all that is a pipe dream. Things do not change that fast in this world, though I mentioned earlier that the geo-political equations are rapidly changing. Old regimes persist in their continuous existence regardless of the global changes happening all around.
So, there you go – another instance of the United Nations not being in a position to render its duties to this world and being held to ransom by the quirkiness of its own system of governance.
22nd July 2012