Saudi Arabia has successful blackmailed the UN to remove itself from a blacklist
Human rights groups around the world have condemned the decision by the U.N. to remove Saudi Arabia from a blacklist of countries which are accused of abusing children’s rights. This arises from their bombing activities in the Yemen conflict but also the general treatment of children in Saudi. In Yemen, 1,953 children were killed and it is estimated that 60% of these deaths are as a result of Saudi bombing. Britain is a major supplier of weapons to the regime and British service personnel are advising the Saudis.
The kingdom, who routinely violates their own citizens’ human rights on a daily basis, threw a fit when the UN published its report and threatened to withhold funding from the organisation.
Foreign Policy reported that:
senior Saudi diplomats told top U.N. officials Riyadh would use its influence to convince other Arab governments and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to sever ties with the United Nations.
On Monday, Ban Ki-moon said
The Saudi coalition would be removed from the list, pending a review. Saudi U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi insisted the removal was “irreversible and unconditional.”
Human rights groups, including Amnesty, have rightfully condemned and blasted the UN for their reversal:
It appears that political power and diplomatic clout have been allowed to trump the U.N.’s duty to expose those responsible for the killing and maiming of more than 1,000 of Yemen’s children,
Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, Oxfam’s country director in Yemen, said in a statement:
The decision to retract its finding is a moral failure and goes against everything the U.N. is meant to stand for.
Philippe Bolopion, Human Rights Watch deputy director for global advocacy, said that the office “has hit a new low by capitulating to Saudi Arabia’s brazen pressure” and “Yemen’s children deserve better.”
Amnesty International’s UN office claimed:
…if the U.N. doesn’t start standing up for human rights and its own principles then they will become part of the problem rather than the solution.
Saudi Arabia will not be the first country to browbeat the UN – at one time or another all countries have done it especially where embarrassing national interest is a stake. This does seem to have been an especially egregious example however as the Saudi state’s crimes against children, and others, is well documented. Combined with the bizarre election of the Saudi’s onto the Human Rights Council of the UN – supported shamefully by the UK Government – it begins to make a mockery of this international body.