Ever since the end of the Second World War, and the discovery of the Nazi concentration camps, decent people throughout the world have been searching for ways to ensure that the phrase ''Never Again'' becomes more than just a pious sentiment. Such a morally and politically revolutionary project - for what could be more radical than trying to reverse a centuries-old global consensus that within their own borders states can do pretty much as they please? - was never going to be easy, and to put it charitably, the record is mixed.
During one of the most difficult recent days in the Syrian city of Homs, when the government assault on the opposition was especially intense, a person in the beleaguered city was quoted by a newspaper asking for someone, anyone, to help. "Where is the United Nations?" he asked. That voice - and many similar voices - is the concern of Navi Pillay, the United Nation's high commissioner for human rights.
Beijing: China warned other powers on Sunday not to use humanitarian aid for Syria to "interfere" in the strife-torn Middle Eastern country, while urging unity in the U.N. Security Council after a split with Western powers over the crisis. The Chinese Foreign Ministry laid out its stance on Syria as the Security Council contemplates a new resolution, after two previous ones were stymied by Chinese and Russian vetoes.
United Nations: The United States has drafted an outline for a new U.N. Security Council resolution demanding access for humanitarian aid workers in besieged Syrian towns and an end to the violence there, Western envoys said on Tuesday.
The adoption of UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973 and the ensuing military intervention in Libya have been widely hailed as events of historic importance. And rightly so. Although the UN Security Council had authorized the use of coercive measures to protect civilians before, it is the first time that the Council authorized the use of force for the purpose of human protection against the will of the acting government of a functioning state. Moreover, the broad language of the resolution left room for prolonged military action that resulted in the toppling of the Libyan regime.
New York: Citing the example of Libya and Syria, India has expressed concern that the UN principle of "responsibility to protect" is being selectively used to promote national interests and bring about regime change in the conflict countries instead of saving civilians. India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said that over the last year, responsibility to protect or 'R2P' has again been invoked selectively.
The Security Council’s recent failure to condemn Bashar al-Assad's brutal crackdown in Syria after months of attacks against unarmed civilians would suggest the case is hopeless. Russia and China vetoed a resolution proposing a process for a negotiated transition to democracy despite full backing from the usually anti-interventionist Arab League.
Cairo: The Arab League chief said on Monday there were signs that China and Russia could be shifting their stance on Syria after the two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council vetoed a Western-backed Arab peace plan aimed at ending violence there. "There are indications coming from China and to some extent from Russia that there may be a change in position," League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby told a news conference in Cairo.
Bellville: All this relates directly to the important topic we have been asked to address "Reflections on Peacemaking, State Sovereignty and Democratic Governance in Africa.” Recent events on our Continent, and specifically what happened in Côte d‟Ivoire and Libya last year, have given particular and immediate relevance to this topic.