twitter twitter  twitter twitter twitter twitter twitter twitter  twitter twitter 

The UN Can't Save Syrians When It's Complicit With the Assad Regime


UN agencies, in their obedience to Syrian government instructions, have suffered a critical loss of norms and neutrality. That's in stark contrast to the conduct of the International Committee of the Red Cross

It's often implied that the United Nations represents a gold standard of impartiality vital for brokering the access of aid and support to the most vulnerable in Syria. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
The UN is not an apolitical provider of aid, as it and its supporters claim. It should be no surprise, then, that the United Nations humanitarian adviser for Syria, Jan Egeland, is unable to end the carnage in the Syrian suburb of Eastern Ghouta, and that he is in no position to broker the access of aid workers to help the 400,000 desperate residents trapped there.

To expect that the UN can bring an end to the humanitarian disaster in Syria is an exercise in wishful thinking. The optimism and kudos pundits often afford the UN's humanitarian effort rests partly on the perception this organization enjoys as being a force for moral progress and angels of mercy in a world of hurt.
Much of this kudos rests on an a priori assumption that saying you are impartially and neutrally humanitarian means that you are just that. For example, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid endorsed UN General Assembly Resolution 46/182, which tasked it to oversee the distribution of humanitarian aid in accordance with the "principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality."
Unfortunately, and despite the UN’s official endorsement of these humanitarian principles, it is seen in Syria as part of the problem rather than the solution to the humanitarian plight of so many Syrians.
Consider for example how The Guardian’s incisive report detailed how the UN reneges upon its humanitarian commitments. The Guardian has reported that the UN favored cross-line aid deliveries (deliveries from and between Syrian government controlled territory) from government-held western Aleppo to rebel-held eastern Aleppo because this was the "preference of the government of Syria". Cross-border deliveries (between Turkey and non-Syrian government controlled territory) granted more efficient access to the Syrian beneficiaries.
What’s more, Syrian authorities – in other words, the Assad regime - asked the UN to deliver assistance to 41 locations outside the proposed plans – despite the fact that none of them was thought to be in greatest need or indeed, even under siege.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the other hand, is the only major organization today that walks their humanitarian talk.
It was the ICRC which established those fundamental humanitarian principles, and which zealously protects these principles against those who wish to see aid leveraged to promote political and other agendas. If the sides to a conflict perceive the ICRC to be impartial and non-partisan, so it argues, then it will be able to gain access to the vulnerable.
Naming and shaming one party at the expense of the other (as is often the case with UN agencies) can only hamper acceptance amongst the authorities, and sabotage access to the beneficiaries.
One example of this apolitical and operational approach to addressing the crisis in Eastern Ghouta is the discussion taking place between the ICRC, representatives from various Russian ministries, governmental agencies and MPs, as well as Russian foreign policy experts who specialize in Syria. The ICRC was represented by specialists in law, policy and protection. And in line with the tradition of discreet and quiet diplomacy, the discussion took the form of a closed-door roundtable, Chatham House Rule dialogue.
It is not an accident, nor is it an oversight that no other aid agency participated in these discussions. The ICRC guards its independence against being tainted by politically motivated organizations. 
The humanitarian aid industry is sorely lacking in regulatory oversight. To be sure, there are mechanisms in place to monitor the accountability of various aid organizations, such as the Sphere standards and others. However, these are within-industry monitoring systems with no real clout, or perhaps the will to hold the various aid agencies to account against their own normative and laudable proclamations to the impartial and neutral nature of their operations.
By being identified with fundamental humanitarian principles, the UN and other aid organizations enjoy the legitimizing halo of 'children of light'. Because they proclaim to be apolitical, their word is taken for granted. 
And without mechanisms of critical oversight, they are freer to promote agendas which deviate from their humanitarian mandate. For the UN to claim that it is humanitarian, it must walk the humanitarian talk. The wellbeing of the traumatized victims of this conflict depends on it.
Perhaps a lesson from the ICRC would be a good start.
Daniel Beaudoin is a consultant on humanitarian diplomacy and civil-military affairs, as well as a lecturer on humanitarian diplomacy and the politicization of aid operations at Tel Aviv University.

Daniel Beaudoin

read more:

The UN Can t Save Syrians When It s Complicit With the Assad Regime

Tags: #ICC4Israel, #NAKBA

Video Service

Video of the Week: Recent Israel History Miko Peled

Transcription made from The Miko's Speeches

This is a beautiful church so once again thank you to the pastor for allowing us to use this is really beautiful and thank you all for being here tonight and and for caring enough to take the time and listen and participate and be active I always begin my remarks with a disclaimer and that disclaimer is this if anybody here came hoping to hear a balanced presentation then they're going to be sorely disappointed I say this because a lot of things that you're about to hear tonight are difficult to hear and also because I don't believe that a balanced presentation on this topic is possible anybody that cares enough to speak about this probably has a very strong opinion one way or the other almost everybody has feelings and strong emotions on this issue one way or the other for me it's deeply personal and the issue itself is not a balanced issue there is no balance in this issue so therefore I say this because there cannot be a balanced presentation on this and I think if anybody claims that their presentation is balanced they're either misleading themselves or the misleading of their audience this whole issue of Israel and Palestine is covered in so much myth and there's so much there's so much double standard when people talk about this issue and I'll give you two examples

Don't know if you heard Bibi Netanyahu speech at the United Nations I heard it not live but after he actually delivered it and he began and he began it with probably the two most striking examples of myth and double standard and he began by talking about the right of return of the Jews to their ancient homeland and of course the Jews that returned so-called returned to their homeland were not exactly the the same Jews who were expelled from their homeland right because these were expelled a couple of thousand years before that these were not their descendants either because they this is business has been a very long time so these are people the people that actually came back so to speak are people that claim some kind of a heritage some kind of a connection a relationship to the ancient Hebrews and they claimed that they had the right to return to their homeland and this was this is what Zionism was about and this is expected this was you know accepted by the world as the right they had the right to return now if we talk about the right of return of one nation you'd expect that there would be if we accept it as a principle than

Read More>>>>>>>>

Boycott Israeli diamond

At UN Abbas Calls on World Leaders to Recognize Palestinian State



Read more ...

Putin s Phone Call With Netanyahu Blew Whistle on Further Israeli Strikes in Syria



Read more ...

Settlers Caught on Film Throwing Stones at Left wing Activists in West Bank



Read more ...

Israel Will Not Release Palestinian Teen Who Slapped Soldier Until Trial End



Read more ...

Apocalypse Now? At Armageddon Some Topics Are Best Avoided Around Jews



Read more ...

Childs killers Kuwaiti speaker pointed towards the Israeli representative at the international forum



'Childs' killers; Kuwaiti speaker pointed towards the Israeli representative at the international forum

Read more ...