Rich Countries Sit Idly While Mass Atrocities Rage Around The Globe, Amnesty International Charges

It’s about time the veto power was put to good use.

Genocide in Darfur

It is a well-known fact that the United Nations, especially the five permanent members of the Security Council, has not been able to do anything substantial to put an end to the mass atrocities all over the world – and now we have a report to prove it.

Amnesty International condemned world leaders for their failure to protect millions of civilians from violence by states and armed groups, describing the global response as “shameful and ineffective.”

Calling 2014 a year of "catastrophic" conflict, the human rights group accused governments of “pretending the protection of civilians is beyond their power” in a damning 415-page annual report.

"As people suffered an escalation in barbarous attacks and repression, the international community has been found wanting," Amnesty secretary general Salil Shetty said in a statement. "It is abhorrent to see how wealthy countries' efforts to keep people out take precedence over their efforts to keep people alive."

The probe also highlighted how armed groups committed abuses in more than 35 countries in 2014, including the Central African Republic where religious unrest has killed at least 5,000 people last year.

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In addition, Amnesty also shamed the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – for using their veto power “to promote their political self-interest or geopolitical interest above the interest of protecting civilians.”

International action in Syria, where more than 210,000 have been killed in almost four years, have not been taken because Russia and China have cast four vetoes against it.

The rights group, therefore urged the UN powers to waive their veto rights in situations of genocide.

“Government leaders justify human rights violations by talking of the need to keep the world 'safe'", Shetty said. "But knee-jerk reactions do not work. Instead they create an environment of repression in which extremism can thrive."

Also Read: Rohingya Genocide – Two Years On And The Burmese Govt Still Doesn’t Care

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