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Published on Dec 7, 2016
International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (EAFORD)
General debate under agenda item 4 - Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
Delivered by Ms. Alessia Vedano
Thank you Mr. Vice-President,
Our organizations would like to draw the Council’s attention to the dangerous threat that the lack of accountability and justice pose on international peace and stability. After all the hard lessons from history, in 2016 injustice and double-standards still dominate modern society.
Israel’s occupation of Palestine is a glaring case in question. How long will the Palestinian people continue to wait for the international community to take the required measures to end Israeli policies of racism which have resulted in the displacement of an entire population as well as countless human rights abuses, including house demolitions and forced evictions?
The situation in Iraq is not less grave: the illegal 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of the country has resulted in over two million victims and led to the total collapse of the state. The establishment of a sectarian pro-invasion administration set the foundations for the current proliferation of criminal militias and terrorist groups. Yet, after 13 years Iraqis have not even received an official apology!
On the contrary, today innocent civilians are paying the price of interest-driven Western policies. Pro-government militias are allowed – actually encouraged- to carry out policies of ethnic cleansing against the Sunni population.
Likewise, the situation in Yemen is just as astonishing: The Houthi militias, who refuse all initiatives for a peaceful settlement of the conflict, would not be able to sustain the ongoing war, if it wasn’t for Iran’s support. Yet again, Iran can sponsor murderous militias facing no consequences whatsoever.
Impunity for the perpetrators of these heinous crimes, whose violence seems to have somehow been legitimized, is undermining the authority of international law, corrupting the culture of human right and shaming the struggle against racism.
We therefore believe that the time has come for the international community to address these serious concerns and take the appropriate measures in order to ensure accountability and justice.