London: Drafting a scathing report on the global response to mass atrocities in 2014, rights group Amnesty International has termed the governments' ineffectiveness in protecting their civilians from militants as 'shameful'.
Mentioning how the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, Gaza, Nigeria, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Sri Lanka had resulted in loss of scores of innocent lives, the Amnesty report has lambasted the United Nations and the world politicians for having failed to act.
The report highlighted how the UN had failed, “not just in terms of preventing mass atrocities”, but also in providing direct assistance to millions of refugees.
Terming the attitude of wealthy nations towards the refugees as “abhorrent”, the Amnesty said that “Governments who have been most eager to speak out loudly on the failures of other governments have shown themselves reluctant to step forward and provide the essential assistance that refugees require”.
In a crucial proposal, the Amnesty has also suggested that UN Security Council permanent members – the UK, China, France, Russia and the US – to refrain from using their veto powers in situations of vote on genocide or mass killings.
The failures, however, have not just been in terms of preventing mass atrocities. Direct assistance has also
Writing an op-ed titled “Unshackle the United Nations” in the New York Times, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's secretary general, accused that the UNSC powers have allowed themselves to give more priority to their “narrow vested interests” rather than protecting civilians.
Shetty said that the United Nations had “repeatedly failed to act, even where it could prevent terrible crimes from being committed against civilians”.
“The use of veto powers has enabled the narrow vested interests of the Security Council’s five permanent members to take precedence over the needs of victims of serious human rights violations and abuses, Shetty wrote, adding, “This has left the United Nations hamstrung and increasingly discredited at this critical time”.
The Amnesty report, which has reviewed the human rights situation in 160 countries, paints a bleak picture of the state of human rights across the countries.
Richer countries were guilty of taking an "abhorrent" stance by not sheltering more refugees, Amnesty said.
Branding 2014 as a devastating year, Amnesty hoped that this must change and world leaders must act immediately to address this issue so that the citizens can get a better future.
“We must hope that looking backward to 2014 in the years to come, what we lived through will be seen as an ultimate low point from which we rose up and created a better future,” Salil Shetty said.