Saudi Arabia’s Activities in Yemen and International Human Rights Mechanisms

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Publish Date : 08/07/2016 16:00
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Two months have passed since the controversial announcement of the inclusion of the names of Saudi Arabia and its coalition in the UN black list of countries that violate children’s rights. In the tension that had appeared between Saudi Arabia and the UN, it is said that by threatening to cut its vast financial aid to the UN, the Kingdom had managed to put UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon under pressure so that despite his wishes and under Saudi diplomatic pressure to remove the name of the Kingdom from the list.

Now that the final copy of the Secretary General’s report has been submitted to the Security Council, the Saudi coalition of countries (made up of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Senegal and Sudan) have clearly been identified with causing the death and injuries of 60 percent of the children in the Yemen war, and also responsible for bombing hospitals and schools, and are in UN’s blacklist. The bringing up of the subject again infuriated Saudi Arabia and without trying to take sides the United States representative who was present in the meeting stressed: “even if our governments do not agree with some UN findings, it is necessary for us to still continue our support of this Organization, because it’s an important body which tries to help all children of the world.”
Parts of this oral statement, which was read to those present by Leila Zerrougui said: “Aerial attacks and the use of explosive weapons by the international coalition in densely populated areas is a serious cause for concern.” Her statement was due to the fact that it had been proven that the Saudi coalition in Yemen had used banned cluster weapons, which remain unexploded for years and most of their victims are women and children.
In this meeting Mr. Ban Ki Moon stressed that he insists on the information provided in his annual report regarding the violation of children’s rights in conflict regions around the world. In this regard he said: “we shall continue with our efforts to ensure that the measures that we have thought of to protect children are carried out.” Also with regards to Saudi Arabia’s objection of its name in being in this list he added, “today, again I ask all members and all sides in conflict, if you wish to preserve your credibility, protect children.”
The UN Secretary General’s practice, which is done in spite of the political pressures and financial threats against his Organization, will most certainly add to global credibility of the UN, and will prevent countries from hiding their human rights violations by applying political influence or threats against the UN. This step will certainly be a warning to countries in conflict to review the protection of children’s rights.
According to the International Convention on the Rights of the Child Additional Protocol on Children’s Rights in Armed Conflict, the targeting of children and places where children are usually present such as schools and hospitals is prohibited, and countries involved in conflict must take measures to protect children.
Also according to the Convention on Cluster Munitions, not only the use, but the production, movement and storing of these weapons are banned, and countries that possess these weapons must destroy them. Because parts of these weapons threaten civilians, most of which are women and children for decades to come.
Many resolutions have been adopted by the UN all of which stress on all forms of protection for children in armed conflict and without a doubt the blatant violation of children’s fundamental rights that include the right to live, health, access to food and water, education and enjoyment of suitable living conditions are not issues that the United States can ignore under political pressures.

 

. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/world/middleeast/un-united-nations-saudi-arabia-children.html?_r=1
. https://childrenandarmedconflict.un.org/security-council-open-debate-on-children-and-armed-conflict/
. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/world/middleeast/un-united-nations-saudi-arabia-children.html?_r=1
. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/OPACCRC.aspx
. http://www.clusterconvention.org/files/2011/01/Convention-ENG.pdf
. http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/un-documents/children-and-armed-conflict/

“ Saudi Arabia’s Activities in Yemen and International Human Rights Mechanisms ”