UN and Red Cross slam world powers for 'conflict paralysis'

Heads of UN and Red Cross issue rare common scolding to world leaders, critising them over "disturbing paralysis" against conflicts

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon (R) and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) President Peter Maurer speak to the media about the world’s humanitarian crises at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, October 31, 2015

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer announced on Saturday an "unprecedented joint warning" for countries to end conflicts, defer to international law and help refugees.

"In the face of blatant inhumanity, the world has responded with disturbing paralysis," they indicated in a statement.

"This flouts the very raison d’etre of the United Nations."

They also called for states to keep armed groups under control and hold them accountable for their crimes, and to end the use of dangerous weapons in residential areas.

The United Nations is tackling an unexampled series of conflicts and crises, with nearly 60 million homeless people demanding humanitarian aid. There have been a number of peace talks with the purpose of putting an end to wars in Libya, Syria or Yemen.

The hand of a drowned migrant man lies at a beach after being washed ashore on the Greek island of Lesbos October 31, 2015.

International law was being ignored on a global scale, and the international community was unsuccessful in prosecuting perpetrators, Ban said in a news conference.

"These violations have become so routine there is a risk people will think that the deliberate bombing of civilians, the targeting of humanitarian and healthcare workers, and attacks on schools, hospitals and places of worship are an inevitable result of conflict," he underlined and added "Enough is enough. Even war has rules. It is time to enforce them."

International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer said the world has come into a new term, and this is not a peaceful one, with individuals not taking into consideration the most basic rules of humanitarianism during conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and others.

"Every day, we hear of civilians being killed and wounded in violation of the basic rules of international humanitarian law, and with total impunity. Instability is spreading. Suffering is growing. No country can remain untouched,” he said.

He also stated that almost 60 million people around the world have been displaced from their homes as a result of clashes and this was "the highest figure since World War Two".

Due to these reasons he emphasised regarding governments not being aware of their responsibilities, if this situation continues, the number of possible victims could most likely reach the millions.

TRTWorld and agencies