Saudi Blackmail at the U.N.
JUNE 17, 2016
To the Editor:
“Ban Ki-moon’s Thankless Position” (editorial, June 11) says the secretary general “had no real choice” but to capitulate to Saudi Arabia’s demands that he remove the Saudi-led coalition from his “list of shame” for killing and maiming children and attacking schools and hospitals in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia reprehensibly threatened to cut off funding for United Nations programs, putting Mr. Ban in a terrible position. But he had a choice, and it will have long-term consequences.
By caving in to Saudi Arabia’s blackmail, Mr. Ban sends a message that other countries can use improper pressure to escape accountability for their abuses. It’s not just a few funds and programs that will suffer, but the United Nations’ legitimacy and broader civilian protection agenda.
Children’s Rights Advocacy Director
Human Rights Watch