Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Trump’s next target is humanitarian aid – a devastating blow for millions | Mark Seddon | Opinion | The Guardian

Trump’s next target is humanitarian aid – a devastating blow for millions | Mark Seddon | Opinion | The Guardian

he story so far has a familiar ring: deadlock and paralysis at the UN security council in the face of an appalling crime against humanity, leading to unilateral military action by one permanent member and an accusation from another that the action is in clear breach of international law.

Ditto the predictable media response, with the UN accused of being weak, indecisive and incapable of showing the leadership required, as horrifying pictures of dying and dead children flood social media.

The hyperbole is that with Donald Trump at the helm in the White House, and unilateralism fast replacing multilateralism as the administration’s modus vivendi, the UN now faces an existential crisis. This, by the way, is also the hope of some of the organisation’s fiercest detractors, who, uncomfortably for the UN, pack Trump’s administration. Aside from the most obvious truth – that the five permanent members of the security council, including Britain, have the power to restore the authority of the UN by supporting its reform, and restraining use of the veto – the organisation is always easy to disparage and blame. No wonder my former boss, the then UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, used to say of his own job title: “SG? Well, that stands for scapegoat”

  

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