Long live Kofi Annam!
Beatrice E. Rangel
Kofi Annan took the trip to immortality in 2018. He succeed Boutros Boutros Gahli a SG who was found guilty of practicing independent thinking in particular as it related to the approach taken by permanent members of the Security Council. And he was the first UN employee to rise to the helm of the organization. His legacy is mixed as has the UN history been ever since it was created in San Francisco.
To be sure, the UN was supposed to act as the peace keeping institution and the standard bearer for the protection of human rights. Needles to count the instances when the UN has failed to fulfill on its promise. The Korean War, the Vietnam War; the multiple nontraditional wars in Africa; the War in Central America; the Balkans War and the wars in the Middle East; the North of Africa and Indonesia. And as far as gross violations of human rights go the list is not shorter. Liberia; the former Yugoslavia ; Rwanda-Burundi; India; Bangladesh, Indonesia Argentina, Chile and Uganda are just a few of the nations that incurred in Lesa humanity crimes.
All these shortcomings moved Kofi Annan to seek ways to dry out the sources of violence and war. He soon realized that barbarism started within nations not between nations . He decided to search for antidotes. And soon he found one. The responsibility to protect is a principle enshrined in the UN Charter under Annan’s leadership as a protective shield to civic society when attacked by a genocide government. Annan who was very respectful of sovereignty indicated when pushing for adoption of the responsibility to protect principle “ some crimes are so shameful, so unacceptable that we cannot sit back and let governments use sovereignty as a shield.’ . He further described the motion as the accountability arm missing in all other international rules protecting human rights.
And it was through his expert brinkmanship that he saw the responsibility to protect (R2P)international legislation adopted by the international community. R2P has an executive platform that is the Global Centre for Responsibility to protect. This UN agency voted last week to incorporate the situation in Venezuela in the agenda for the General Assembly of the United Nations with a view to mobilize international support to protect the civil population form further annihilation plans by the current regime.
According to the meeting records “ member states found that the current regime in Venezuela had failed fulfill the first and most important duty of sovereignty which is protecting the people within its borders” Accordingly, the Venezuelan population is fleeing into neighboring countries to preserve their lives. This stampede away from public policies that deliberately place the population in starvation mode is creating instability and pressures on development to recipient countries. The deeds of the Venezuelan regime are thus inflicting undue hardship to the Venezuelan population and the region as a whole.. The responsibility to protect has therefore shift to the broader international community.
The decision is ground breaking, as for the first time since its adoption in 2005 R2P will be launched in Latin America. This consolidates the legacy of Kofi Annan who made history by setting the limits to sovereignty and to brutality.
Published by LAHT.com on Monday, October 1st, 2018
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