Syria: UN Has Failed.

Kofi Annan, United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria, was reportedly shocked at the news of the latest massacre in Syria. In what was described as the bloodiest day yet in the crisis in Syria, up to 200 people, many of them rebel fighters, are thought to have died. Among the dead are many civilians.

This comes just a few days after Annan described his talks with Bashar Al-Assad, President of Syria, as “very candid and constructive” (Source: BBC). So what does this mean? The UN’s aim of solving the situation in Syria diplomatically has failed. It is obvious now that if Assad is allowed to proceed unchecked, then he will do so. His talks with Kofi Annan merely delayed the decision. Assad has played the UN, finding inspiration in the controversy regarding Iran’s nuclear development, something the UN has still not concretely acted upon after many years.

The UN’s aim of solving the situation in Syria diplomatically has failed… Assad has played the UN

Insignia of the League of Nations

Has the UN failed entirely? No. Is there no hope for diplomacy in Syria? Again, no. However, the chances of Assad suddenly halting the fighting unreservedly are very slim. A more likely eventuality would be the success of talks with the direct threat of UN military intervention underpinning them, something that has yet to happen.

Whatever happens the UN’s reputation has been damaged, perhaps irrevocably. More and more it is reminiscent of the 1930s League of Nations, an international body with no real power. The League essentially allowed aggressive states to roam about the continents as they wished if they ignored the weak sanctions it imposed. The place where the League of Nations and the UN differ is that the UN does have a standing army and will act with physical force if the situation calls for it. Russia and China currently oppose this solution. As always, keep an eye on the news.

Main Sources:

  • BBC News: 1 and 2

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