UN's Pillay Says While Few States
Discipline Abusive UN Troops, They Are Needed
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
December 9 -- While the UN relies
on troop contributing countries to discipline UN peacekeepers who rape
"very few states in fact have prosecuted" them, the UN system's top
human rights official told the Press on Tuesday. Inner City Press asked
Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, what the UN should do to
that more than "very few states in fact... prosecute" their soldiers
are accuse of abuse. Shouldn't the UN stop taking troops from such
or at least withhold some of the payments? "We need the troops," Ms.
Pillay said. Video here,
from Minute 39:43.
Tuesday her Office's representative in New York, Craig Mokhiber, told
not to accept governments' "justifications" the human rights abuses
they should control. Video here.
But what is the UN's and Ms. Pillay's
argument, that the lack of discipline of abusers is excused by the need
troops, but a justification? If a government said it would not
soldiers in its own army for war crimes because then it would be more
to get volunteers, Pillay and the UN would surely not accept the
how is the UN's position any different?
on to say that her office did get several generals from Nepal removed
duty, due to involvement in disappearances. She mentioned the case of
general Karenzi with the UN in Darfur, where despite indictment for war
by a Spanish judge, Karenzi remains in place.
UN's Pillay on Tuesday, discipline of abusive UN peacekeepers not shown
concerning Spain, Inner City Press asked Ms. Pillay about the
surrounding the $23 million ceiling of the new human rights chamber in
whether Spanish international cooperation funds should have been used
whether, as reported, a square meter of the ceiling has already fallen.
be alarmed by the ceiling, she said, since she will be sitting under
said Spain's Ambassador told her the funds used for the ceiling had
expressly earmarked for the poor. International cooperation,
mean many things.
appeared with a pro-UN pollster,
Steven Kull, and Peggy Hicks from Human Rights Watch. Kull, when asked
had not included sexual orientation rights in his poll, said he hadn't
"found a sponsor" for such questions. Inner City Press asked if that
didn't mean that the questions asked were directly by funders. Oh no,
assured. But strangely enough his organization has not, for example,
people in the Congo on what they think of UN peacekeepers. To come full
the word for this is impunity.
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
Click here for Inner City
Press Nov. 7 debate on the war in Congo
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
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AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
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