The UN Security Council is an entirely undemocratic institution with five permanent members (China, France, Russia, UK, US) & ten elected members with terms of two years. Why do five or even fifteen nations get to call the shots in world politics when there are 195 countries in the world? It is no exaggeration to call that structure a colonial arrangement coming out of World War II. It has no relevance to the world today except as a governing body for international militarism & finance. When it comes to Palestinians, Kashmiris, Rohingya, Uyghur, Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, the UN has been accomplice to oppression offering only toothless lip service to those sustaining war, occupation, genocide.
Today, the UN General Assembly will elect five of the non-permanent members to replace five whose terms are up. Kenya & Djibouti are competing for the African seat; Canada, Ireland, & Norway are competing for the Western European & Others seat. Mexico is unopposed for the Latin American & Caribbean seat & India is running unopposed for the Asia-Pacific seat which assures that India will be on the UNSC. There’s a lot of drama around this election, like that for high school prom queen. But the consequences of legitimizing India as a leader in world politics are considerable when it comes to the Kashmiri struggle for self-determination.
What’s wrong with India playing a leading UN role? In a 43-page report issued in July 2019 before the August lockdown, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (again) accused India of human rights violations in Kashmir & called for a commission of inquiry. Just days after the lockdown on August 5th, the UN came out with wimpy protestations that the lockdown was ‘deeply concerning’ & could exacerbate the human rights situation in Kashmir. Condemnations don’t get tougher than that–at least coming from the UN. Accusations of human rights crimes & the lockdown didn’t stop the UN from allowing an extravaganza honoring Modi on their premises in September 2019. Just days ago, UN Secretary-General Guterres issued his annual report on Children & Armed Conflict where he called out India for a range of crimes against Kashmiri children including pellet guns, arrests during night raids, internment at army camps, torture in detention & detention without charge or due process. So will Guterres challenge India’s election? Or do the monstrous crimes committed against Kashmiri men, women, & children or the legalization of persecuting Indian Muslims not matter in the deliberations?
This is a photo of 26-year-old Amir Kabir Beigh from Baramulla, Kashmir. He is one of thousands of Kashmiris disfigured & disabled by pellet guns. The young man reports that he has gone through several surgeries but is still completely blind. When will his voice be heard by the UN? With India in the driver’s seat at the UNSC, we are assured his voice will never be heard at the UN.
(Photo by Camillo Pasquarelli)

Posted June 17, 2020