It is easy to appoint fact-finding missions and prepare damning reports. But what is challenging is genocide prevention. The UN will be worth its salt as the primary organisation tasked with maintaining world peace and security, only if it acts fast with the very first sign that something dreadful is going to happen.
Unlike an earthquake, genocide does not take place all of a sudden. It is predictable and preventable. Yet it takes place in full view of the international community. The system needs to be strengthened, if the UN’s primary interest is to serve and save humanity. Otherwise, the UN conventions may seem empty words or routine while post-genocide UN resolutions and declarations will be akin to last rites over a dead body.
That the Responsibility-to-Protect concept came into the UN system only in 2005, some 60 whole years after the Nazi Holocaust, is a damning indictment of the international community’s lack of urgency in reinforcing the system.
At the core of this failure is big power politics. Often humanitarian intervention or non-intervention is tagged to a political agenda of a powerful state. War criminals are protected by a powerful ally in the UN Security Council. Millions of Palestinians have died without breathing the air of freedom, due to the US protection given to Israel, the oppressor and occupying power.