By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
Five of the UN Security Council’s 15 seats were filled by new members this week. Sweden, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Italy replaced outgoing non-permanent members Spain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Angola and Venezuela.
They will join the other five non-permanent members – Japan, Egypt, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay – as well as the five permanent members of the council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The council’s five permanent members are considered to be the most powerful, since they hold the ability to veto any vote they disagree with. This is why the change in the United States administration may signal a greater political shift in the council than the rotation of non-permanent members.
The possible change was foreshadowed by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in December following a controversial vote on Israeli settlements. The United States took the surprise decision to abstain from the vote condemning illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, rather than using its veto power.
The question is whether the new U.S. administration would do the same when the council reviews the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war on Yemen later this year.
It is now an open secret that it was after losing the twin wars on Iraq and Syria that the Persian Gulf Arab states (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain) decided to try their luck yet again in Yemen. It doesn’t take a lot of effort at the new Security Council to understand why this criminal campaign began and why it has to stop:
-Under international law, the airstrikes amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, as the Saudi-led offensive has no international legitimacy.
-These are the same terror-mongers that unraveled Syria and Iraq – with a helping hand from terrorists - after getting the green light from Washington. There is no reason to think the war on Yemen is any different. According to the White House, the U.S. has been coordinating closely with its cronies in the military action, including providing intelligence and logistical support.
-The U.S. and its vassals have turned Yemen into yet another disaster zone, encouraging the fragmentation of the whole country. In the process, they aid and abet the growth of terror outfits in the hope "to stop the growing Iranian influence,” save Saudi oil, and reinstate their puppet regime.
-This has had serious implications for the region. It has brought other nations directly into an escalating conflict. Like the Syria war, blowback has been inevitable - with disastrous consequences for Riyadh. In the interim, Al-Qaeda and ISIL have taken advantage of the chaos to capture new territory.
Council members know full well that this is not a civil war or a strategic contest between Iran and Saudi Arabia for influence across the Middle East. Driven by local dynamics and the revolution, the spiraling violence reflects the contest over who will control the country and the oil, and who will preserve the status quo. The Military-Industrial Complex has not suffered either, as more weapons have flown into the region.
It’s new year and the council has new members. It still has time to make a policy turnaround for the sake of the besieged people of Yemen. The U.S.-backed and Saudi-led campaign to unravel Yemen has been and still is foolish. A resolution to the conflict could be the answer to all the council’s shortcomings in the past two years. It will be another setback for the council and its new members if they fail to bring real changes to the council that would actually help end the unnecessary war.