UN violating Charter obligation to promote, encourage human rights - Prof. Boyle

[TamilNet, Friday, 08 May 2009, 00:45 GMT]
Dithering in the halls of the human rights apex body, the United Nations, culminating in the recent uncharacteristic pronouncement that the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is "too-busy" to visit Sri Lanka, has prompted a legal scholar to point out that "where an individual such as the U.N. Secretary General has an obligation to act to prevent criminal activity and either refuses or fails to do so, that would render him "complicit" with the underlying criminal activity--in this case genocide." Prof. Francis Boyle said Thursday that "[t]he U.N. Secretary General must immediately travel to Sri Lanka and do all in his power " to prevent" the Government's genocide against the Tamils."

Matthew Lee of Inner City Press talking to protesters
Matthew Lee of Inner City Press
Prof Francis Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law
Prof Francis Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law
Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General
Ba Ki Moon, UN Secretary General
In a Thursday story, Inner City Press (ICP), which covers the developments within the United Nations, said that while there was earlier speculation that the Secretary General "will definitely consider" visiting Sri Lanka if he "feels that it can save lives," the ICP has learnt that "such a trip, for now, is unlikely."

Prof. Boyle of University of Illinois College of Law and an expert in International Law, pointed out that "[u]nder Chapter XV of the United Nations Charter, the U.N. Secretariat, headed-up by the U.N. Secretary General, is one of six independent Organs of the United Nations Organization itself. As such the U.N. Secretary General is obligated to implement the "Purposes of the United Nations" set forth in Article 1 of the Charter.

"Article 1(3) of the Charter provides that one of these "Purposes of the United Nations" is: "To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion."

Boyle added, "[i]n other words, the U.N. Secretary General has a U.N. Charter obligation "in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for" the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Consequently, the U.N. Secretary General has a Charter obligation to immediately visit Sri Lanka and do all in his power " to prevent" the Government's on-going genocide against the Tamils as required by the peremptory norm of international law set forth in Article I of the 1948 Genocide Convention.

"Not to visit Sri Lanka immediately for this Purpose would constitute a violation of the United Nations Charter by the U.N. Secretary General himself.

"In addition, where an individual such as the U.N. Secretary General has an obligation to act to prevent criminal activity and either refuses or fails to do so, that would render him "complicit" with the underlying criminal activity--in this case genocide. Article III(e) of the 1948 Genocide Convention prohibits, criminalizes and calls for the punishment of: "Complicity in genocide."

"The U.N. Secretary General must immediately travel to Sri Lanka and do all in his power " to prevent" the Government's genocide against the Tamils. For the U.N. Secretary General to fail or to refuse to discharge this U.N. Charter obligation would render him complicit in the Government of Sri Lanka's genocide against the Tamils," Prof. Boyle said.


Chronology:


External Links:
ICP: To Visit Sri Lanka, Ban Ki-moon Called “Too Busy” by UN Sources, Despite Japanese Urging and Invitation

 

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