Top UN Officials Resign Over The Organization’s Incapability To Protect Human Rights In Palestine

The director of the UN office for the high commissioner for human rights in New York resigned from his post, saying that the UN is not fulfilling its duty to protect civilian lives in Gaza under Israeli bombardment and said that the US, UK, and Europe are “wholly complicit in the horrific assault”.

Craig Mokhiber presented his resignation on Oct. 28 in a letter sent to the UN high commissioner in Geneva, Volker Turk saying: “Once again we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes and the organization we serve appears powerless to stop it.”

He said that the UN failed to prevent previous genocides like the Tutsis in Rwanda, the Muslims in Bosnia, the Yazidi in Yemen, and the Rohingya in Myanmar and said that the UN is failing again to protect human rights.

Mokhiber makes clear in the letter that the Palestine-Israel case is deeply personal to him, and so are the reasons for his resignation. He investigated human rights in Palestine since the 80’s and lived in Gaza as a UN human rights advisor in the 90’s and cited he has worked as a human rights lawyer for more than 3 decades.

He also said the US, the UK and “much of Europe” not only failed their obligation to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions (covering human rights during war) but they actively support the conflict and violations to this Conventions by “providing economic and intelligence support, and giving political and diplomatic cover for Israel’s atrocities”.

The resignation of his high UN position caused reactions both inside the organization and on social media. UN director at Human Rights Watch Louis Charbonneau told the Guardian that Mokhiber made a strong argument against the capacity that the UN has to protect human rights in Palestine.

“You don’t have to agree with everything in the letter to see that he’s made a powerful and depressing case that the UN lost its way on human rights when it comes to Israel and Palestine, partly due to pressure from the US, Israel and other governments. It’s not too late to turn the UN ship around, but they need to do it quickly.” Charbonneau said.

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