Call for Decisive Action
It is clear that human beings have not learned from the harsh lessons of history with war mongers continuing to disturb not just warring countries but also all humanity. The three ongoing major wars, including the civil uprising in Myanmar have polarised the world based on political ideologies, religion, region and alliance, undoing the gains made in terms of relations between countries after the cold war came to a close. Myanmar has been in turmoil since the democratically elected government was toppled after the junta staged a coup in February 2021 by detaining President Win Myint, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders. The Tatmadaw’s brazen display of utter disregard for human rights and the rule of law despite appeals from the international community and the inaction from powerful countries speak volumes about international justice. Then came the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24 2022, which has killed thousands of civilians. The bloodshed continues with no end in sight, as several like-minded countries of the two warring nations have sided with either of them. Amid this chaos, the Gaza–Israel conflict erupted after the Hamas targeted Israel with a barrage of rockets on October 7 this year, killing thousands of people. This followed with Israel retaliating by conducting extensive aerial bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza, resulting in significant civilian casualties.
Ironically, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had passed a resolution calling on the Myanmar military to end the state of emergency, immediately release detained civilian leaders and reinstate the democratically elected parliament. The policy-making organ of the UN also passed a resolution to immediately end the war in Ukraine, while demanding Russia to withdraw its military forces from Ukraine. It also passed resolution for immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. But the outcome of all these is the same — non-compliance by aggressor nations. This has given room for some to dub the UN as toothless. This is bound to happen when it fails to deliver its main roles of conflict resolution and prevention, promote peace, protect human rights, uphold international law and provide humanitarian aid. It’s time to reflect on elements that is stopping the international organisation from acting decisively on matters that can disturb world peace. This has become vital as conflicts can proliferate, which will be much more devastating than what we are witnessing today. The ongoing wars have caused untold suffering to millions of people in the warring nations and beyond. Besides the undermining of human rights, the conflicts have severely impacted several causes like the fight against climate change, poverty and health challenges. Remaining neutral is not an option when injustice is staring in the face. Some issues call for decisive action.