Srebrenica: Russian veto on resolution marking 20th anniversary of the genocide is a stain on the UNSC

Russia’s decision to veto a resolution marking the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide is not only a huge stain on the UN Security Council (UNSC) as a whole but represents a shameful disregard for the victims and survivors of the massacre.

The resolution, tabled by the United Kingdom, aimed to commemorate the victims of the genocide and victims on all sides during the conflict in Bosnia Herzegovina, appeal for justice for all and reconciliation and acknowledge the failure of the UN on these tragic events.

"Not only they did not acknowledge the UN failures of 1995 but, since 2011, both Russia and China have relentlessly defeated the UNSC in its mission to protect the civilians and prevent mass atrocity crimes in Syria or in South Sudan," declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President. "On Syria alone, they both exercised their veto power on four occasions to protect the Government from resolutions meant to address crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against the Syrian people."

It is also a serious disappointment that four other member-states (China, Angola, Nigeria and Venezuela) abstained in the vote, which raises questions on the ability of the UNSC to prevent mass atrocities and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable.

As the UNSC members who supported the resolution stated, the international community cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of 20 years ago and continue failing to live up to its responsibility.

FIDH deplores that, over the last two decades, Russia, the US and China have too often used their privilege as permanent member-states to protect the perpetrators rather than the victims.

FIDH calls upon the UNSC member-states to engage in genuine reforms aimed at restricting the use of the veto in situations involving mass atrocity crimes.

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