TODAY -

Conflicts and Conflict Resolutions : Unforeseen Lapses of the United Nations

JC Sanasam *

General Assembly Hall at United Nations Secretariat Building in New York in August 2012
General Assembly Hall at United Nations Secretariat Building in New York in August 2012



In spite of the manifold obstacles and detriments, natural and man-made, man and his civilization has ever been marching towards Perfection, which, perhaps, now at the end of the day is found to be an impossible dream. Very sad. Is it a pessimistic view? No, it is realization of the real cruelty in the ambiance of human life and his society.

At present the world is brimming with intellectuals and achievers, highest of the echelons of social, political, economic, religious, literary, cultural, techno-scientific, statesmanship, human rights activists and justice domains and what not, all drifting towards world peace, for centuries and centuries together ceaselessly. But where is peace?

Conflicts are rising everywhere. Areas of conflicts seem to be more prevalent at places where the British and Europeans colonized and left, specifically the British, e.g. Palestine, India-Pakistan-Bangladesh, (not to forget our small kingdom of Manipur, and Kashmir of course), Sri Lanka, African countries, South East Asian countries and others. Again wherever USA participated in conflict resolutions the conflicts seem to be aggravated worse, further and further worse, as was and is seen in Vietnam, Kuwait-Iran-Iraq, Afghanistan and the never ending Palestinian imbroglio.

The British and Americans, supposed to be the progressive, forward nations of the world, are somehow or other involved in all the world fracas-spots and in an infamous situation at that. There is enough evidence that the British, especially, had been a very immature people who colonized and meddled with the affairs of the nations of the world and left them unscrupulously without a thought what might ensue after they left and what should be done thereof.

A straight example is the kingdom of Manipur, which, they must have heard, is now in a bad conflict situation. Have they ever said a word about it in front of the world audience? Perhaps it is their failure and lack of far-sightedness as such that the UK is now no more a great powerful or influential country. The Security Council or the United Nations too is keeping mum. The United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), not the United Nations High Commission of Human Rights (UNHCHR), now seems to have noticed the unhappiness at this corner of the world. Are they waiting for a severe bloodshed or for more human devastation, no one can say. God forbids such do not happen.

The nations of the world, in a very positive vision, formed the United Nations; of course in an additional larger scope on what the League of Nations had initiated. They, the UN, has had, no doubt, resolved many conflicts successfully so to say. However they also leaped into things before they looked. Palestinian imbroglio was the conflict, the UN Security Council first took up to tackle and till today the turmoil is spreading further and further worldwide. If not checked in time, this may lead to the Armageddon, which Nostradamus prophesied that it would occur initially at the bank of the Ganges and reduce the world to rubbles and ashes eventually.

In response to the British Government’s request, the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), shortly after the UN was formed, proposed recommendation known as the Partition Plan with Economic Union which was adopted and passed by the General Assembly on November 29, 1947: the British Mandate was to dissolve as soon as the UK withdrew from Palestine, and boundaries of Jewish and Arab states with Jerusalem as an internationally administered zone were demarcated out.

The Jewish leadership accepted but the Arabs rejected. The Arab majority was 65% and Jewish minority 35% in the then Palestine. The Partition Plan was never implemented; war broke out soon between six Arab nations and the newly declared Jewish State of Israel. If Armageddon is going to happen, this conflict, perhaps, is going to be the mother.

100,000 Arabs (most of whom were upper middle class) left their homes expecting to return when the Arabs would win the war. The Jewish militia fought relentlessly and an additional 250,000-300,000 Palestinian Arabs left or were expelled. Another 50,000-70,000 were forcefully expelled that triggered to the flight of 200,000-230,000 Palestinian Arabs. Expulsions, coercions, and intimidation campaigns of Arabs certainly occurred, and 156,000 Palestinian Arabs remained in Israel at the end of the war.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) began operations in May 1950 as an organ of the UN. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for other non-Palestinian refugees also followed the suit in December 1950. The US and the European Commission remain the largest contributors to both UNRWA and UNHCR.

In 2011 the US contributed over US$239 million to UNRWA, while the EC contributed over US$175 million. At the end of 2012 the documented figures of UNRWA vs UNHCR appeared like this - Number of refugees served: 4.8 million and 33.9 million; 2012 budget: 1.3 billion USD and 3.59 billion USD; countries of operation: 5 and 126; Staff Members: 28,000 and 7,685; Staff/Refugee Ratio: 1:165 and 1:4411 so on and so forth.

After all these years, after expending so much of time, energy and money, things still remain almost at a deadlock. Palestinian refugees were denied citizenship in their Arab host countries to which they had fled. The Arab League began to demand that the Palestinian refugees be repatriated. UNRWA became a massive bureaucracy with an ever-growing budget that translated into financial gain in terms of aid to those countries housing refugees.

After more than 60 years of operation UNRWA has turned into an agency staffed almost entirely by Palestinians. Its services benefit both Palestinian communities and the neighbouring Arab countries in which they live. UNRWA became a well of financial and socioeconomic support to both refugees and governments of the host countries.

Evidences started to reveal that there were infiltrations of organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah, and later, of terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida and the Taliban in the list of the staff of Security Council of their own. There was no curbing of assistance to Palestinians who got training in the name of Palestine Liberation Army. The US resented this; more and more internationally related conflicts flamed up.

If not the kings or emperors in the history, or the UN in the present context, it is the march of events and their twisted turns in the history that struck and whiplashed the human society again and again. Whatever lapses or mistakes the authorities might have loosened or committed we still got to trust in what the United Nations and its Security Council decide and act.

The only thing we wish is that they start taking things in their fold sooner before massive deaths and losses of treasures occur. Bodies and organizations related to the UN may well start acting in this line. Manipur is in real trouble now.


* JC Sanasam wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) as part of "JCB Digs"
This article was posted on June 04, 2013



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