United Nations Human Rights chief Navi Pillay blasted the U.N. Security Council for its “paralysis” over global crises, such as the civil war in Syria that has so far claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.
Pillay delivered her strong criticism to the Security Council days before her six-year term ends at the end of August. She said there have been so many times that “national interests have taken precedence over human suffering,” BBC reported.
“Greater responsiveness by this council would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives,” she told the 15-member body on Thursday.
According to the U.N., more than 191,369 have been killed in Syria since the popular uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad erupted to a full-blown civil war in March 2012, the Agence France-Presse reported.
One-third of the killings are civilian and 9,000 of the toll are children under 18 years old. This number could have been far higher–as the U.N. only records death in which victims have proper identification–and around 50,000 deaths have no proper identification.
The toll is still on the rise as Islamic State militants are growing in number and in strength and expanding in the Iraq-Syria region.
Pillay said all crises are not formed overnight, they are founded on legitimate human rights grievances and there should be “warning signs.”
“Conflict prevention is complex, but it can be achieved,” Pillay said. “None of these crises erupted without warning. They built up over years–and sometimes decades – of human rights grievances.”
She proposed that the Security Council come up with new responses such as “rapid, flexible and resource-efficient human rights monitoring missions.”