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    Ban Ki-moon: Violations of UN Charter create new challenges to Security Council

    'United Nations could help countries meet their national challenges and uphold their responsibility to protect', he says

    Baku. 16 February. REPORT.AZ/ Speakers today called for the United Nations to strike a balance between the fundamental principle of State sovereignty and the need to protect human rights, as the Security Council held a day-long debate on the tenets of the Organization’s Charter, Report informs.

    “For the millions living amidst war and extreme poverty, and for the countless others whose rights are violated or neglected in other ways, the ideals and values of the [United Nations] Charter remain elusive,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he addressed the 15-member body. Bringing the promise of the Charter to the most vulnerable must continue to be the main goal, he added.

    While the primary responsibility for preventing conflict and protecting human rights lay with Member States, the United Nations could help countries meet their national challenges and uphold their responsibility to protect. Among other things, the Organization offered assistance in building up national capacity to identify and address the precursors of genocide and other grave crimes, he said.

    It was violence and conflict - not the United Nations attempt to help Member States prevent it - that threatened State sovereignty, he continued. When considering items on the Council’s agenda, he hoped that States would be driven by the principles enshrined in the Charter and not by geo-political rivalries and other external dynamics.

    United Nations Secretary-General, said that, despite a number of major achievements by the international community, 2015 had been one of the most troubled and turbulent years in recent history. “For the millions living amidst war and extreme poverty, and for the countless others whose rights are violated or neglected in other ways, the ideals and values of the [United Nations] Charter remain elusive,” he said, stressing that bringing the promise of that document to the most vulnerable must continue to be the main goal. While the primary responsibility for preventing conflict and protecting human rights lay with Member States, there were some situations where States might lack the capacity to fulfil their obligations. In other situations, it was Member States themselves that were the main violators of human rights. The United Nations could help them meet national challenges and uphold their responsibility to protect. Indeed, the Organization continued to offer assistance in building up national capacity to identify and address the precursors of genocide and other grave crimes, and it was placing a growing focus on prevention, both through early warning and early action.

    “Our engagement with Member States will continue to be based on cooperation, transparency and respect for sovereignty,” he said. It was violence and conflict - not the United Nations attempt to help Member States prevent it, that threatened State sovereignty. Article 99 of the Charter empowered the Secretary-General to “bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security”. 

    “We must not avert our eyes from these or other situations, no matter how complex or contentious they might be to discuss,” he stressed. Ultimately, the unity of the Council was a crucial factor. “We have seen what heights are possible when unity is visible, and we have seen the depths that are inevitable when unity has vanished,” he said in that regard.

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