Saturday 21 October 2017

UN unlikely to halt civil war – Power

BRADLEY KLAPPER

PRESIDENT Barack Obama's choice as UN ambassador has acknowledged that the United Nations is unlikely to take decisive action soon to halt Syria's civil war. Irishwoman Samantha Power has also pledged to work to eliminate what she termed the organisation's anti-Israel "bias".

Ms Power said that if her nomination was confirmed by the US Senate – as appears likely – she would try to make the UN more efficient and stand up for freedom.

Several Republicans said Ms Power – who was born in Dublin but emigrated to the US with her family, aged nine – would be a force in New York even as they pressed the former journalist, human-rights campaigner and author to clarify several decade-old comments which, they suggested, were critical of Israel or the United States.

Ms Power, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her examination of the US response to genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia in the 1990s, has long advocated military and other forms of intervention to prevent mass atrocities. She helped make the case for Obama's decision to deploy US air power to oust Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi from power in 2011.

She expressed little confidence in the UN authorising any similar intervention in Syria but told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US could act on its own, if necessary.

"The failure of the UN Security Council to respond to the slaughter in Syria is a disgrace that history will judge harshly," she said.

Irish Independent

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