Bahrain’s New Approach in Dealing with UN: “Everything’s Over between Us”
2016-10-11 - 10:12 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrain continues to express arrogance when addressing the United Nations. The Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said on Tuesday (August 30, 2016) that his country "will not for one moment heed any voices from outside trying to blackmail it, especially the Human Rights Council". This means that his government is free to arbitrarily arrest, torture or revoke the citizenships of its people and even expel them outside the country.
In fact, this is the third time within two months Bahrain has bragged about its persistence to not implement the UNHRC recommendations.
In June, the Bahraini FM mocked the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein after delivering a speech in which he criticized the suppression practiced by the Government of Bahrain against its citizens. Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said that the high commissioner "has no power", adding that his country won't waste its time listening to Al-Hussein's words.
Bahrain does not feel ashamed to insult an international body. Since 2011, the tiny Kingdom has become a mere echo of Saudi policies. It even follows in the footsteps of Riyadh with regards to its foreign policy.
A similar act of disdain by Saudi Arabia led the UN to halt its annual report in 2016, in which it attributed 510 child deaths and 667 injuries last year to the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen. Saudi Arabia threatened the UN with cutting funds and issuing a Fatwa against the international organization declaring it to be anti-Islamic.
This forced the UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon to bow to a demand by Saudi Arabia that its coalition fighting in Yemen be removed from a blacklist of nations and armed groups responsible for killing children.
It seems that Bahrain has made use of this lesson; to bully a major international institution like the UN and avoid its pressures at the same time.
It was obvious that this development in Bahrain's stance coincided with the Saudi attack on the UN after the international organization added it to the blacklist of child murderers, and then reversed the decision.
The Bahraini government now cares about nothing after following Saudi Arabia's ways and it is now exempted from paying any price for adopting this policy.
The majority of local human rights defenders, whose presence in UN events since 2011 facing the governmental delegation used to bring balance to the Bahraini scene, are now prevented from traveling, and the remaining human rights activists are either in behind bars or in exile.
Bahrain brushed off the approach it has adopted throughout the past six years with UN organizations. In February 2016, there were talks about an agreement between the Bahraini ministry of foreign affairs and high commissioner for human rights to launch a program of technical cooperation in the field of capacity building, dispatching a technical team from the commissioner to meet workers in human rights field in Bahrain.
Ambassador Abdulla Abdullatif Abdullah, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, announced that the agreement reached as a result of communications between the minister of foreign affairs Khalid bin Ahmad bin Mohammad Al Khalifa and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein, "includes training and developing local competencies in terms of writing periodic reports to United Nations committees and developing the work of preventive national institutions working in the field of protection and promotion of human rights."
Four months later, Bahrain changed its mind, as the FM announced, a few days after a similar Saudi escalation against the UN after it was added to the blacklist, that his country won't waste its time listening to a speech of a "powerless" commissioner.
Saudi Arabia was removed from this list, Bullying the UN; however, has become an adopted approach. It has not become limited to Saudi Arabia, but to a small country like Bahrain as well. Instead of introducing reforms that would make the island kingdom overcome its political crisis, which erupted in 2011 and led to a deteriorating economy, Bahrain is calling on the UN to reform itself.
"The United Nations is undergoing a critical stage that requires concerted efforts to make reforms," answered Khalid bin Ahmad Al Khalifa when asked about his stance towards the statements of the UN Secretary-General's spokesperson regarding toughening the prison sentence against Al-Wefaq Secretary-General Sheikh Ali Salman in June 3, 2016.
The Security Council's move in not supporting Ban-Ki moon's request to add the Saudi-led coalition to the blacklist gives a good example on how low this organization has stooped.
If a tiny dictatorship that violates human rights such as Bahrain has dared to call on the UN to reform itself, this means that this international organization has become a complete "mockery"
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