What is Humanitarian Aid according to the UN?

Humanitarian aid is the right of people to receive help in situations of catastrophe, however it is being used to justify invasions against people struggling for their self-determination

Humanitarian aid is the right of people to receive help in situations of catastrophe, it involves helping people in situations of catastrophe or conflicts. This action is legislated by the United Nations (UN), which has institutions and programs to exercise it. Humanitarian aid must be requested by the affected country, or must be approved by it, in case it is offered by this organization or another. The Security Council, in accordance with Article 39 of the UN Charter, determines the existence of any threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, in accordance with Articles 41 and 42. 

Art. 41, establish that the Security Council may decide which measures, not involving the use of armed force, must be used to make its decisions effective, and may urge the Member Nations of the United Nations to apply the measures, which may include the total or partial interruption of economic relations and railway, maritime, air, postal, telegraphic, radioelectric, and other communication media, as well as the breakdown of diplomatic relations.

On the other hand, Art. 42, allows to exercise, by means of air, naval or terrestrial forces, the action that is necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockades and other operations carried out by air, naval or land forces of Members of the United Nations.

Humanitarian missions and the “Responsibility to Protect”

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha for its acronym in English), depends on the Secretariat of the UN. It is responsible for the coordination of emergency responses. It carries out this function, through the Interagency Standing Committee, whose members include the entities of the UN system with greater responsibility when it comes to providing humanitarian assistance.

In 2005, the UN General Assembly incorporated the concept of “responsibility to protect” (rp2) that gives the “international community” the right to intervene in a country to protect its inhabitants from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and serious violations of human rights. All unquestionably commendable goals.

Inefficacy of regulations and international organizations to establish peace and justice?

As the data that emerges from studies on the cases of Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Kashmir, among others, show, nobody remembers the Palestinians, nor the civil wars in Iraq and Syria, the devastation in Yemen and Afghanistan, or the worst abuses against human rights in Kashmir occupied by India.

In this regard, although, UNHCR reported in 2016, that more than 31 million Muslims from 7 Islamic countries: 12 million from Syria, 4.7 million from Afghanistan, 4.2 million from Iraq, 2.9 million from Sudan, 2.6 million from Somalia, 2.5 million from Nigeria and 2.1 million from Yemen, has been forcibly displaced due to conflicts or violence in these countries.

And, previously, the US National Center Against Terrorism, had declared that “Muslims suffered between 82 (percent) and 97 (percent) deaths related to terrorism in the last five years.” These same international agencies have been unable to stop or reduce these atrocities against the Islamic countries.

Therefore, there is an inertia of the system of international organizations when it comes to taking positions against the actual flagrant violations of human rights; inefficiency to materialize in practice, solutions that stop and resolve existing conflicts, such as genocides, foreign occupation and apartheid; and certain subordination of these humanitarian organizations to the superpowers.

We make a call on these institutions and all the justice seekers worldwide to raise their voices, so that the Human Rights Chart and concepts such as “humanitarian aid”, “democracy” and “freedom”, cease to be used in a political way by the arrogant powers, especially the neocolonial militarist hegemony of the United States, as a permission to attack and destroy free nations that are fighting for their right to self-determination.