UAE Pressured UN Chief to Issue Blacklist Reversal
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was among the countries that piled pressure on UN chief Ban Ki-moon over the blacklisting of a Saudi-led coalition for killing children in Yemen.
The United Nations announced on Monday it had removed the coalition from a child rights blacklist – released last week – pending a joint review by the world body and the coalition of cases of child deaths and injuries during the war in Yemen.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said Ban’s office was bombarded with calls from Gulf Arab foreign ministers, as well as ministers from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), after the blacklisting was announced last week. One UN official spoke of a “full-court press” over the blacklisting.
“Bullying, threats, pressure,” another diplomatic source told Reuters on condition of anonymity about the reaction to the blacklisting, adding that it was “real blackmail”.
That removal prompted angry reactions from human rights groups, which accused Ban of caving in to pressure from powerful countries. They said that Ban, currently in the final year of his second term, risked harming his legacy as UN secretary-general.