Friday, April 12, 2024

UN ‘lacks power’ to punish states


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One of the United Nations’ built-in weaknesses is its inability to punish a country for abusing their agreements.

Secretary general of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, made this point as he acknowledged that his organisation did not have the muscle to chastise a country which falls back on its word on important matters.

“In December 2015, we went to Paris and the countries agreed on targets of cutting down on carbon emissions and limiting our carbon footprint, to reduce the speed of global warming. But years later because of a pure democratic exercise, one of the principals in this agreement says we do not believe in climate change; there was no court to protect that.


“The normative power of the UN is the collective sense that the world agrees that it is good for us to do this . . . we can only make declaratory resolutions but we cannot penalise a country which fails to adhere so that is a generic problem of the UN,” the secretary general said.

Kituyi was speaking at UN House, Marine Gardens, Christ Church yesterday during the Rotary Club’s seventh annual Model United Nations Youth Conference. The Blue Economy was the theme of the event.

In June, 2017, United States President Donald Trump announced that the US would be pulling out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation, which Kituyi said has dire consequences for the Caribbean and the rest of the world.

With this in mind, the Kenyan, who once served as his country’s minister of trade, said now more than ever, Africa and the Caribbean must stick closely together.

“The European Union is trying to split Africa and the Caribbean and asked us to negotiate with them separately. So a critical challenge now is to re-engage with the Caribbean. You have a unique set of challenges but I know you can make solutions,” he added. (TG)

Secretary General of UNCTAD Mukhisa Kituyi (centre front) with participants of the Rotary’s Model UN event on the Blue Economy. (Picture by Tre Greaves.)


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