While the alternative (nothing) is worse, Amnesty International is not wrong either with their criticism. Leadership has been bad for years and the UN Security Council is almost irrelevant in times of crisis. It would require a unique event to get them to all agree on anything. Failure to seriously address Syria is only one example though the link provides quite a few others including gay rights in Africa and the international arms trade.
The UN Security Council is suffering a failure of leadership which makes it seem "tired, out of step and increasingly unfit for purpose", the human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) says on Thursday as it chastises the "determination" of some permanent member states to shield the Syrian regime "at all cost".
In its 50th global human rights report, AI documents human rights abuses in countries across the globe, noting a worsening discrimination against gay people in Africa and an increase in xenophobic rhetoric by some European politicians.
But after what it describes as a "momentous" year for the region, it is on the Middle East and north Africa that much of the report focuses. Despite "compelling evidence" of crimes against humanity being committed by Bashar al-Assad's regime, it notes, the UN Security Council has not referred the Syrian leader to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Even as the UN's own human rights chief spoke out against the violence, it adds, Russia and China "used their leverage at the Security Council to forestall effective action on Syria".