Turkey President Recep Tayyip erdogan.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took the United Nations to task Wednesday during his speech in front of the General Assembly, calling the world congress unreliable and unresponsive to most conflicts.
Citing the deaths of more than 200,000 Syrians by traditional weapons and the overthrowing of the democratically elected Egyptian president, Erdoğan asked what the purpose of the UN is if the body doesn’t act decisively during moments of crisis and conflict like those.
The current structure of the UN, particularly the Security Council’s five members with veto power, the Turkish president said, means that global conflict is never properly addressed.
“The world is bigger than five,” Erdoğan said, and they have “rendered the UN ineffective.”
Security Council reform is a hot topic at UN headquarters and the idea of doing away with or reforming the five country’s veto power has been quietly discussed.
“The global conscience is aware that those ruthlessly criticizing some countries for lack of freedom of press ignore the 16 journalists who were killed in Palestine and the pressure on the media members,” Erdoğan said.
Crediting global distrust of the UN with creating an environment in which terrorist organizations will thrive, Erdoğan echoed the Egyptian President and King Abdullah II of Jordan, sayings that terrorist organizations like ISIS were a threat to the security of individual nations and the Middle East at large.
Lifting the blockade on Gaza and the establishment of a viable Palestinian state equal to that of Israel is a “moral necessity,” Erdoğan said. The Turkish president evoked imagery of Palestinian children injured and killed during Operation Protective Edge, terrified and nestled in their parents’ arms.
Once again he criticized the UN and its reticence to pass a legally binding resolution and take on-the-ground action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Many speak about a two-state solution, but speaking about a two-state solution is not sufficient,” he said. “We need to act.”
In the end of July, the Jordanian Mission to the UN drafted a Security Council resolution that has not gained traction. In August, both the United States and separately a group of European countries began drafting “elements” they wanted to see in a draft resolution on Gaza. So far, no resolution has been put to a vote.