Britain trying to dodge obligations to prevent Genocide of Tamils - Prof. Boyle

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 March 2009, 04:05 GMT]
Commenting on British Foreign Secretary David Miliband's statement in the British Parliament that "a failed [UN] resolution- one that faces a veto- is worse than no resolution at all," Prof Boyle, an expert in international law and a professor at University of Illinois College of Law, said that "Uniting for Peace Resolution of 1950" allows a vetoed resolution to be turned over to United Nations General Assembly for action. "The General Assembly can and must do the same with respect to the genocidal plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka [...] Britain is simply trying to dodge its own obligation under Article I of the Genocide Convention "to prevent" the genocide against the Tamils by Sri Lanka," Prof Boyle added.

British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband
British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband
The British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was questioned in the British Parliament Wednesday by Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey as to why Britain’s representative in UN earlier failed to support a briefing on Sri Lanka while ministers in London call for ceasefire.

Miliband replied: “I am sorry to hear the hon. Gentleman talk in that way, because he knows that a failed resolution—one that faces a veto—is worse than no resolution at all, and it would strengthen precisely the forces that he and I oppose. I can assure him that our diplomats, whether in New York or in the region, are all working off the same script, which is one that has been set by the Prime Minister and me.”

Professor Francis Boyle
Professor Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.
Professor Boyle said "[w]ith all due respect to the British Foreign Secretary, this statement is double-talk and he must know it. Under the terms of the U.N.'s Uniting for Peace Resolution of 1950, in the event one or more permanent members were to exercise a veto at the United Nations Security Council concerning a matter related to international peace and security, the matter can then be turned over to the United Nations General Assembly for action.

"Thereunder the General Assembly can take effective action by means of a two-thirds vote. The United Nations General Assembly has repeatedly acted under the Uniting for Peace Resolution with respect to the genocidal plight of the Palestinians.

"The General Assembly can and must do the same with respect to the genocidal plight of the Tamils in Sri Lanka. Invoking the Uniting for Peace Resolution is the well-known way to overcome threatened vetoes by Russia and China. Britain is simply trying to dodge its own obligation under Article I of the Genocide Convention "to prevent" the genocide against the Tamils by Sri Lanka, Professor Boyle said in a note sent to TamilNet.


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