Amnesty International has called for the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to surrender their veto on issues related to mass killing and genocide.
In their annual report, the human rights group said that 2014 had been a catastrophic year for victims of violence and conflict, leading to the worst refugee crisis in history, and that the global response had been shameful.
Amnesty’ secretary general, Salil Shetty, said that the United Nations Security Council had failed miserably to protect civilians and that the council’s five permanent members (China, France Russia, the UK and the US) had used their veto power to “promote their political self-interest or geopolitical interest above the interest of protecting civilians”.
Amnesty suggested that part of the solution could be for those five countries to surrender their Security Council veto on issues related to genocide and mass killing.
The UK government has not yet committed in favour of voluntarily renouncing their veto, according to the BBC.
The Amnesty report indicates that in 2014, four million Syrians were displaced by war and thousands of migrants died in the Mediterranean.
According to the report, the efforts of richer countries to keep refugees out took “precedence over their efforts to keep people alive”.
IMAGE: Residents wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk refugee camp on January 31, 2014 in Damascus, Syria. (Photo by United Nation Relief and Works Agency via Getty Images)