Wednesday, January 8, 2014

UN Doesn't Count Victims In Syria

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

There are signs of change that we look at to determine if solutions are on the horizon.

The Geneva Conference about Syria is one of those signs, it is a good sign. The disagreement between the United States and Iran as to how involved Iran should be in any resolution undertaken at that conference is another good sign. And the fact that Iran and the US both recognize that they are confronting similar Sunni radical movements is a third good sign.

A bad sign, in fact a very bad sign, is that the United Nations Commission for Human Rights has officially announced that they are no longer keeping track of the victims of the Syrian crisis. They stopped totaling the figures in July, when the number of victims hit the 100,000 mark.

Rupert Colville, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, explained that they just cannot verify the sources and so, they cannot even speculate on the numbers. Until they stopped tallying, the Commission based their estimation on six different sources and reports that were made available to them.

But all of the sources were biased - it was always a guessing game.

The problem with not even trying to determine the number of victims in the Syrian crisis is the message that is being sent out. The message is that the numbers do not count and once the numbers do not count the lives do not count. And for a crisis like the conflict overtaking Syria --- that is the wrong message. 

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