Individuals Abusing UN Rules, Eroding Its Core Values: OCHA Pakistan Head

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Addis Ababa January 14/2022/ENA/ Even if the United Nations is supposed to respect a country’s sovereignty and work within that sovereignty to pursue peace, some individuals in the system have been pursuing their personal agenda, Head of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Pakistan said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Head of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan, Choice Ufuoma Okoro, said the UN is supposed to respect a country’s sovereignty and work within that sovereignty to pursue peace.

The head stated that she does not think the UN is the one doing that as an entity. The elements in the UN might be playing that, and that is not the UN’s role and mandate.

She added that abusing UN rules is not acceptable.

Asked about the outrageous power abuses of persons in the UN system apply to harm Ethiopia, Okoro said: “If as you mentioned that has happened, what it means is that some people have abused the UN rules, and that is wrong. Ethiopia is a sovereign country and we must respect its right to address its issues as a sovereign country.”

For instance, OCHA is supposed to be neutral and we must not have any political connection to any issue. We are just there to address the need of people affected by any crisis.

However, it is to be recalled that the terrorist TPLF had inflicted huge devastations on health facilities, including hospitals, health centers and health posts in Amhara and Afar regions.

Yet, the World Health Organization (WHO), which is supposed to be the prime advocate of people’s health across the globe, has said nothing about the damage.

Instead, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom publicly has been disseminating entirely false  information about the situation in the country by siding with the terrorist group.  

“If any person is abusing the UN mandate, which is to promote peace, then they should be held accountable. Nobody in the UN has the right to use the UN to promote strife in any country to pursue personal agenda. Anybody doing that is contravening the rule what the UN was created to be. These are things that individuals could do, and not the UN,” the head commented.

In terms of resolving current problems in Ethiopia, she said it is a media narrative of conflict that was pushed on Ethiopia externally and words exaggerated from the outside.

Ethiopia has a history of strong governance and needs to be maintained, Okoro said, adding that “I have no doubt about the capacity of this country to manage this situation because to a large extent, as I have said, it is a Western driven war narrative. It has been driven by narrative fueled by the media from the West, and that is not going to stand anymore.”

The head also emphasized that Africa and the Middle East as well are missing membership in the UN Security Council permanent seats, and they must continue to push.

“We need Africa to be part of the permanent seats,” she insisted, adding that the Security Council has five permanent seats now and we need to have at least 7.”

According to her, colonialism has ended and a colonial permanent structure cannot be kept in the UN. Africa needs to be represented in the permanent UNSC. ” That is simple and non-negotiable.”

Choice Ufuoma Okoro brings over 20 years of experience, leading the humanitarian and ‎development work of the United Nations in Africa and Civil Society Groups/NGOs in Canada; and she also worked in Ethiopia for four years in the UN institution.

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