The US and France yesterday called for international aid to be delivered to cyclone victims without the permission of the Burmese military government if the regime continues to block the arrival of foreign aid workers and material assistance.
At a security council meeting yesterday France argued the UN had the authority to intervene under a 2005 resolution establishing that it did sometimes have a “responsibility to protect” people when nations failed to do so. But Britain’s UN envoy, John Sawers, currently chairing the security council, said the 2005 resolution “relates to acts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and so forth, rather than government responses to natural disasters”.
The US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the US was “outraged by the slowness of the response of the government of Burma to welcome and accept assistance”.
So when does blocking aid become a crime against humanity?