The United Nations decided to remove the Arab coalition from its blacklist that was included in the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s report on children and armed conflict yesterday evening. This came after Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations Abdullah Al-Muallami and the ambassadors of some of the countries in the coalition protested against it being mentioned in the report. The protest was presented to the Secretary-General.
In a telephone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Muallami said that “The objection was submitted at ten ‘o’ clock New York time and the positive result was received after only six hours.” He added “We made a request (to Ban) and we achieved this result without meeting him”. However, Al-Muallami confirmed that he intends to meet the Secretary-General today “to thank him for rectifying the mistake”. Al-Muallami also pointed out that the ambassadors of some of the countries in the coalition explained to the Secretary-General that “the information that the inclusion was based upon is false and incomplete, and that in order to maintain the credibility of the report, it must be reconsidered”.
On his part, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said that it has agreed to “Saudi Arabia’s proposal that the United Nations and the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia review the cases and figures mentioned in the text of the report together”. He added that it is necessary that the report is completely accurate.
The Secretary-General called on the coalition to send a team to New York as soon as possible in order to hold detailed discussions before the Security Council discusses the report which is scheduled to be published in August. He also announced that he “is waiting for the results of the joint review, and will remove the coalition from the list that accompanies the report”.
At a separate press conference yesterday, Al-Muallami said “The UN report omits Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian role in Yemen and we demand that this report is corrected immediately”. He continued by saying “We do not accept the accusation that Saudi Arabia is violating international law”.
A senior Kuwaiti official described the recent United Nations report, which accused the Arab Coalition of violating the rights of children in Yemen, as an insult to the Gulf States and the Yemeni people.