Saudi Arabia threatened this week to break relations with the United Nations and cut hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance to its humanitarian relief and counterterrorism programs to strong-arm the U.N. into removing Riyadh and its allies from a blacklist of groups that are accused of harming children in armed conflict.
The threat — which has not been previously reported — worked, and the U.N. subsequently dropped the Saudis from a rogues’ gallery of the world’s worst violators of children’s rights in conflict zones.
To appreciate just how despicable the Saudi maneuver is, remember that their government and its allies are responsible for a large part of the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. Yemen is classified among the worst humanitarian crises in the world, and it is suffering from near-famine conditions largely because of the Saudi-led coalition’s blockade. The Saudis then have the gall to threaten to withhold funding for U.N. humanitarian aid in an attempt to cover up the crimes that the coalition has committed in that country. This should drive home just how far the Saudis and their allies are prepared to go to pursue their reckless war on Yemen, and it should be a reminder to us of how horrible the despotic governments whose war the U.S. is supporting really are.