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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 October 2018

What hope for the UN when world leaders disrespect it?

Our readers have their say on UNGA, Yemen and sexual violence in India

US President Donald Trump addressing the UN General Assembly in New York last September. Timothy Al Clary / AFP
US President Donald Trump addressing the UN General Assembly in New York last September. Timothy Al Clary / AFP

I write in reference to your pithy editorial The world looks to UNGA for hope (September 22): it is true that the United Nations General Assembly could help usher in a new era. However, in the last decade, UNGA has not been effective in preventing or resolving global disputes.

The continuation of the Syria war and the conflict in Yemen, the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the status of immigration and refugees, fears of another financial meltdown, the inequitable distribution of GDP growth and affluence, the fact that a billion people in the world still go to sleep hungry every night and have no access to drinking water – all these and more suggest an ominous task for the assembly.

Yet, as the late Kofi Annan said, the UN is our only hope and we must strengthen it. Powerful countries and leaders like US President Donald Trump and Russia’s Vladimir Putin should grant the UN some weight. Many countries feel they are above international norms. But unless they respect the UN, how can it be effective?

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

UAE aid must be utilised to ease the suffering of Yemenis

I write in reference to your report UAE gives more than $4bn to ease Yemen suffering (September 23): the UAE’s decision to offer such extensive humanitarian aid to help the already suffering Yemeni people is one of the most generous contributions that any country has made, setting a good example and shedding light on the plight of civilians in conflict-hit Yemen.

But after three years of war, the conflict should be ended as quickly as possible. Therefore, a political solution to the Yemeni crisis should top the agenda of the world’s developed countries, spearheaded by the United Nations, because the longer the conflict goes on, the worse the suffering.

Women and children are always the worst-hit in any sort of civilian conflict. The priority must now be to effectively utilise the funds being donated from countries such as the UAE and innumerable aid agencies.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Offenders’ register in India could reduce sex crime

In reference to your article India launches first national register of sex offenders (September 22), this elaborate article on the introduction of a sex offenders’ register in India was a welcome read.

The names it will contain will only be accessible to law enforcement agencies and not in the public domain. As a result, with this new arrangement, the individual privacy of offenders will not be compromised.

The decision to set up a database was taken by the Indian government because sexual assaults have been rife in the country in recent years and the number of women raped is on the rise.

I hope with this new database that there will be an immediate decline in cases of sexual violence and it can be eradicated altogether.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru