Jeddah: Amid of the Saudi Arabia controversy over its removal from the UN’s child rights blacklist. Saudi Ambassador Abdullah al-Mouallimi denied that his government had put pressure on the United Nations to reverse its decision by threatening to cut off millions of dollars in funding.
He told the reporters on Thursday that. “We did not use threats or intimidation and we did not talk about funding,”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon slammed Riyadh for resorting to “undue pressure” to get the Saudi-led coalition removed from the damning list. According to the report released last Thursday states that Saudi Arabia was responsible for 60 percent of the 785 children killed in Yemen last year.
Ban announced on Monday that the coalition would be scratched from the list pending a joint review with the Saudi-led alliance. Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement that.
“Pending the conclusions of the joint review, the secretary-general removes the listing of the coalition in the report’s annex.”
In his first public remarks about the uproar, Ban said he decided to take the coalition off the list after Saudi Arabia along with other Arab and Muslim countries threatened to cut off funding to UN humanitarian programs.
“It is unacceptable for member-states to exert undue pressure,” Ban told reporters at UN headquarters. “Scrutiny is a natural and necessary part of the United Nations.”
Ban said he “had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would de-fund many UN programmes.”
“I stand by the report,” Ban added, warning that the content of the report will not change.”
According to UN, nearly 6,000 people, about half of them civilians, have been killed in Yemen since last March.