The United Nations and its Conflict Resolution Role
The Un Role in Restoring Peace in The Middle East: the Case of YemenSahar Ben Younes
As the Arab world’s poorest country, bordering the Saudi Kingdom and occupying much of the southwestern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, has become one of the areas where Iranian interests appear to collide with those of the Saudis. Away from their regional battlefield in Syria and Iraq, Yemen turned to be another key frontline for their dominance contest.1 In fact, Saudi Arabia and Iran are both located in a region witnessing a power vacuum with no super authority to control it. They both look to gain more power in order to secure their interests against each other’s continuous threats. Iran’s geography, population and economy alongside its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and technologies make it a rising power that intimidates Saudi Arabian interests in the region. Thus, Saudi Arabia tends to counterbalance Iranian influence and tries to preserve the status quo guaranteeing its national interests in neighboring countries. Due to this constant insecurity, Saudi Arabia and Iran have become more and more involved in a proxy war in Yemen as the collapse of political order in the region has provided the opportunity for these two powers to compete for influence.
Despite ongoing efforts of both the UN and the international community towards creating a peace pact in Yemen since the beginning of the chaos in 2011, the country continues to suffer from a humanitarian crisis - described by the UN as the worst in the world - as a result of the incessant hostility between the Saudi-supported Yemeni government and the Iranibacked Houthi opposition forces.2 The war in Yemen doesn’t seem to be narrowing. It caused the death of thousands of Yemenis, including combatants and civilians, and severely destroyed the country’s infrastructure. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, since the beginning of the conflict between the GCC coalition and the Houthis in March 2015 until August 2018, the United Nations has documented a total of 17,062 civilian casualties.