The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is committed to eradicating the use of torture and blackmail against detainees. The recent efforts undertaken by the United States in addressing this particular issue have come as a surprise to many countries represented within the international community. The United States claims to be genuinely concerned about the mental well-being of suppressed Muslims, which has sparked both curiosity and scepticism given historical precedents of unfulfilled promises. However, rather than merely expressing concern, the United States has expressed its intention to conduct independent research aimed at addressing psychological trauma.
During discussions, the delegate of the United States articulated a sincere commitment, stating, "The costs for psychological treatment will be covered, and the first step is to disincentivize torture." The emphasis of this initiative will be on Muslims who have suffered from traumatic experiences. This ambitious project is expected to take the form of a new agency, set to be established within the coming year.
Nonetheless, there are lingering doubts regarding the seriousness with which the United States is approaching this endeavour. Arab states, in particular, perceive this initiative as somewhat hypocritical, given past instances where the United States failed to fulfil its promises. When approached for precise details and a comprehensive plan, the United States has been unable to provide the necessary information regarding the allocation of monetary and societal resources. Consequently, countries like Iran remain sceptical about the extent of the United States' empathy and willingness to effect tangible change. The question remains: Will the United States move beyond mere rhetoric and translate its words into meaningful action?
- Leen Mahanyi, United States Correspondent for Al Jazeera