Amal Clooney’s fight against ISIS
Her first speech at the UN and her fight for Nadia Murad.
On International Day of Peace, the United Nations appointed Nadia Murad Basee Taha, a 23 year-old Yazidi woman and Nobel Peace Prize nominee who survived trafficking at the hands of ISIS, as UN Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
Murad is represented by international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, wife of George Clooney. As counsel to Murad and the victims of the Yazidi genocide, her goal is to hold ISIS accountable for the genocide and for the sexual enslavement and trafficking of thousands of girls and women.
Amal Clooney spoke about Murad and her legal battle at the goodwill ambassador ceremony, her first speech at the UN [a full transcript was published by the Independent].
This is the first time I have spoken in this chamber. I wish I could say I’m proud to be here but I am not. I am ashamed as a supporter of the United Nations that states are failing to prevent or even punish genocide because they find that their own interests get in the way.
I am ashamed as a human being that we ignore their cries for help. We know that what we have before us is genocide, and we know that it is still ongoing. We know exactly who the perpetrators are. They brag. ISIS brags about its crimes online.
Two simple but powerful words to describe ISIS’ narrative and techniques: “They brag — she said — ISIS brags about its crimes online.”
Clooney sat down for an exclusive interview with NBC:
ISIS can just be reborn after a different name if you don’t actually change the narrative and change people’s minds. They are brainwashing people. I think one of the ways to take action against them is to expose their brutality and their actions.
In his address during the ceremony, British Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft highlighted the importance of Nadia Murad’s story in the fight against ISIS and terrorism. “You told ultimately a story of survival, of hope, of overcoming the unspeakable,” he said.
In my job words matter. But sometimes even diplomats are lost for words. And when faced with the horror and brutality of Daesh [ISIS], sometimes the words that we find ring hollow. The comfort of the UN Security Council chamber and the polish halls of the United Nations are a world away from the harsh realities that we seek to describe; a world away from the injustices we seek to overcome. And that is why it is so important that we hear your words, Nadia, the way you spoke them, with authority, credibility, and conviction about the wrongs that you suffered.