The United Nations has responded to accusations from human rights groups that it caved in to Saudi Arabia by taking the coalition it leads in Yemen off a U.N. blacklist on child rights by insisting that the secretary-general stands by its findings that the coalition caused child casualties.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric reiterated Tuesday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took the coalition off the list pending a joint review of cases with the Saudis. The U.N. chief's action drew strong protests from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other rights groups who said the coalition belongs on the list for its attacks on children, schools and hospitals.

Dujarric sidestepped a question on whether the coalition would be put back on the list if the review upheld Ban's findings.