The United Nations and Humanitarian Intervention
Demonstrates that the United Nations has been at the centre of key field operations and policy debates relating to humanitarian intervention since the end of the Cold War. However, the issue of humanitarian intervention also poses a challenge to the UN and its member states, and could even undermine the organization. At the heart of the UN’s difficulty is a delicate balance between the rights of individuals and the rights of states. For its first 45 years, the body was associated with the principle of non-intervention and the non-use of force, yet, since 1990, it has endorsed a series of interventions for humanitarian purposes. After considering the history and causes of this shift, the author discusses nine cases of intervention between 1990 and 2001. These cases reveal a number of issues and controversies, including reliance on the UN Security Council for authorization, the stance of the UN Secretary General, and the impact of the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States.
Keywords: 2002 National Security Strategy, Adam Roberts, Article 2 (4), Article 2 (7), India–Pakistan war, international administrations, international human rights law, international humanitarian law, Kofi Annan, Kosovo war, laws of war, non-intervention, Permanent Five, preventive diplomacy, responsibility to protect, self-determination, UN Charter, UN General Assembly, UN peacekeeping, UN Security Council, UN-authorized intervention, Uniting for Peace Resolution
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