The Bona Fides of Power: Security Council and Threats to the Peace
The United Nations Security Council has potentially far-reaching enforcement powers. These were largely underused in the stasis of the Cold War. Now, however, the Council meets almost continuously in formal or informal session. To assert the legitimacy of its actions and to pull members towards compliance with its decisions, the Council must be seen to be acting in accordance with established procedures and limitations. The ‘Greenwich foot’ by which the actions taken by the Security Council in the name of ‘collective security’ are judged is Article 2(7) of the UN Charter. Collective security is a potent new instrument of international conflict resolution, added in the twentieth century to augment the more traditional tools of war, diplomacy, and litigation. Its textual authorisation is found in Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which envisages an institutional response by the UN Security Council to a threat to or a breach of the peace.
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