The Security Council and Human Rights—from Discretion to Promote to Obligation to Protect
This chapter analyses how the role of the UN Security Council in the promotion and protection of human rights developed since 1945: an organ not endowed with any specific powers in the field of human rights became the ‘centre-piece of the human rights protection system’ of the international community. It describes the place of the Security Council in the framework of the UN human rights institutions, and how the Council came to regard human rights violations as a threat to international peace, making it possible for the Council to take action against such violations with measures provided for in Chapter VII of the UN Charter. It identifies three human rights which have attracted most of the Council's attention: the right of peoples to self-determination, the right to democratic governance, and the fundamental rights (arising under international human rights law and international humanitarian law) of civilian populations and minorities during war and internal conflict.
Keywords: Security Council, human rights, international community, international peace and security, United Nations Charter, self-determination of peoples, right to democratic governance, protection of civilians during war, international humanitarian law
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