States armed invasion of Iraq in 2003 supported by any provisions of the United Nations’ Charter?
Secretary General: No […].
Defence: Sir, in your speech, you have also stated that the UNCharter allows for military actions for the purpose of self-defence?
Secretary General: Under limited circumstances. But the United States was not attacked by Iraq.
Defence: Not yet … But we know here is a man with a record of using weapons of mass destruction. Is it not reasonable to anticipate that he would not hesitate to use them again?
Secretary General: No weapons
This study explores the normative dimension of the evolving role of the United Nations in peace and security and, ultimately, in governance. What is dealt with here is both the UN's changing raison d'être and the wider normative context within which the organisation is located. The study looks at the UN through the window of one of its most contentious, yet least understood, practices: active involvement in intra-state conflicts as epitomised by UN peacekeeping. Drawing on the conceptual tools provided by the ‘historical structural’ approach, it seeks to understand how and why the international community continuously reinterprets or redefines the UN's role with regard to such conflicts. The study concentrates on intra-state ‘peacekeeping environments’, and examines what changes, if any, have occurred to the normative basis of UN peacekeeping in intra-state conflicts from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. One of the original aspects of the study is its analytical framework, where the conceptualisation of ‘normative basis’ revolves around objectives, functions and authority, and is closely connected with the institutionalised values in the UN Charter such as state sovereignty, human rights and socio-economic development.
Westphalia was signed by approximately 150 European ‘territorial
authorities’, but at that time there were only six or seven modern states. After the
Napoleonic Wars, at the beginning of the ‘imperialist age’ (1840–1914), this
number increased due to the independence of American states, and at the end of the Second World
War the UNCharter was signed by 50 independent states.
It was in the second half of the twentieth century that the inter-state system expanded more
rapidly. Today there are almost 200 sovereign states with a seat at the UN
This chapter discusses what makes the constituent treaty of the UN and similar IGOs different from other multilateral treaties and whether it is appropriate to use the term ‘constitution’ in relation to such treaties. The term ‘constitution’ should not be seen as a judgmental one. In a minimal sense, the UNCharter constitutes, or establishes, an organisation with organs possessing legal powers and members with rights and duties, justifying the use of the term ‘constitution’. Furthermore, the legitimacy and strength of constitutions varies so the UNCharter may
, many of these limitations lie in the philosophical or legal foundations of the UN. They are the result of the historical processes in which the UN was founded, through which it developed and which it helped to advance. This chapter shows how these processes have shaped the conception of democracy in the making of the UN, from the early planning stages to the writing of key documents, such as the UNCharter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). What emerges is a view of ‘us versus them’, in which democracies assume a higher moral place than non
As we have seen in Chapter 7 , non-forcible sanctions potentially put IGOs into conflict with principles and rules of international law such as human rights. Forcible sanctions, namely the use of force organised or authorised by the UN, or regional or defence organisations, raise issues of the framework of the rules governing the use of force in international relations, the primary norms of which are found in the UNCharter. This chapter considers the role of IGOs not only in implementing and upholding those rules, but also being a part of them, necessitating
The UNCharter does not contain
any specific provision related to espionage and, rather ironically,
diplomats’ communications were systematically intercepted by
the United States during the San Francisco conference. 538 The
relationship between collective security and cyber-espionage is a
paradoxical one. Espionage causes significant tensions, but States
workforce. However, the complaints focused upon the official action of
the recipient state (legal imposition of harsh
penal sanctions) and only indirectly addressed the private abuses
underlying the public events.
Dispute resolution under the UNCharter
The obligation upon states to seek
peaceful settlement of disputes is stipulated in article 2(3) of the UN
This chapter examines non-forcible measures adopted by the UN and other IGOs, their legality (both in terms of constitutionality and conformity to international law), legitimacy and effectiveness. Are sanctions used to punish breaches of law by member states or do they serve wider purposes? The main focus will be Article 41 of the UNCharter, a provision that expressly empowers the Security Council to adopt sanctions. It used this power largely against states in the Cold War but, given that the real culprit was not the population of the state but the regime
powerful solvents of liberal interventionism. I organise these
different arguments into several different types that are discussed
in turn: pluralist, Charterist, realist and normaliser. The first
strand comes from the pluralist wing of English School theorising
in International Relations, perhaps the most venerable and influential of anti-interventionist critiques. The second group are those
I call ‘Charterists’ as they are concerned to preserve international
law and order, especially as concretely embodied and articulated
in the UNCharter. Realists are those scholars