The United Nations and the Development of Collective Security: The Delegation by the UN Security Council of Its Chapter VII Powers

By Danesh Sarooshi | Go to book overview
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5
The Delegation of Powers to UN Member States

There has been a consistent practice of the Council delegating its Chapter VII powers to UN Member States.1 Interestingly, although the first few instances of Korea and Southern Rhodesia were seen at the time as being exceptional sui generis cases, they only now, however, appear as part of a continuum in this practice. The Council has delegated its Chapter VII powers to Member States for the attainment of the following five objectives: to counter a use of force by a State or entities within a State; to carry out a naval interdiction; to achieve humanitarian objectives; to enforce a Council declared no-fly zone; and to ensure implementation by parties of an agreement which the Council has deemed is necessary for the maintenance or restoration of peace. These five objectives provide convenient headings for examination of the practice in this area. In many of these cases, the focus of any discussion in the literature has been centred on the constitutional basis of the particular power which the Council has delegated to Member States. This issue is relevant to our enquiry in two ways. First, to decide in a particular case whether there has been a delegation of Chapter VII powers by the Council. Second, the constitutional basis of the particular power will affect the content of the limitations which the Council must impose on the exercize of the delegated power. However, in most cases the particular constitutional basis of the delegated power is only a preliminary issue. The more important enquiry, once it is determined that there has been a delegation of Chapter VII powers, is whether the Council has complied with the

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1
Accordingly, Sir Anthony Parsons states: 'When the United States secured a resolution, in the absence from the Security Council of the Soviet Union, to react militarily to the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950, command and control was delegated to Washington. . . . When the United Nations faced its first major post-Cold War test, the Gulf crises of 1990, . . . the resolution which authorized the use of force, "all necessary means", was on the lines of the Korean resolution in that it delegated full responsibility to a coalition of states led in practice by the United States. At that point, the Security Council moved out of the act and did not reconvene until Operation Desert Storm was complete and conditions governing the cease-fire had to be formulated. Roughly the same procedure, with rather more oversight by the Security Council, via the Secretary-General, has been followed in other recent cases. The Council authorized an American-led coalition to use force to break the warlordinduced famine in Somalia in 1992-93, and delegated authority in effect to NATO to use air strikes to defend "safe areas" in Bosnia in 1993. France sought and was . . . authorized to use force for humanitarian purposes in Rwanda in 1994. "All necessary means" were approved for the ejection of the ruling junta in Haiti in the late summer of 1994 . . .' ( Parsons A., "The Security Council An Uncertain Future", The David Davies Memorial Institute of International Studies, Occasional Paper No. 8 ( 1994), pp. 8-10.)

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