The Need to Reform Humanitarian Interventions Authorized by Security Council Resolutions and the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine

By Chaney, Quiwana N. | Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Summer 2018 | Go to article overview

The Need to Reform Humanitarian Interventions Authorized by Security Council Resolutions and the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine


Chaney, Quiwana N., Denver Journal of International Law and Policy


I. INTRODUCTION

Since its creation in 1945, the United Nations (U.N.) has established laws prohibiting genocide (1) and torture, (2) forbidding the mistreatment of civilians, (3) and recognizing basic human rights (4) in efforts to "end war and promote peace, justice, and better living for all mankind." (5) While these agreements are nearly universally accepted, (6) and have done much to, for the first time in human history, provide international legal protections for people, (7) their existence has done little to deter atrocities during the past half-century. (8) The international community adopted the responsibility to protect doctrine (9) (R2P doctrine) after a series of conflicts in the 1990s caused the international community to question the effectiveness of the U.N. and their partnership with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). (10) The doctrine placed a burden on the international community to take action when necessary to end human suffering (11) by broadly providing that when a State is "unwilling or unable to halt or avert" a crisis harming their population, "the principle of non-intervention yields to the international responsibility to protect." (12)

Despite the good intentions of all those involved in international humanitarian efforts, the constant inconstancies in the application of intervention has caused the international community to question the effectiveness and neutrality of the U.N. Security Council. (13) Moreover, a lack of punishment for crimes committed by peacekeepers has led the U.S., the single-largest contributor to peacekeeping operations, to threaten to withhold funding from the U.N. for failing to address the sexual abuse and bilateral aid from countries that fail to hold their soldiers accountable. (14) Many shortcomings of humanitarian intervention have contributed to an institutional failure, a lack of authority, politicized agendas, and a lack of female involvement.

This Comment will focus on the need to reform humanitarian interventions authorized by Security Council resolutions and the R2P doctrine. Following this introduction, Part II will briefly detail the history of international organizations tasked with promoting world peace, the incidents that led to the foundation of the R2P doctrine, and the establishment of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS).15 Part III will address the legality of modern humanitarian intervention by focusing on the charters that give international organizations authority to intervene and the steps that need to be taken to be granted authority by Security Council resolutions, NATO decisions, and the R2P doctrine. Part IV will analyze the inconsistences of humanitarian intervention under both Security Council resolutions and the R2P doctrine. Moreover, this section will discuss the crimes committed by forces used in humanitarian interventions. Part V will explore three possible recommendations that address some of the needed changes to the use of current humanitarian intervention so that the biases of the Security Council and the inconsistent use of the R2P doctrine does not tarnish the U.N.'s goal to promote peace and end war. The first recommendation will discuss the implementation of a "checks and balances" system in regards to adopting Security Council resolutions for humanitarian intervention. The second recommendation will discuss the importance of women in peacekeeping positions and a way the U.N. can mandate contributing States to increase the number of women peacekeepers available for missions. The third recommendation will discuss how the implementation of a framework introduced by Ban Ki-moon in 2009 can potentially balance the use of humanitarian intervention. Part VI will conclude.

II. BACKGROUND

A. Creation of U.N. and NATO

The U.N. was founded in 1945 under the U.N. Charter, (16) with purposes to "maintain world peace and security", "achieve international cooperation", and "harmonize the action of nations. …

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