Tuesday, March 29, 2005

War to Peace

I would like to discuss about use of force by Security Council in this note. Please just recall last attack of US to Iraq and some debates about next attack of US to Iran in basis of this provision .

Although Article 2 section 4 of the United Nations Charter prohibits "the use of force" among nations, UN Charter became the first treaty to authorize and establish for the imposition of economic or military sanctions. The charter recognizes use of force for the Security Council, which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

However, The peace and security are the instruments to legitimize war, but historically, philosophically and conceptually, war ignores peace. "The work, my friends, is peace: More than an end to this war, an end to the beginnings of all wars. Yes, an end forever to this impractical, unrealistic settlement of the differences between governments by the mass killing of peoples." 1

One of the classic cases for aggression of the Security Council is Iraq. Among the scholars "it is still impossible to reach a definitive judgment of the role that sanctions played in affecting Iraqi behavior. Their ostensible purpose-to force a prompt withdrawal from Kuwait-was not achieved, but critics complained that they were not in place long enough before military force was used."2

There is another debate that economic sanction can be useful in achievement the UN main goals. "The most comprehensive and authoritative worldwide survey of the 116 attempts to use economic sanctions for foreign policy goals between 1914 and 1990 shows successful outcomes" But I strongly believe that in the economic sanction the self interest of the foreign countries specially permanent Security Council member is the essential element. "The United States took a leading role in imposing about 70 percent of the sanctions during this period, acting alone in approximately one-third of the cases. Collective sanctions make up less than 12 percent of these sanctions cases; the rest were either unilateral actions or non institutional ad hoc coalitions." 3 The result of this self –interest is poverty, hunger, unemployment, black market in local and international level, direct and negative affect on the education, public health, etc.

In International Humanitarian Law class our Nigerian professor has asked us to suggest some solutions for the moral and legal dilemma of the UN in use the collective measures and I responded him:I think set up a strong global mechanism for negotiation and lobbing inter states, global advocacy and capacity building of civil society organizations to monitor peace and security at the local levels can be more efficient than war to protect peace and security.

1- It is a famous sentence of Franklin D. Roosevelt on April 11, 1945, the day before he died. Please see Draft of a speech for Jefferson Day. See James Mac Gregor Burns, Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1970), p. 597, http://wwics.si.edu/subsites/ccpdc/pubs/sum/3.htm

2- Sharpening International Sanctions, http://wwics.si.edu/subsites/ccpdc/pubs/sum/3.htm
G.C. Hufbauer, J.J. Schott, and K.A. Elliott, Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: History and Current Policy, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: IIE, 1990). Chapter 5, "Conclusions and Recommendations."

3- Hufbauer, et al., Economic Sanctions Reconsidered: History and Current Policy, Introduction.


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