AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PURPOSES OF THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL IN ADVANCING PEACE AND SECURITY UNDER THE UNITED NATIONS 

ABSTRACT

The international community saw the need for unity, peace, cooperation, and a state of security and in order to achieve this task, a duty was given to the United Nations Security Council. However, its inability to handle the plethora of breach of peace situations that the world is experiencing creates a lot of doubts as to the resoluteness of this body to carry on the task assigned her. This research has been able to examine the effectiveness of the UNSC in its principal role of maintaining peace and security, given the high level of insecurity situations the world is experiencing. It has examined the measures to take in a breach of peace situation given the political nature of the UNSC manipulation of issues with its veto power that delays the adoption of faster measures to handle such situations. This research work has also been able to contribute to topical discourse on the analyses of peace and security which are the primary role of the UNSC that came up with the fall of the League of Nations to take over the functions of the defunct body. Last objective is to examine the functions of the UNSC. The methodology used in this project is the doctrinal method. Some of the findings arrived at in this research is the lack of means sufficient enough to carry out its functions. The veto power of the permanent five members of the Security Council is a hindrance to this body`s function. To proffer some solutions, the P-5 powers who owe the UN substantial sum of money should be pressurized not to attend UN meetings or not even to take part in Security Council deliberations. Rebel and terrorist group`s funds should not only be frozen after they are discovered. They should be sent to the coffers of the UN to help resolve security issues in the areas that are unstable or where there is breach of the peace. More so, there should be the creation of a standing army to aid the SC in quick response to breach of peace situations especially since command and control of UN operations often devolves on Permanent Members, Increased geographical representation will also mean an expansion of the Council which will give the Council reasonable representativeness, much accountability and better democracy, with respect to the issue of disunity in the United Nations Security Council when it comes to decision making on important issues, it is the researcher’s humble view that the permanent members should endeavour to keep their differences far from the issues of the United Nation if they want to perform their functions well, let international interest take priority over the states national interest. In conclusion, this research work submits that in order for the United Nations Security Council to dispense good service to the international Community several measures or changes must be taken.

 

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION

  1. BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY.

The plight of every society nowadays is to attain a reasonable level of economic growth, better standard of living and peace at all cost. No society can achieve these objectives without a reasonable level of peace and security. Peace and Security are virtues that are desired by individuals, families, countries, continents and the world as a whole.

In order to address the failure of the League of Nations, the United Nations was created. The Security Council (SC) is a subsidiary of the United Nations, it has always had as task the maintenance of international peace and security. The SC consists of of 15 members, ten (10) are nonpermanent members, which are elected by the UN General Assembly for a two years term and five (5) are the permanent members (the Republic of China (Taiwan), France, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. Each member are obligated to comply with the council’s decision[1].

The SC has been taking various measures to arrive at its objectives of maintaining peace and security which is its principal task since it was created[2], for instance, when the SC considers a threat to international peace, it is obligated to first explore ways of settling such dispute peacefully, for instance, through the use of pacific settlement of dispute[3] .

Even though the SC has been mandated to maintain international peace and security, the big issue is that warring situations are still experienced in many parts of the world like Syria, Central African Republic and South Sudan; terrorism in Mali, Somalia, Nigeria, Kenya etc.

All these situations and events bring to the writer much doubt as to effectiveness of the Security Council of maintaining and promoting world peace and security. These and many other questions are the researcher`s point of focus in the course of this work.

  1. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM.

Since 1945 with the creation of the UN and given the mandate to maintain world peace and security to the SC, the world has experienced so many situations of breach of the peace that has reshaped the reasoning the world powers. The Security Council has been facing a number of challenges in the course of performing its duty of promoting and maintaining world peace. For instance, the Israel-Palestine constant unrest, Israel has ignored or broken the UN resolutions and international laws, in addition. Another issue of UN Security Council is the reform and the difficulties encountered like the issue of the veto which is the biggest stumbling block to any kind of agreement on really serious matters, the challenge of Cooperative Security and National Interest also looms among the security members.[4] These issues that have been listed above has created some doubt in respect to the effectiveness of the UNSC in performing its functions as prescribed by the UN Charter. Some of the questions that will be answered in this research are:

  • What are the functions of the Security Council?
  • What are the steps that the Security Council has taken to maintain

international peace and security?

  • How effective has the Security Council been in the maintenance of Peace and

Security

  1. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

The aim of this research is to examine the effectiveness of the SC functions of maintaining peace and security in the world. The objectives of this study are to,

  • Examine the effectiveness of the UNSC in its principal role of maintaining peace and security given the high level of breach of peace the world is experiencing.
  • Examine the measures to take in a breach of peace situation given the political nature of the UNSC manipulation of issues with its veto power that delays the adoption of faster measures to handle such situations.
  • Contribute to topical discourse on the analyses of peace and security which are the primary role of the UNSC that came up with the fall of the League of Nations to take over the functions of the defunct body.
  1. SCOPE AND LIMITATION.

The scope of this research covers the role of the Security Council in maintaining peace and security besides the other functions it performs. The SC proactive functions in the area of peace and security are also examined in the scope of this work.  The power given to her by the Charter of the United Nations also comprises the scope. The scope of this work will also cover situations from 1994 during the Rwandan genocide era to bombing of the world Trade Centre and the Arab Spring. Analyses on this topic are done taking references from various corners of the world.

  1. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

There is always need for laws and issues to be examined from time to time for development. Human activities are not static, so also is the law. World security and peace is a living issue which needs to be researched. Countries have contributed a lot to see that the Security Council achieves its goal. Contributions have been made in terms of finances, human capital, armaments, land ceded for military operations and other material contributions. This study is thus carried out to see if the works carried out by the Security Council is commensurate with the efforts put in by the member countries and the desire of the international community, and by doing so, seeks to benefit other researcher, lawyers, judges and even the UN itself.

  1. METHODOLOGY OF THE RESEARCH

This research adopts the doctrinal method.  It made resort to relevant provisions of international law, international law text books, United Nations documents, journals on international law, regional instruments, statutes, law reports, resolutions, UN Charter, treaties, protocols, conventions and internet materials.

  1. LITERATURE REVIEW

This literature review focuses mainly on recent material on this topic, including text books, edited books and journals written on peace and security issues of the UN. It also lists relevant articles on peace and security in the UN Charter. Few of such literature will be reviewed below.

Oppenheim, L., in his book[5] looks at the present peace and security state of the world today basing his idea on the Charter of the UN. He writes that the authors of the UN Charter proposed that the organization should seek to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war. According to this writer, the major threats to international peace and security are radically different today from those anticipated by the framers of the UN Charter.

Murphy. J.F., in The Evolving Dimensions of International Law hard choices for the world community (2010)[6] explains that the primary motivation of the founder of the United

Nations was to create an international institution that would be more effective than the League of Nations, which was unable to maintain international peace and security. Under the U.N. Charter, the Security Council has the primary responsibility of maintaining international peace. The writer pointed out the shortcomings of the UNSC in maintaining peace and security, but no recommendation or means of solving the problem were considered. Due to this, this research work seeks to recommend several measures that should be taken if the UNSC fails to carry out its duty of maintaining world peace and security.

Manusama, K., in his book The United Nations Security Council in the Post-Cold War Era Applying the Principle of Legality[7], he traced the roots of the UNSC from the Covenant of the League of Nations. According to the writer, the collective security system as laid in Chapters VI and VII of the UN Charter reflects that both peaceful and forceful means can be employed by the Security Council to maintain or restore international peace and security. Although the UN Charter in its Chapter VI does not contain coercive measures, strictly speaking, it can be regarded as one of the non-military measures available to the Council. Article 43 of UN Charter provides for the conclusion of special agreements between the UN and the member states to provide armed forces to take Security Council military enforcement action., however, the writer notes that no such agreement has ever been made and none are likely to be made in the future and the author talked about the use of veto power in hampering collective use of force.

John Rourke in his book International Politics on the World Stage,[8] he stated that the opening words of the UN Charter is dedicated in saving the succeeding generations from the scourge of war and that the UN intends in fulfilling this goal by creating norms against violence, by intervening diplomatically to advert the outbreak of war or to help restore peace once violence occurs, by instituting diplomatic and economic sanctions, by dispatching UN forces to repel aggression to act as a buffer between warring countries, and by promoting arms control and disarmament. In order to accomplish all these, the UN works in such areas as promoting the concept of nuclear non-proliferation through the International Atomic Energy Agency, (IAEA) limiting chemical and biological weapons, and promoting rules for the restrained conduct of war when it occurs. The writer argues that use of force shouldn’t be a means of resolving disputes, this is because no war has ever come to an end without the parties coming to the negotiation table. Providing a debate alternative is the second peaceenhancing role of the UN and some other International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) is serving as a passive forum in which members publicly air their point of view and privately negotiate their differences.

Over, W. (2004) in his book[9] states that, in practice “peace and security” issues remained the decisive motivation for actual interventions over the past decades. For example, interventions in Haiti and Kosovo in the late 1990s were decided by the legal justification of peace and security for the region. Humanitarian reasons were viewed only as add-ons. Hence, the debate between global security and democratic aims was not fully resolved in the new century. One faction felt that human rights and humanitarian aid was an entitlement for all, irrespective of whether particular groups or nations were harming their own or other peoples the international community according to him has to intervene for the sake of promoting peace and security. However, these goals are also enhanced significantly, perhaps decidedly, by meaningful attention to the standards set forth in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its subsequent conventions. This author states that prescient observers have insisted, long-term peace and security will occur only when basic inequalities are overcome worldwide. This rather straightforward truth can be realized by following various paths, as long as there is a general acknowledgment that the hitherto opposing factions must work sincerely and consistently for both general approaches.

To conclude, Dekker G.N. (2001)[10]  in his book says that international community must cooperate in the maintenance of peace and security. He says one of the first areas where the necessity of co-operative behavior between states has been recognized is in the maintenance of international peace and security. As a guiding principle, it can be upheld that most of the time, most of the states benefit most from a situation of international peace and security. At the same time, he says it should be acknowledged that in exceptional circumstances the international community as a whole will benefit more from (limited) warfare than from a peace situation in which a State is allowed to pose a serious threat to international peace and security; the collective security system of the United Nations (UN) is based on this concept. He stresses that the concept of the system of collective security is based on the renunciation of force, except in self- defense, on commitment to the peaceful settlement of international disputes and on the obligation to support collective measures, both military and non-military, to defeat any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression. The Charter provides that disputes shall be settled peacefully in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered and prohibits the threat or use of force by States in their international relations against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the UN. This research work intends bring out why certain countries continue to amass ammunition especially the very destructive types despite international recognition of collective security.

  1. SYNOPSIS OF THE CHAPTER

In this research, there are five chapters. The first chapter deals with the general introduction. This includes the background of the study, statement of problem, aims and objectives, the scope of the research, significance of the study, the research methodology, literature review, and then the synopsis of the research.

Chapter two of this work deals with conceptual clarification. Here, concepts like international humanitarian law, peacemaking, peacekeeping and security amongst others are elucidated.

Chapter three unveils the role of the SC in promoting international peace and security. Here, issues discussed are the legal bases of peacekeeping in international law, then the Meaning and Establishment of the SC of the United Nations. This is followed by the role of the SC of the UN, and then assessment of the achievements of the UNSC in selected areas.

In chapter four, the limitations and criticisms of the UNSC are examined. Here, this work examined the limitations deriving from the text of the UN Charter, then the limitations deriving from the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. This is followed by the limits fashioned to discretionary powers. Under this head, an analysis of the critique of the UNSC is done wherein elucidation is made on aspects like the arm arsenal of the permanent members, the SC manner of functioning, its double standard attitude, its resources, structure, and veto power of the permanent members. Chapter five concludes this work with summary and recommendation.

[1] United Nations Security Council; Peace and Security <https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/> accessed 23rd of October 2021 and Article 25 of the United Nations Charter of 1945

[2] Art. 24 of the United Nations Charter of 1945

[3] Article 38 of the United Nations Charter. The Security Council <https://www.un.org/en/model-united-nations/ security-council> accessed 23rd October 23, 2021.

[4] Lyall Grant ‘Challenges Facing the UN Security Council: Past, Present and Future’ <https:// www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/field/field_document/20140515UNSecurityCouncilQ&A.pdf  > accessed on July 5, 2021

[5] Oppenheim Lawrence, The Future of International Law, (Oxford University Press, 2010) (P. 43).

[6] Murphy. F John., The Evolving Dimensions of International Lawhard choices for the world community; (Cambridge University Press, 2010) (114).

[7] Manusama, Koen, The United Nations Security Council in the Post-Cold War Era Applying the Principle of Legality. (MartinusNijhoff Publishers, 2006) (97).

[8] Rourke, J T, International Politics on the World Stage, (University of Connecticut press, 2006) (246).

[9] Over, W, World Peace, Mass Culture, and National Policies; (Prager, 2004) (100).

[10] Dekker,G.N., The Law of Arms Control: International Supervision and Enforcement,(MartinusNijhoff Publishers, Hague, 2001) (37).

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