Humanitarian Intervention and the Effectiveness of the United Nations

Humanitarian Intervention and the Effectiveness of the United Nations

Debates over humanitarian intervention and the effectiveness of the United Nations are almost impossible to separate. I will demonstrate why this statement is highly plausible and give examples of the United Nations involvement in Humanitarian Intervention around the world since its formation at the end of World War 2.

UN Charter Influenced by the words of the American Constitution, the UN Charter begins. “We the people of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war… and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and nations large and small, and… to unite our strength to maintain peace and security, and … to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims. Accordingly, our representative Governments… have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organisation to be known as the United Nations.”(Stewart Ross 2005, p.9)

The UN has put forward that “Humanitarian Intervention refers to armed interference in one state by another state(s) with the stated objective of ending or reducing suffering within the first state. That suffering may be the result of civil war, humanitarian crisis, or crimes by the first state including genocide. The goal of humanitarian intervention is neither annexation nor interference with territorial integrity, but minimization of the suffering of civilians in that state. The claimed rationale behind such an intervention is the belief, embodied in international customary law in a duty under certain circumstances to disregard a state's sovereignty to preserve our common humanity.”( Ian Brownlie 2005, p.8)

One of the problems exposed by international intervention would be if the UN or ‘peacekeepers’ have the right to invade the sovereignty of...

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