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Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter

 

Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter

Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter sets out the UN Security Council's powers to maintain peace. It allows the Council to "determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and to take military and nonmilitary action to "restore international peace and security".

Chapter VII also gives the Military Staff Committee responsibility for strategic coordination of forces placed at the disposal of the UN Security Council. It is made up of the chiefs of staff of the five permanent members of the Council.

The UN Charter's prohibition of member states of the UN attacking other UN member states is central to the purpose for which the UN was founded in the wake of the destruction of World War II: to prevent war. This overriding concern is also reflected in the Nuremberg Trials' concept of a crime against peace "starting or waging a war against the territorial integrity, political independence or sovereignty of a state, or in violation of international treaties or agreements..." (crime against peace), which was held to be the crime that makes all war crimes possible.

Contents

Historical background

The United Nations was established after

  1. ^ a b c d Krisch, Nico, and Frowein. The Charter Of The United Nations – A Commentary. New York, NY: C.H. Beck Verlag, 2002.
  2. ^ Dupuy,P.-M.,'the Constitutional Dimension of the Charter of the United Nations Revisited',Max Planck UNYB 1 (1997), pp.21–4.
  3. ^ Morgenthau, H., Politics among nations (1948), p.380.
  4. ^ Schükling, W./Wehberg, H., Die Satzung des Völkerbundes (2nd edn., 1924), Art. 16, pp. 623–7; Ruzié, pp. 63–5; Cavaré RGDIP, p. 650.
  5. ^ Schückling/Wehberg, supra, fn. 3, p. 469; Yepes, J.M./da Silva, P. Commentaire théorique et pratique du Pacte de la Société des Nations et des statuts de l'Union Panaméricaine, ii (1935), Art. XI, pp. 9, 41–5.
  6. ^ Commn. III, Cttee. C, Session of May 15, 1945, UNCIO XII, pp. 325–7, Doc. 355 III/3/17: the proposal of New Zealand with 22:4 votes, of Mexico with 23:7, and of Egypt with 18:12
  7. ^ cf. Commn. III, Cttee. 3, Session of May 14, 1945, UNCIO XII, pp. 316–17, Doc. 320 III/3/15.
  8. ^ War Crimes Law And The Vietnam War, Benjamin B. Ferencz, The American University Law Review, Volume 17, Number 3, June 1968.
  9. ^ Glennon, Michael J. (2001–2002), Fog of Law: Self-Defense, Inherence, and Incoherence in Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, The 25, Harv. J.L. & Pub. Pol'y, p. 539 
  10. ^ Johansson, Patrik. The Humdrum Use of Ultimate Authority: Defining and Analysing Chapter VII Resolutions, Nordic Journal of International Law 78:3 (2009), pp. 309–342. An appendix lists all Chapter VII resolutions 1946–2008.
  11. ^ Johansson, Patrik (21 September 2005). "UN Security Council Chapter VII resolutions, 1946–2002 – An Inventory" (PDF). Uppsala: Department of Peace and Conflict Research. 

References

See also Timeline of United Nations peacekeeping missions, some of which were created under the authority of Chapter VI rather than VII

The list of Chapter VII interventions includes:

Chapter VII resolutions are very rarely isolated measures. Often the first response to a crisis is a resolution demanding the crisis be ended. This is only later followed by an actual Chapter VII resolution detailing the measures required to secure compliance with the first resolution. Sometimes dozens of resolutions are passed in subsequent years to modify and extend the mandate of the first Chapter VII resolution as the situation evolves.[11]

"A Security Council Resolution is considered to be 'a Chapter VII resolution' if it makes an explicit determination that the situation under consideration constitutes a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression, and/or explicitly or implicitly states that the Council is acting under Chapter VII in the adoption of some or all operative paragraphs."[10]

Most Chapter VII resolutions (1) determine the existence of a threat to the peace, a breach of the peace, or an act of aggression in accordance with Article 39, and (2) make a decision explicitly under Chapter VII. However, not all resolutions are that explicit, there is disagreement about the Chapter VII status of a small number of resolutions. As a reaction to this ambiguity, a formal definition of Chapter VII resolutions has recently been proposed:

Chapter VII Resolutions

This article has been cited by the United States as support for the Nicaragua case and the legality of the Vietnam War. According to that argument, "although South Vietnam is not an independent sovereign State or a member of the United Nations, it nevertheless enjoys the right of self-defense, and the United States is entitled to participate in its collective defense".[8] Article 51 has been described as difficult to adjudicate with any certainty in real-life.[9]

Article 51 provides for the right of countries to engage in self-defence, including collective self-defence, against an armed attack.

Article 51

Article 42

This resulted in an unprecedented will by both the powers at the Manchuria Crisis.[1][7]

This can be seen as an authorization of the use of force and other enforcement measures, however, states repeatedly insisted that this did not make decisions by the League binding.[1][5]

The covenant of the League of Nations provided, for the first time in history, enforcement of international responsibilities (i.e. adhering to the Covenant of the League of Nations) through economic and military sanctions. Member states were also obliged, even without prior decision by the council to take action against states that acted unlawfully in the eyes of the League's Covenant.[4] This meant that the peace process was largely dependent on the willingness of member states, because the Covenant of the League of Nations did not provide binding decisions; The Council of the League was only responsible for recommending military force. As well as this, Article 11 paragraph 1 of the Covenant states:

[3][1] or even of an 'international government'.[2]

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