Author:Chaney, Quiwana N.

    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.


    1. 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." (17) Today, the U.N. carries out its purpose by "maintaining international peace and security", "protecting human rights", and "upholding international laws." (18) Through peacekeeping, the U.N. has effectively assisted host countries to navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace by assisting countries emerging from conflict, reducing the risk of relapsing into conflict, and laying the foundation for sustainable peace and development. (19)

      North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949, under the North Atlantic Treaty, (20) for military purposes committed to the principle of collective defense. (21) Today, the organization is made up of twenty-nine countries and provides a unique link between Europe and North America for consultation and cooperation in the field of defense and security and for conducting multinational crisis-management operations. (22) NATO participates in four humanitarian activities: decisions and consultations, operations and missions, partnerships, and developing the means to respond to threats. (23) Moreover, NATO partners with the U.N. in taking an active role in a broad range of crisis-management operations and missions, including civil emergency operations, under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. (24)

    2. Four Major International Incidents

      Four international incidents occurred in the 1990s that led the international community and international organizations to adopt the R2P doctrine as another avenue for humanitarian intervention. This section will briefly summarize the events that led to the creation of ICISS and the R2P doctrine.

      1. Somalia (1992-1993)

        In 1992, the Human Rights Watch reported Somalia was riven by conflict, devastated by famine, and ignored by most of the international community despite thousands of civilians dying. (25) To respond to this report, the Security Council broadly interpreted "threats" to international peace and security to include the international concerns about the massive refugee movement and spillover violence. (26) The U.N. began humanitarian intervention into Somalia by establishing a general and complete embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment, (27) promoting a cease-fire agreement, (28) and preparing a plan for monitoring the cease-fire agreement and the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian assistance. (29)

        When non-forcible measures failed, the U.N. authorized forcible humanitarian intervention under Security Council Resolution 794. (30) The resolution allowed for nation states to initiate military intervention to ensure aid was delivered to civilians. (31) Though intervention and help from the international community was minimal until July 1992, by July 1993, U.N. Operations in Somalia were staffed with over 20,000 military personnel and 37,000 United Task Force troops. (32) The U.N. withdrew in 1995 without creating or helping to establish a central government, though fighting continued in the region. (33) Somalia has never recovered politically. (34)

      2. Bosnia (1993-1995)

        As the U.N. withdrew from Somalia, a civil war was occurring in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Bosnia). (35) Tensions in the country spilled over when the Serbs withdrew from the government and were blocked from a referendum vote that proclaimed Bosnia's independence. (36) After Bosnia's independence was recognized, Serbian forces attacked the capital and Bosniak-dominated towns. (37) During these attacks, Serbian forces forcibly expelled Bosniak civilians from the region through "ethnic cleansing" (38) which included murder, rape, (39) torture and forcible displacement. (40) By the end of 1993, the Serbian forces were in control of nearly three-quarters of the country. (41) In spite of the catastrophe, the U.N. did not intervene militarily and only provided humanitarian aid to displaced, malnourished and injured victims. (42)

        In 1995, Serbian forces attacked Srebrenica (43), a U.N. "safe haven", (44) and massacred civilians. (45) The women and girls were raped or sexually assaulted, while the men and boys were killed immediately or bussed to mass killing sites. (46) The U.N. failed to intervene to prevent the attack. (47) It is estimated around 7,000 to 8,000 Bosniaks were killed by Serbian forces at Srebrenica. (48) After the Serbian forces attacked and refused to comply with an ultimatum, the U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali gave the U.N. military commander the authority to request NATO airstrikes without consulting civilian U.N. officials. (49) In August of 1995, NATO officially launched Operation Deliberate Force in retaliation to the Serbian forces continued attacks. (50) Milosevic finally agreed to enter negotiations to end the warfare after Serbia's economy was crippled by U.N. trade sanctions. (51) Though the international community did little to prevent the systematic atrocities committed in Bosnia while they were occurring, (52) it did actively seek justice against those who committed them by creating the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY). (53)

      3. Rwanda (1994)

        Before the 1994 massacre, Rwanda was a densely populated country containing two major ethnic groups: Hutus and Tutsis, (54) who were in constant conflict. (55) This conflict boiled over in April of 1994 when General Habyarimana's plane was shot down. (56) After his death, the Presidential Guard began indiscriminately killing Tutsis and those who opposed Hutus. (57) This massacre sparked renewed fighting between the Rwandan Patriotic Force (RPF) and the Rwandan Government Army which lasted until July 18, when the RPF took control of the country. (58) This armed conflict, coupled with inflammatory broadcasts, (59) created widespread fear, displaced 2 million people, and killed more than 800,000 people. (60)

        The U.N. intervened in the Rwanda conflict through Security Council Resolution 918 (61) and implementation of the Arusha Agreement. (62) The agreement served as an invitation for a U.N...

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