International Organisations

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COVID-19 as a Threat to International Peace and Security: What place for the UN Security Council?

  The rapid spread of COVID-19 and actions to contain the virus have understandably drawn parallels with previous outbreaks, in particular that of Ebola in West Africa in 2014 and of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 which also arose in China but affected Hong Kong more severely. While the SARS outbreak went largely unnoticed (at least not formally) by the Security Council, in 2014, it designated the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as a threat to international peace and security. Resolution 2177 (2014) was the first time the Security Council had considered and subsequently determined a public health issue a threat to international peace and security in line with Article 39 of the UN Charter. This post examines briefly the Security Council’s response to the Ebola outbreak and considers whether a comparable response may result towards the current COVID-19 outbreak. First, it assesses factors for the Security Council’s designation of the Ebola outbreak as a threat to international peace and security. Second, it considers whether factors…

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Cyberattack against Georgia and International Response: emerging normative paradigm of ‘responsible state behavior in cyberspace’?

  On 28 October 2019, international media reported that a large scale cyber-attack was launched against Georgian websites, servers and other operating systems of government agencies, the courts, various municipal assemblies, state bodies, private sector organizations and media outlets. As a result, the servers and operating systems of these organizations were said to be significantly damaged, severely…

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Is Security Council Authorisation Really Necessary to Allow Cross-Border Humanitarian Assistance in Syria?

  In December last year, Russia and China vetoed a draft Security Council resolution that would have renewed the authorisation for humanitarian assistance to be provided in Syria via four designated border-crossings. The authorisation had been in place since Resolution 2165 (2014), and had enabled the provision of humanitarian assistance to more than…

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Climate Change in the Human Rights Committee

  The environment and climate change are amongst the most pressing issues for human rights. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called it “the greatest threat to human rights” and fifteen children submitted a communication before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in September. Even though it seems…

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The Scorecard of the Phase One Trade Agreement

  The United States President and the Chinese Vice Prime Minister signed a deal dubbed as the “Phase One Trade Agreement” (“the Agreement”) on January 15, 2020. The Agreement withholds further escalation of the on-and-off trade war, which has dragged on for over 18 months between the US and China. The Agreement will likely lay a…

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