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Resolution 2699’s (2023) authorisation of the use of force: A cautious return to the Security Council’s Chapter VII authorisation model?

On 2 October, the UN Security Council adopted its Resolution 2699 (2023) (13 votes in favour, two abstentions), authorising a multinational security mission to Haiti. The resolution comes one year after Haiti specifically requested such a mission, and shortly after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in August that a multinational deployment was needed to restore law and order in Haiti. The country has been ravaged by violent armed gangs, which have in recent months taken control of large parts of the capital, Port-au-Prince (see here). The multinational force, to be led by Kenya, will receive significant financial backing from the United States. Although some of the initiative behind the deployment seems to have taken place outside of Security Council discussions, its authorisation under Chapter VII cautiously represents a return to the Council’s traditional Chapter VII authorisation model (delegated enforcement action). There is little doubt that the Security Council is plagued by periods of paralysis where individual…

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There wasn’t before, and now there even more definitely isn’t, any legal barrier to providing cross-border humanitarian assistance in northwest Syria

For three long days following last week’s earthquake in Southern Türkiye, thousands of people in northwest Syria lay trapped under rubble, with no help from the UN. The road through Türkiye to the border crossing between southern Türkiye and northwest Syria, Bab al-Hawa, was damaged. Although, to quote the International Crisis Group’s Syria Analyst Dareen Khalifa,…

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With No Judge or Jury, Who Will Decide the Fate of 4.1 million Aid-Dependent Syrians? A Comment on the Legality of UN-Coordinated Cross-Border Aid Operations in Syria

As the UN Security Council (“UNSC”) once again prepares to consider renewing the mandate for UN-coordinated cross-border humanitarian aid operations in Syria, 4.1 million aid recipients wait to see whether Russia will finally veto their last remaining lifeline. With stakes at their highest since 2014, relevant actors within the international community can revert to established legal positions surrounding…

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Security Council Resolution 2669 (2022) on the Situation in Myanmar: Too Little, Too Late?

On December 21, 2022, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2669 (2022) on the situation in Myanmar with a vote of 12 in favour to none against, and 3 abstentions (China, India, and the Russian Federation). The Council “demands an immediate end to all forms of violence throughout the country.” It “urges the Myanmar military to immediately…

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The Echo of Quiet Voices. Liechtenstein’s Veto Initiative and the American Six Principles

On 8 September 2022, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, announced her government's intention to support efforts to reform the UN Security Council. The issue of exercising the right of veto on one's own behalf thus gained unprecedented momentum. Of “laugh tests” and “get-out-of-jail-free cards” The trigger was the…

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