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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 release all arbitrarily detained prisoners, including President Win Myint and State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.” The Council “reiterates its call to uphold democratic institutions and processes and to pursue constructive dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar.”  It also “calls for concrete and immediate actions to effectively and fully implement ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus.” Finally, it “requests the Secretary-General or through his Special Envoy to report to the Council by March 15, 2023.”   This is the first ever Security Council resolution on Myanmar, nearly two years after the military coup d’etat on February 1, 2021. Credit is to be given to the United…

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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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Disobeying the Security Council or a disobedient Security Council? The effects of jus cogens on Security Council resolutions in recent debates of the ILC and in the views of states

At the most recent plenary session of the International Law Commission, which concluded on 5 August 2022, one issue proved particularly controversial. Indeed, it proved so controversial that Prof. Tladi, Special Rapporteur on peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens), claimed that he was willing to fall on his sword over the issue, whereas Chinese ILC-member Prof. Huang insinuated…

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Three Options for the Veto Power After the War in Ukraine

If any good can come out of the war in Ukraine, it should be a resumption of the decade-long process in the United Nations aiming at reining in or even removing the veto power of the permanent members of the Security Council. President Zelensky’s recent call for reforming the veto system may help to create the necessary…

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Russia’s Recognition of the ‘Separatist Republics’ in Ukraine was Manifestly Unlawful

The rush to judgment can be deceptive. A recent contribution to these pages cautions us against making instant assumptions of fact and law when considering Russia’s recognition as states of parts of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts within Ukraine as manifestly unlawful. Two questions arise: Do the Oblasts meet the criteria of statehood and, if so,…

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