Peace Keeping

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Finding UN responsibility for its stabilization activities

United Nations (UN) peace operations have changed in recent years and several missions now pursue stabilization mandates. These stabilization missions uniquely work alongside the host government, promote the rule of law, engage in counter-terrorism activities, and use robust force to counter spoilers to the peace process. Stabilization mandates often expressly call for the missions to assist with the extension of state authority, assist with the redeployment of host state forces, conduct joint operations and share information. Such UN cooperation with host state forces, and other international forces operating in the territory, poses challenges to the responsibility of international organisations, particularly where those forces commit wrongful acts while receiving close support from the UN mission. The level of support needed to implicate the UN in internationally wrongful acts committed by non-UN entities receiving support is unclear. In the past, the UN has ceased support where civil war has broken out or human rights abuses by the host state have multiplied. However, in recent years, support for host states during stabilization missions has continued…

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Development, Peacebuilding, and the Rohingya in Myanmar

During his official visit to Myanmar in January 2017, the then British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was accused of ‘incredible insensitivity’, for while in the Shwedagon Pagoda he suddenly started reciting from Kipling’s colonial-era poem ‘Mandalay’ in front of local dignitaries. The accompanying tense British High Commissioner had to stop him by reminding him that reciting this…

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Failure to Protect Civilians in the Context of UN Peace Operations: A Question of Accountability?

On 31 July 2018, thirty-two States asked the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres to go a step further in addressing the failures of UN peace operations to protect civilians. In particular, they stressed the importance of holding those accountable who have failed to protect civilians in line with their mission’s mandate (see Letter…

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Revising the Treaty of Guarantee for a Cyprus Settlement

On June 28th, 2017, the UN-sponsored international conference in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, will attempt to comprehensively settle the Cyprus Issue. The Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot delegations will be joined by the delegations of the three ‘Guarantor Powers’ (Greece, Turkey and the UK), and one from the EU as an observer, in order to discuss the issue of security and guarantees…

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Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court Authorizes Initiation of Investigation in Georgia

On 27 January 2016, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I (PTC) authorized the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation into the situation in Georgia, specifically focusing on allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity during and in the immediate aftermath of the August 2008 armed conflict. In the…

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